tv NAS As Science Missions CSPAN August 2, 2018 11:59pm-1:25am EDT
and scientist discuss space exploration and future missions at a hearing on wednesday. senator ted cruise chairs the committee on space, science and competitiveness. this is one hour and 20 minutes. >> good afternoon. this hearing is called to order. since the dawn of time, man has often looked up into the night sky and wondered what'san out there. are we alone? the philosopher assumed that, quote, other worlds with plants and livingsi things, some of thm similar and some of them different than ours must exist. the basic question is one that
has driven civilizations to risk life and limb to explore not only this planet is to venture e out into the solar system. nasa began an effort to try to better answer the question by and twog voyager one which were intended to prayer we explored jupiter and saturn. each spacecraft carries a small american flag and a golden record packed with pictures and sounds that are intended to be momentous of our home planet. 40 years after they were one should, they reached interstellar space and voyager two is in the outermost layer of the helio sphere where the solar wind is slowed by pressure. as each spacecraft continues on its voyage and transmit
scientific information backan to earth we are left to wonder if the great steve martin may still be proven right that one day we will receive a forward response from intelligence life somewhere in the universe has received the goldethat receivedthe golden rey request send more chuck berry. for life isn't just a question of casual interest. in the transition authorization act of 2017, which was signed into law by president trump, this committee added a short phrase to the mission the search for life's origin, evolution, distribution and future in the universe. the atlantic has described the
short but momentous praise as a visionary one setting the stage for a far-reaching effort that could have as profound an impact on the century as the apollo program had on the 20th. since the enactment of the transition authorization act of 2017, we have even more reason to be encouraged that we are on the right path. before the last hearing the journal of science published a report on evidence of liquid water on mars using profiles collected from a satellite between may, 2012 at decembe december 2015 scientists found evidence of a 12-mile wide reservoir beneath the deposits and just one month prior to the announcement of this discovery
nasa reported that they found no evidence preserved in rocks on marsnc suggesting the planet cod have supported ancient life. we are making progress aswe we surf you could search for the distribution and future in the universe. as we look to draft a new authorization act, hopefully this year, it isn' it is and ths that we normally continue to make progress answering this question, but that we also equip nasa with the capabilities that it needs to support science missions and priorities that will lead to discoveries across our solar system. this is a momentous time to be involved in space exploration, and i look forward to the testimony of ourn. esteemed witnesses. now i recognize senator markey his opening remarks. >> thankth you, mr. chairman.
thank you for having this extremely important hearing today with this incredible panel. last week, we gained great insight from our witnesses on how americans will venture out of earth orbit beyond the moon and on to the surface of mars. today we welcome another distinguished panel that will point us in the right direction as we launch science missions into the void of space with hopes of making groundbreaking discoveries about the solar system, the universe and our very own home, planet earth. currently, the science mission directorate funds space science missions and researc research ia number of crucial areas including astrophysics, planetary and helio physics. portfolios in the mission directorate is ofte that is ofn
overlooked but absolutely vital if earth science with five years gripping california and greece, extreme hurricanes in the atlantic and heat waves that jump around the world. our investment in earth science and climate research programs be bothions must abundant and unwavering. the essential missions including the carbon monitoring system, the orbiting observatory and the gravity recovery and climate experiment will grace gives us evidence that climate is changing and if you're willing twe are willingto pay attentions information can help us prepare for a moreat dangerous future.
the congress and agencies across the government can combat this problem head on so that our planet earth may be home to many future invitations to come. and finally, we are fortunate to have the professor of physics and planetary science at mit who is a coinvestigator on the test session. the tests have begun the search for distant worlds. carl sagan once said of the future of life on earth and the request forth life elsewhere are two sides of the same question. the searcho for dvr. it's the scientific missions that can help us n to find who e
are. my colleagues and i have great confidence in the space community including the team of exceptional scientists and collaborators, and we look forward to the testimony from the witnesses this afternoon. thank you for helping us to understand better what our mission here in congress should be to help you accomplish this goal. >> we now recognize the ranking member of the full committee, senator nelson if you care to make an opening remark. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would point out that the science mission directorate is an incredible amount but they do 30% of the nasa budget is here and they are operating 60 missions on 80 spacecraft. they want to unlock the secrets
of the universe. you all have talked about the search for life and improving life here on earth. so, legislation that we are putting together is to add the search for the future of the universe. that's about everything all rolled into one. so, this is one of those parts of nasa, and it is complementary with the human missions because one complements the other. you can't do one without the other. it's going to be a challenge for us to protect human life going all the way back to mars.
we have to get them there faster thange we do now and we've got o protect them from being fried in the process by radiation. what we will learn in that mission and development of technology to sustain human life will also complement the science mission directorate, so it is going to be an exciting time for nasa. v thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you senator nelson. you talked about the danger of being fried in space just yesterday i was mentioning to my staff the old tv ad this is your brain, this is your brain on drugs, this is a side of bacon. they were too young to have any idea to know what i was talking about. pleased to welcome each of the witnesses here today. we will start with doctor thomas who is the associate
administrator for the science mission directorate. previously professor of space science and aerospace engineering at michigan in ann arbor. the experience includes research in solar and helio stearic physics, experimental space research, space systems and innovation and entrepreneurship. he has been involved in several missions including the ulysses space probe into the advanced compositiony explorer. he received his phd in physics from the university in switzerland. our next witness is doctor of the smithsonian national air and space museum. i think it may indeed a federal law that every visitor from every child can to washington must go to this facility.
the second person to leave the museum since the apollo 11 astronaut oversaw its founding in 1976 and is the first woman appointed to the position. previously served as nasa's chief scientist for three years from 2013 to 2016. in that role she guided the development of a long-range plan to send humans to mars and worked on strategies to expand commercial activity in earth orbit and supported by science programs in helio physics, earth science, planetary science and astrophysics. prior to that served as the scientist for the new millennial program. doctor david is the charles young professor of astronomy and astrophysical scientists's.
for over two decades he's working the interpretation and analysis of background data to understand the basic properties of the universe and is the cochair of the science team for the wide field into the register this telescopect more commonly known he's been involved in many aspects of the mission and has contributed countless hours to telescope that will ultimately lead humanity be further into the universe than ever before. he received his phd in astronomy and finally sarah, professor of physics and planetary science at the massachusetts institute of technology, the native of toronto, the research has made unprecedented discoveries and has gone leaps and bounds to
expand humanity's knowledge in the field of astronomy. the researcherso introduced may new ideas for the study of the xo planet and was part of a team that helped discover the first detection of light admitted. additionally she's conducted swaths of research focusing on theoretical models of the atmosphere is and interiors of all kinds of planets. she receiveds her phd in astronomy from harvard university and i would know all of these i think that the senate sitting her here or badly undereducated and that we will have our first witness. >> thank you so much. ranking member markey, ranking member nelson, and members of the subcommittee, the work of nasa scientists at th science it of scientific discovery and innovation.
the questions we seek to answer affect humanity on a global scale and focus onti our placin. where did we come from, are we alone can the questions are aligned in the topic of this hearing. later this month, nasa will launch the next mission which will touch the sun by actually playinsun by actuallyplaying des atmosphere. it's the first spacecraft designed too s do so and revolutionize our understanding of the corona and expand our knowledge of the origin and evolution of the solar wind. this mission will also make a critical contribution to our ability to forecast changes in weather that affects life and societies essential technological infrastructure on the near earth. we will join other numerous mission launched in just a few months that launched in mid
april and the next planet mission searching for planets orbiting nearby stars. on july 25 we just heard it again conducting the first-ever space all sky transit survey as it is expected t to cut a lot ce than 1500 xo planet candidates including 500 earth size planets. tests will identify the blank targets for further more detailed characterization with the telescope and other missions. also launched in may, the newest is now en route for a november touchdown and it will join a complement of orbiters at the planet. inside the advanced payload will provide unique information on the interior structure of mars and other planets. collaborating closely with vision and exploration program
at nasa will be continued to use the international space station istationis a valuable platform r science. june 29 it is. through the space station by commercial resupply mission, the measures in the agricultural use in the united b states and plans stress around the globe and will identify through the warning conditions. in fact there is no program in the science that has more direct impact to everyday life in our program as was mentioned. to protect the weather or drought or to understand the complexion of the system will be learned here and affect our lives. for example in the next of the hurricane season the data produced from the satellites were used to support real-time efficient making and response efforts by others and also integrates science and future human exploration goals with
regards to the return of humans to the moo moon and mars establishing a new agency and the lunar discovery program for the experience in data to your jump starting the commercial partnership and innovative approaches to building and launching the next-generation sophisticated science instruments that will reach the moon surface of commercial lenders. the topic of the planetary science provides some of the most exciting views of the unexplored world in the solar system and progress continues on the 2020 role that will carry a small helicopter to mars, a first for humanity. they also plan for a potential scandal return mission top priority is identified by the scientific community and the most recent details of the planetary f sciences. in 2019 they wil 2019, they wile development of cutting-edge
missionn to fly by jupiter's ocean moon one of the most promising targets for finding life in our solar system. in many ways the astrophysics and programs are working more closely together than ever examining how habitable they develop and contribute to the search for life as will be discussed by the other witnesses here later. committed to answering the questions and require the commitment to the new and challenging mission. in 2021, the observatories will be joined by james webb space wasre go up where they will be capable of examining the first stars and galaxies to inform and will review the atmospheres of nearby planets outside the solar system. once they are fully integrated and performed superbly during testing and the space craft element comprised of the past tennis court decides to undergo testing.
in march, 2018, they recognized that take longer and cost were to develop than previously estimated through the issues involving integration and testing of the spacecraft elements i established the result of that independent review board for the time and costs necessary to complete the development and provided valuable recommendations for a all. in conclusion as we look forward to the future of the science program will continue to contribute to the scientific and technological advancement the united states and inspire future scientists and engineers to reach for the stars. i will be happy to answer any questions. >> thank you. doctor stofan? >> charming cruz, ranking member markey, ranking member nelson and the committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss life beyond earth.
as my colleagues will discuss this, i will focus on the search for life within our solar system. as a planetary scientist former chief scientist at nasa and thee correct johnem and adrian morris director of the smithsonian air and space museum, there is no other topic i find as exciting or fundamental to the future discoveries that will one day be highlighted in my museum as this one. all planetary science begins on her facearth based on our underg of how life arose here it requires long-standing stable bodies of liquid water. life evolved rapidly once they stabilized in the earlier which chemical signature syndicates about 3.8 billion years ago. we know that life is tenaciousye and neighbors and adaptable. the biologists found life in extreme environments like lakes, sulfur springs in the top of the stratosphere. we foun found those that live wh levels of radiation or consume toxic chemicals we find life on
earth nearly everywhere we look for it. given the commonality of conditions here and elsewhere in the solar system, it is highly unlikely that life is unique to our planet. we know that the building blocks, amino acids are ubiquitous in the system found in the comment comets and interr clouds. to identify those inhabitable pixels on the early earth with c liquid water a source of nutrients and source of energy within the system we found subsurface ocean, jupiter's moon and saturn moon both have liquid water oceans would hav that havy been stable for over a billion years. these are likely enriched by volcanic eruptions from the moon's rocky inner core a possible source for both nutrients and energy. both they and their oceanss into space in the eruptions and could
easily be sampled by spacecraft withoutnv landing. the liquid erupted during a flyby to contain salt, silica and organic molecules all pointing to a habitable environment. that sample may have contained signs of microbial life the instruments were not designed to protectt them. we need to go back with better instruments. how will we know life when we seein it? through the research, lab and field work it's developed the ladder of life that lays out what to measure and how to measure it. it begins with a capital -- habitable environment and darwinian evolution. thanks to decades of the spacecraft mission, we know how to take the next steps in the search for life, and of course mars and eventually titanic.
3.8 billion years ago around the same time life arose on earth, a portion was covered in water. morris remained thanks for the 500 million years before it lost its magnetic field from its atmosphere conditions became similar to what we see today. a cold, dusty, dry surface bombarded by solar and cosmic radiation. if life evolved on mars during this perco with the micro organisms should be in the surface rocks. that's why astronauts not just the orbiters, lenders and brokers could have gotten us to this point are required. required. biologists from the, geologists could havequ done more and they could study the variation, complexity and relationship to life on earth much more effectively than our robotic emissaries.. they could humans on mars and down to the surface later in the
decade. this is feasible and affordable as they focus on the technologies required. putting humans on mars by 2038, 20 years from now is not nearly as audacious as landing on the moon in eight short years 2 he tasked the united states accomplished nearly 50 years ago. because the infrastructure and commercial partners and scientific and technical expertise as we demonstrate every day with research groups like those of air int and spaced thee smithsonian observatory. the problem is extremely well built and studied and we only need to accept the challenge putting aside the scientific and technical dividends, consider the political, cultural and historical benefits to the nation that came from the moon shots of the program. this is another extremely exciting moment in human history. we know where to look and we know how to book.
we have to ability to determine if it has evolved elsewhere in the system and can easily do so within the next two decades. thank you very much.ry >> thank you. >> ranking member markey, ranking member nelson and other committee members for the opportunity to testify. i am a professor of astronomy at princeton university and managing director of the institute in new york. why am i spoken remarks will focus on the astrophysics, my written remarks discussed the broad space science program andt with the chairman's permission i would request that my remarks be made a part of b the record. ahe multigenerational program of exploring and studying space is the modern version of the construction of. many of the most important activities from sending humans to marsed to study the planet'so understanding the cosmos are
fundamentally a centuries long projects and in cosmology we've learned our universe is both remarkably simple and remarkably strange. nearly a century ago, working at the observatory begin our program of measuring the size and shape of the universe. today the hubble space telescope and measurement continue in this program. over the past two decades, we've learned a simple model with only five parameters under the age of the universe, the density of matter and of the additional relations apply all of the properties of the universe. while successful it requires the stuff that makes up only 5% of the universe. most imost is made of dark mattd dark energy. we don't nobody makes up most of the universe.
understanding that some of the most compelling problems in physics, both europe and china are leading missions to study dark energy. when i was in beijing last year ich was impressed by the plan to launch a space telescope off of theg, space station with a primy focus on studying dark energy. this will have the world's largest space camera and use military technology to construct the large telescope. fortunately moving forward with the premiere dark energy mission, the top space project in the 2010 survey. it will measure the expansion rate of the universe and the infrastructure to unprecedented precision. they are meeting with the technological requirements into this on schedule for 2025 launch a. astronomers have learned that the solar system is far from unique using observation from the ground-based observatories they've discovered thousand
revealing a diversity of architectures and diversity systems. there are more things in the standard ratio and it's perhaps the best guide as we can contemplate whether there is life elsewhere. just as the exploratio explanate cosmos has driven for the past century the study of the planets and the search for life beyond the solar system will likely shape the telescopes the coming century. the test mission which was launched in april should soon reveal many and when launched it will be up to characterize the thespheres to some of planets. the graph is poised to be in the next step the characterization. it will only be able t not onlyo
image the planets around nearby stars that will be a stepping stone for developing technology for next-generation of the observatories. understanding the planet formation requires using a wide range of observational approaches within our own solar system radio and infrared observations will complete the census data capital tests of its micro lens programs. these should reveal thousand in the outer regions of the super systems. these large projects are challenging and will require your perseverance. the delays are frustrating to all of us and report was painful to read at times, we believe that it will only be a transformative astronomical observatory tha but a flagship f all of nasa and the eventual success of this incredibly complex project will be a source of national pride and a symbol. since it is an agencywide
priority, the new costs should be spread across the agency and they are borne entirely by the astrophysics doctor that left a devastating effect on the mission's scientific program. despite the challenges of this ch a, this isan incredibly excin astrophysics. satellites have been able to discover thousands of planets were detected in the counterparts emerging whose gravitational waves travel througtraveledthrough billions s and are tracing large-scale distillation of dark matter and energy. most importantly each of the discoveries raise questions the future satellites will address in the years to come. upcoming academy survey will provide an opportunity for the coming decade. i look forward to your questions. thank you. >> thank you. >> charming cruz, ranking member
markey, ranking member nelson and committee members a.q. for the opportunity to appear today. i opened with a quote from one of our founding fathers john adams. astronomers tell us with good reasonel not only all the planes and satellites in our solar systemm at all the people around the stores are inhabited this is amazing that even then they believed there was life everywhere. although we don't have evidence for life beyond earth, we are the first generation with the capability to find it. we do know for certain stars are sons and we know thousands of planetsrt orbiting others and as we heard from the other witnesses we have a growing list of solar system bodies of evidence including mars and others and because water is required for all life as we know it they might be able to separate life. we heard also from other witnessess that test the new planet hunting mission that got launched on april 19.
assorted science operations july 21 and actually next weekend in august will be delivering the first is the deputy finance director and i thought you might appreciate knowing that finding planets today is at least with the test used it as ao standard operatin procedure. the tests in part aimed to discover the best planets for follow-up with the telescope and it largest collection area for the capability make it suitable to observe the atmospheres. i just want you to know despite the delays of the community is tremendously enthusiastic because it will provide the first capability to study the planets and the search for life. it will observe a small number of planets looking at their atmospheres for gases that might be attributed to life on earth and oxygen is the best example because without plants and bacteria on our planet that have no oxygen. the planet will find and study
its not like earth or sun is actually limited the planets orbiting stars and because it is easier to find a and study planets around small stores compared to relatively large stars like the sun these planets are different from earth because the regular stores get off giant bursts of energy flair and ultraviolet radiation that would frequently takes the planets surface. we have in events like this in the 1850s and we are worried that may happen again because of the power grid but it would be happening daily in there with disabled. we couldn't tolerate it because it would ruin electronics but cingular cell phone. it would disable the power grid and even destroy our biological selves that we are hoping that it woulthere would be naturallyd to those for the ultimate goal is to find the true birth trend one orbiting the star like the sun so we can understand in the context of the search for life and the huge challenge is in
this mess star like the sun and the difference in brightness between the two is one part in 10 billion, so we need a way to block out to see the planet directly. it's the first high contrast that has specialized optics to block out the xo planet into the technology demonstration that won't be able to reach down to find other planets like earth and it can study about a dozen giant planets that are already known to exist. it's with a modest sized telescope is a giant specially shaped screen with its own spacecraft with a telescope tens of thousands of kilometers away. itwa is all the hard work of
blocking out the starlight suomi the planet light enters the telescope into technical reasons behind that are wid why does the shape can already find the analog even with a modest sized telescope. it builds upon the large radio deployable, large space-based antennas and has a directed effort by 2023 though it could happen sooner with more funding. it would be the first mission opportunity with the ability to discover dozens of planets in the first chanchadthe first chad a few planets like earth the concept launched shortly to rendezvous with it on orbit and they've directed the project to be operational costs borne through 2020 and later by the project pending the survey recommendation. there's more details there but short on time i will move on to just tellt you that in 2010 i
became a citizen of the united states of america and the reason i came here is because we are the world leader in space technologygy and we have some tough priority is ahead of our nation is the first to discover signs of life for signs of life on a distant planet. and the committee this concludes my remarks thank you for your attention to. thank you to each of the witnesses. let's start out with a question to all four of you, which is why should we be engaged in the search for life, why does it matter and why should that be a priority for a space mission lacks to be complex to be for >> i believe it is one of the big questions of humanity.
this iss how they make a mark ad it's whatan they do for their citizens but also how the move history forward. this will be one of those questions that will be remembered forever because it will be a leap not only understanding nature but ourselves in a way that we never have in the past. >> since tom escaped the underlining philosophical answer that i 100% agree with, i would like to focus on when we try to do things that are hard like we did at the time of apollo, when you pushed yourself to answer that question that' that when yh technology forward. when you push technology forward and push the society forward, you push the economy forward. so trying to answer these questions and building big telescopes, sending humans to mars committees are an investment and i think that is critically important.
>> if we add another element that i see as a professor working with students this is a question that i think engages everyone, this is a question kid downwn the tree school -- elementary school and also certainly something that college students are engaged with. we draw people into science and help bring in the next generation who will be part of the stem education community so this is another one of the side benefits. many of us do this because we want to know the answer to.
it will inspire the next generation to go into technology. for the record it takes a lot of research to come up with anything practical. things you could never invent if you set out to find something practicapractical that a relevat example is gps. it didn't become because someone said i need a navigation system for my car. so it turns out by exploring we have unique practical spinoffs. >> thank you. you previously said what is driving the acceleration of the universe, what are the properties of the planet atmospheres, how did our galaxy and neighbors form and evolve and what determines the architecture of the planet the u.s. should be leading the world in addressing these questions. what do we need to do better to
ensure that we are and remain the global leader? >> i think we are leading in addressing these questions at the moment, that's looking around the world, i see both excellence coming out of our european colleagues that the european space agency is launching a number of space science n missions that are pushing forward. they are often partnered with us in many of the projects. i've been impressed by the investments the chinese are making. they are really not even significant players ten years ago. looking to where they might be a decade from now, if we stop investingstartinvesting, they w.
>> the technology is finicky. >> it might be changing i changd appoint a love of money into everything ranging from the solar panel technology to nuclear power to. it sounds trite but we want to maintain a healthy budget for innovative science. >> this committee is working on a new authorization bill we passed one last year and we are working on yet another one that will pass this year. what is mos most reflective and that's the?
what we try to do with the survey is to identify the top scientific priorities in each of the areas that the science mission directorate works. so this has certainly been the topie priority to return a sampe and to follow by exploring in the helio physics understanding the process of the sun, space weather. in astrophysics, completing this would be the current top priorities. we are about to engage the community in our process looking at the proposed mission.
the search for life will almost certainlyy be one of us will include the process of galaxy formation, star formation and infrastructure. earth science and space as mentioned earlier understanding the earth and using the vantage point of space to watch the changing environment is another key part of the mission. >> the chairman's remarks started with the planet and i think the priority should be finding the stars and that is a hard problem.
we want to make sure that we do our work on earth here correctly and nasa has been a leader in climate science in helping us to understand where we live and gives us the most up to date information. so, associate administrator, is the earth science research and put into understanding threats like climatepo science? >> is a very important program for the nation. the earth science program that we have is very strong. we have an increasing number of spacecraft in orbit i think last time i counted was 17 missions on orbit and several in development, and yes i do believe that that report program
could take unique program complementary to others that are going on in the government and beyond is very important. >> will you make a commitment that earth science will remain a priority in the years ahead? >> the earth science has that key element. it has been with us from the very beginning. and i will make a commitment that we will implement everything that the program that is being appropriated here and that includes as you have a us a stronger science and in that sense absolutely yes. >> let's go down and have each one of you give us an example of how deep space exploration relates to or helps us back here on earth. can you give us an example? we have gps given to us from an earlier space exploration so how
it relates in the 21st century to each of us? its conduct of the issue of climate and how we understand this planet's climate and when you put it in the context of saying looking at venus and mars and saturn we have other bodies in the solar system but have varying amounts of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases and so by understanding the climate and being able to compare the climate of earth to other the er planets, it has helped us to understand what is happening here. and in fact, i first identified the ozone impetus whic and thats presented to fight. >> interesting.
another example that comes to mind is studying and looking at the glaciers. if you are looking at the same physics and the remote sensing technologies that are launching september. we use many of the same remotete technologies when we go visit planets in our own solar system as we be looking back on earth. if you look at one example, you don't fully understand what is i going on. we understood the earth much better. and as mentioned, we understood the processes on th the earth by chris deserving things that are happening on venus and mars and elsewhere. and now, when we look at extrasolar planetary systems, we are understanding our solar some better because we now see our solar system as both one example
of many interesting back and getting the sticker picture and those physical processes makes us rethink the way that we think about the earth. hispanic medical imaging is one of your old familiar with. in astronomy we have to do the same thing, process the data and medical imaging for making big leaps forward. we built a small telescope and what it does in th the technoloy isn't complained precisely 100 times more precisely than any time in its category. for the people most interested thethey come from optimal communication and a way to pack more information and that is probably where the technology will end up being used. before i took this job has been
developed in the space into spay including electronics that were developed i to study some environmental conditions on mars that are now routinely used in environments to protect discharges from happening and many others. >> thank you mr. chairman and ranking member. things you to all of the witnesses today. it is a pleasure to see you all and i would like to offer one more. i'm also glad the chair recognized as the first woman for the director. it's very important for girls and young women to see him a leg science, so for you having a 50/50 panel is kind of a nice
visual. i want to start with you and touch a little on space weather. the institute is a study of earh and space from the university of new hampshire my home state and he's a world-renownehe is a worn space weather. he leads the research group that studies the physics from the sun's corona to the earth's upper atmosphere using experimental techniques. this research will ultimately help enhance our understanding of the potential puts the space weather and that's why investing in space weather research is so critical. is nasa providing the resources needed to implement the space weather action plan and national space weather strategy? >> we have started with the last two or three years of investments that followed the
plan and we started to implement some of these recommendations. not all of them are fully funded at a level that were initially foreseen iforeseen that there'sr of discussions that are happening. as you know across the agencies for how we do that they are coming up with innovative ideas to get the space data in a unique collaboration that wasn't initially foreseen so it is that level of discussion as we go forward to come up with a full implementation so yes we are on the way. could he go even faster probably. >> that's hopeful. i know as i understand it -- that funds missions set by the priority is at the academy of science which makes a lot of sense, but there aremi obviously other maybe we would refer to them as applied reasons to findd the space weather research so how does nasa go about balancing
pure science priorities on the one hand and national needs on the other when determining what research to find? >> that is an important question and when i think about in the context of earth science and planetary science. these objects are hurling through space and can potentially affect human life on earth and space weather. in this case what is interesting is the community is deeply embracing space weather and the reason i'm saying that is if you go back to the last guiding document of this space weather it's an important part of the entire program and actually has a specific set of recommendations we are following athe same model as the others so in this case wherever we get such guidance we implement that with all of the constraints we are getting from here or
elsewhere. >> with anybody else like to comment on striking that balance? we probably do not have a good answer for you. you are right it is a science priority not a national needs priority. >> though i think there will be another helio physics coming up soon and having been involved in the process things like if nasa instructs the academies to update those, that becomes a part of the process. >> we have a whole earth science applied scienc science irregulay are doing critical work to support farmers and i think that balance is important and critical.
>> maybe we can follow-up on this inol writing that i've seen remarks recently on the importance of diversifying the workforces thaworkforces to makf these critical achievements possible.em can you comment on how important it is that we invest in our nations children throughout the early education as well as through the collegiate postgraduate studies to ensure we have a pipeline of people like that for a few but carry on this important research and make even greater strides for space exploration? ng if we don't, we're doing a disservice to the country because they are not tapping into the talent of all of our populations, so to me it isn't just something nice to do, it's something we focus on at the smithsonian and timmy is one of the things they hope to do is focus on telling those diverse stories as we do to inspire the next generation to be the
innovators and exporters. >> thank you very much and thank you mr. chair. >> thank you to the panelists for the discussion. i want to thank you for bringing up the space weather issue is a very big issue and one that folks are involved in as well and some of the panels may notice by we passed a bill i worked on with the space weather researcher passed the senate now twice and just came out of the house committee recently. i think it was weekend and we have to strengthen that so that we get everybody on the same page when it comes to forecasting these events that can be extreme and i'm going to ask you to talk a little bit about that. my understanding is the abilities are similar to those to forecast hurricanes in the 1930s which wasn't all that great but has gotten better. if we see an event like your
testimony that estimated as well in excess of the triangle impact this is the second. we haven't been acting quick enough to make sure this is just science homeland security, defense. can you tell us why it's important that we get going on making sure we have a space weather capability? >> i do know we see the earthquake in san francisco or los angeles we are waiting for the big one and it's not just space weather forecasting but it's also how we are going to protect the power grid. >> anybody else? >> one of those elements of the research program in any way is like a same thing frankly when i
did graduate school at not as prevalent as we are thinking about it today and the reason for that is generally marketed on space and we were years ago so this is becoming much more important. yes we have made strides toward this end we are seeking to do the best if you look at the 2019 .gif you see an increase in the areas that were requesting to accelerate and some of the work of courses on the consideration of the building and others to respond to theo desire that you are talking about, senator, becausbecause we see the reporta direct fashion. >> we are past due and my understanding is if you do see a blackout at the transformers are burned out as a result of that, you can see outages for six months to a year.
so, just folks who may read the transcript of the hearing, think of new york city without power for one year. that would be catastrophic for services and investment that we have to make in a thoughtful way. >> back to the question of what would come ou out of the space exploration this may be the best example. >> you mentioned that life on mars and possibility forl that. basically you are looking at water-based life for about 5 million years. that seems a fairly short amount of time given how long it took on earth. why are you confident that is enough time that we might be able to find something? >> it was rapidly here on earth once conditions stabilized. the first several hundred million years conditions were hostile and it was as soon as the conditions stabilized within 100 million we are confident the first microbial life come
associates remained in the ocean for oveoceanfor the brazilian yt took well over a billion years for the life to gain any complexity. that is why i'm optimistic it did evil on mars. i'm not optimistic that it got very complex, so we talk about finding the fossil microbe single cell organisms, blue-green algae type, so hard to find. that is why i do think it will take humans on the planet breaking open a lot of rocks to find this evidence. ..
>> 1 billion years they would be advanced if you think how much advancement we have had. are we confident we are searching in the right way for civilization that could be so far advanced had we even know how they are communicating? it is a broad philosophical question but if we are putting research in those intriguing question of life in our planet medicating we are headed down the right half looking for one t-1 once we start to realize how common my sellers mom -- solar system and gives a better data for the service conditions on t-1 on how is complex life and where do we go to find that?
i think we need more data the way we approach the problem is correct with the exoplanet. >> thank you. >> we will do a few more questions. the james webb space telescope successor to the hubble telescope is to revolutionize the star formation and planet as you know the telescope was initially to launch in 2007 costing 500 million that skyrocketed at $5 billion now delayed through 2021 with costs expected to surpass $9.6 billion. what explains that incredible increase costs of deployment?
>> that is the question i asked myself and my team on a regular basis and i can tell you what iel think we have that is important questions it is more than one issue peppers it is excessive optimism innovators need to be optimistic if we understand how complex those challenges are ahead but that could trap you into a path that you regret later so what that means for me as a leader in the manager i want to build in those mechanisms such as independent reviews to get our arms around it. the second and i would argue is the confluence of the development of new technologies every technology by itself will be hard to guess that it is not ten times
harderit me 50 or 100 times harder because the technologies interact with one another for now i look at missions i want to understand how many technologies are there to understand if we can develop fees before we lock in the cost but we are learning now for the cost you are referring to have to do with closing off work we aree having their to find our challenges related to just doing the work and those embedded problems that led to an increase of the cost of how we manage and process it is absolutely clear
to understand the culture of the workforce so i would argue those are the reason. >> have these massive costes over one caused nasa to reassess the effectiveness for big projects like this? yes. we talk about different types of contracting. with new innovative thought nobody has ever done. it is hard to get a fixed price contract. having that a board member you understand so basically for us it is a matter to understand
where the right balances with the fixed-price contract that protects the government and we have the contract and in some places they may regret that and it is a good thing for them. but also to manage as we go forward to really interact with that company with that more optimized path so yesterday constantly look at those procurement vehicles to understand the services contract like the lunar program which is different from anything else because that may very well be that the companies are not read ready. >> let me shift to a different topic that your written testimony states that nasa
maintain a planetary defense program that includes the observation project as you know earlier that she on april 15 and asteroid 2018 ge ge three estimated to be 150 feet inin diameter was spotted 119,500 miles from earth a distantan closer than the so what you see as the greatest challenge our nation faces with planetary defense from asteroids and what steps do we need to take we don't have to rely on sending bruce willis to space? >> i like that movie left. >> we propose thee integrated program with all data sources
with the spacecraft that are out there. we want to integrate that to get the real inventory of what is out there 140 m 40 meters and above that there are certain parts of the data where we will be weaker observing from because you cannot observe things coming out of the sun so for us you will have to have the asset that is away from the earth and withk that inventory will focus on mitigating the effect and depending on the size the mitigation tools aremi different
what we are currently working on is one type the mitigation and impact so we run it into a body like this it would bringing it out of the collisionh zone and then focusing on the innovative program. >> last question. in addition to the leadership of exploration and science we have seen tremendous cooperation and collaboration with the private sector. can and should be doing more to utilize commercial partners and private capital as it pertains to the priorities? >> we are continually assessing this and frankly is an experiment and for example
with the commercial data of small spacecraft to provide a new way to get data in ways we don't even know how to build a spacecraft. not all data but some data when there are several other commercial spacecraft so running a variety of experiment and then continue our commitment to make sure we can with the private sector can do it was never our intent
to compete with the private sector we want to grow that sector to benefit from positive partnerships to offload the things that are possiblepo to focus that others have talked about. >> with basic and planet labs the innovation is a private commercial industry. it is the way forward make the ecosystem of our potential partners have gone much bigger but robotics 20 years ago nasa represented a significant fractionon and today it is a tiny fraction going to like self driving cars. and there is an opportunity for nasa that are doing their best to take advantage. not only with boeing and spacex but small companies
growing in robotics and machine learning. >> it is important for nasa to stay focused to hinge on the next joint telescopes making sure we understand this and getting humans to mars. >> doctor seger talking about quieter as they should process. we only have so much money. are you satisfied with the prioritization process? >> it is a question worth asking. >> i thought i would start with you because you are from massachusetts. the link you heard many times witnesses always go back to
the survey that is a structure forced to abide by but any institution structure around for more than half a century should be reviewed to see if it is still effective. it is time to take a better loo look. there is room for improvement which i will not go into now. >> give us one example. >> in many areas of space science we have so all community feels if they don't have one mission then it will never select mom -- be selected so that means the community wants to put forward missions that are very complicated and the question is are we had a place where we should have morere focused
mission and not try to do everything in one place? we can do that in the current p? formulation in the comment that they are the first to use instagram but also the way the hierarchy of the survey don't necessarily vote the way the new generation would. >> the kid who came up with instagram is from massachusetts. >> that cato process has been effective way of prioritization and it is the academy responding to the request looked at the as a whole in one advantage is for
multiple communities with faith and planetary science we went to the process work best? when were mistakes made? one of the mistakes is we did not properly study before the recommendations were made. i think if we were to go back in time he would have preferred to build the james webb space telescope to do other things. one of the lesson learned don't go man as vague ideas. they are studied extensively before hand. leading up to 2020 is that the
potential missions are studied so when they are prioritized we know what we are looking at. across the benefit analysis and to have a preliminary understanding of costs for mac i was involved as achieve scientists and going forward but food and given a lot of thought it is an important and strong process to be adhered to because it really allows for the science to forward. not the person who shout the loudest but it really is about science and not allows u.s. to retain our position. >> how do you correct that? those who have the biggest projects?
>> in the planetary science where you have broad input from i the community that it was argued in many small panels. >> you are happy? >> i am really glad i am not judge science prioritization because i don't know how i would do it in the absence of framing that activity to involve many voices in different ways. cato has been a very successful activity with a human endeavor and should always be questioned. i actually resonate with the comments that is very important with those diverse set of opinions are listened to.
that is where good decisions come from with different types of background and priorities and those in the private sector to understand that interface is helpful. that is important and then she question to do without the right way. i know how we do the job. >> thank you for your service to our country. >> 's words helpful and productive in and to submit questions for the record and i would ask that you respond