Policy ForumSpace Science

Coping with Uncertainty in Space Science Planning

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Science  10 Jan 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6167, pp. 140-141
DOI: 10.1126/science.1244231

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Political gridlock is spreading a miasma of uncertainty over the space sciences in the United States. Neither those who give science advice nor those who receive it have a clear grasp of what the future holds, a reality for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that was underscored in NASA's Strategic Direction and the Need for a National Consensus (1). This report concluded that “There is no national consensus on strategic goals and objectives for NASA. Absent such a consensus, NASA cannot reasonably be expected to develop enduring strategic priorities for the purpose of resource allocation and planning.”