Monday, July 26, 2010

Astronomy Decadal Survey

Running in parallel with, but about nine months ahead, of the planetary Decadal Survey has been an astronomy decadal survey.  The results of that survey will be released on August 13.  While the results likely will be widely reported, this is the link to the official site

Unfortunately, you probably will not read about the results first on this blog.  I will be out in the field helping a friend out with some research.  I should have a summary within 2-3 days afterward, however.

This impending announcement got me to revisit the schedule for the planetary Decadal Survey.  It looks like the first time that the public will see the results will be March of next year.  Drafts will begin circulating to reviewers in the fourth quarter of this year, but leaks historically appear to have been rare.  Here is the schedule presented at the Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) last spring:

1st Quarter Panel reports finalized
2-3rd Quarter Prioritization and drafting of survey report
4th Quarter Draft survey report to reviewers, Report revised

1st Quarter Report approved, NASA briefed and report released ( prepublication-format)
3rd Quarter Printed report released

Unfortunately, this means that news for future planetary exploration may be a bit slow for the next several months as everyone waits to hear what the final plan will be.

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