Panel reviews NASA science plan


  • Mohi Kumar


The draft science plan of the NASA Science Mission Directorate lacks a clear strategy, and the agency may need to either abandon flagship missions or the ability to execute a balanced program due to rising costs, according to a 15 September report by the U.S. National Research Council.

Carl Wunsch, a member of the committee that authored the report and an oceanographer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that cutbacks and mission cancellations announced by NASA have led to “a general worry that the plan might be just a paper document. [The plan] does not really talk in any way about what implementation would cost or what has been dropped from earlier such plans.”