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Many in the space science community are wondering why NASA administrator Daniel S. Goldin announced a sudden restructuring of the agency on October 15 (Eos, October 27). The shake-up saw a split in the Office of Space Science and Applications into the office of Mission to Planetary Earth, which will include all the Earth sciences, and the Office of Planetary Science and Astrophysics.

The restructuring, he said, is an attempt to align the agency with the new goals, which he outlined in an address to the Space Science and Applications Advisory Board (SSAAC) on November 5. Claiming that NASA's role has never been stated to the public and that Congress does not understand the agency's role, Goldin sought to clarify future directions for the agency.