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Beyond Einstein Program Assessment Committee:. AAAC Feb 8, 2007, Washington DC. Brian Dewhurst BEPAC Staff. Origin of the Beyond Einstein Program. 2000 release of “Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium” 2002 release of “Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos”

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beyond einstein program assessment committee

Beyond Einstein Program Assessment Committee:


Feb 8, 2007, Washington DC

Brian Dewhurst


origin of the beyond einstein program
Origin of the Beyond Einstein Program
  • 2000 release of “Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium”
  • 2002 release of “Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos”
  • 2003 NASA SEU Roadmap entitled “Beyond Einstein”
  • 2004 OSTP releases “Physics of the Universe”
beyond einstein missions
Einstein Great Observatories



Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA)

Einstein Probes

Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM)

Inflation Probe

Black Hole Finder Probe

Beyond Einstein Missions
study origins
Study Origins
  • Committee Report, Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, 2007
    • The Committee is concerned that the joint mission between the Department of Energy and NASA is untenable because of NASA’s reorganization and change in focus toward manned space flight. The Committee directs the Department to immediately begin planning for a single-agency space-based dark energy mission…..
  • Committee Report, House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, 2007
    • …NASA has failed to budget and program for launch services for JDEM. Unfortunately, in spite of best intentions, the multi-agency aspect of this initiative poses insurmountable problems that imperil its future. Therefore, the Committee directs the Department to begin planning for a single-agency dark energy mission with a launch in fiscal year 2013.
  • Committee Report, Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill, 2007
    • The National Academy of Sciences has recommended that NASA and the Department of Energy work together to develop a Joint Dark Energy Mission [JDEM]. The Committee strongly supports development of the JDEM through full and open competition with project management residing at the appropriate NASA center.
  • OSTP Meeting, August 2006
    • Dr. Marburger calls meeting with NASA Administrator, DOE Science Undersecretary, SSB Chair, BPA Chair, and AAAC Chair to encourage a fair, joint-agency process for going forward on a Beyond Einstein mission.
    • NASA and DOE request NRC to assess the Beyond Einstein missions and produce report by September 8, 2007
committee charge
Committee Charge
  • Assess the five proposed Beyond Einstein missions (Constellation-X, Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, Joint Dark Energy Mission, Inflation Probe, and Black Hole Finder probe) and recommend which of these five should be developed and launched first, using a funding wedge that is expected to begin in FY 2009. The criteria for these assessments include:
    • Potential scientific impact within the  context of other existing and planned space-based and ground-based missions; and
    • Realism of preliminary technology and management plans, and cost estimates.  
  • Assess the Beyond Einstein missions sufficiently so that they can act as input for any future decisions by NASA or the next Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey on the ordering of the remaining missions. This second task element will assist NASA in its investment strategy for future technology development within the Beyond Einstein Program prior to the results of the Decadal Survey.
committee members
Eric Adelberger, U Washington

William Adkins, Adkins Strategies, LLC

Thomas Appelquist, Yale

James Barrowman, NASA (retired)

David Bearden, Aerospace Corp.

Mark Devlin, U Pennsylvania

Joseph Fuller, Futron Corp.

Karl Gebhardt, U Texas

William Gibson, SWRI

Fiona Harrison, Caltech

Charles Kennel, UCSD, co-chair

Andrew Lankford, UC Irvine

Dennis McCarthy, Swales (retired)

Stephan Meyer, U. Chicago

Joel Primack, UC Santa Cruz

Lisa Randall, Harvard

Joseph Rothenberg, Universal Space Network, co-chair

Craig Sarazin, U Virginia

James Ulvestad, NRAO

Clifford Will, Washington University

Michael Witherell, UC Santa Barbara

Edward Wright, UCLA

Committee Members
ground rules for beyond einstein missions
Ground Rules for Beyond Einstein Missions
  • Some missions are well-defined, others are concepts - how to compare?
    • Science assessment of “platonic ideal” of the missions
    • Assessment of specific projects to evaluate technical, cost, and schedule risk to achieving science goals
  • Cost estimates
    • NRC expects to acquire independent cost estimates
  • Uniformity across missions and projects
    • Assessment needs to be fair and balanced
    • Consistent approach to assessment of each mission
schedule and milestones overview
Schedule and Milestones: Overview
  • November – April Data Gathering
  • February – April Town Hall Meetings/

Independent Cost Est.

  • April – September Writing and Review
  • September 2007 Delivery to NASA & DOE
process for community input
Process for Community Input
  • 4 Town Hall meetings will allow science community to express comments and interests about BE missions
  • Comments on the study can also be emailed to:
  • Academy website provides information on study for the public
    • Statement of task
    • Agendas
    • Meeting presentations
meeting schedule
Meeting Schedule
  • Nov 6-8, 2006 1st Meeting, Wash, DC
  • Jan 30-Feb 1, 2007 2nd Meeting, Irvine, CA
  • Feb 1, 2007 Town Hall, Irvine, CA
  • Feb 12, 2007 Town Hall, Cambridge, MA
  • Mar 14, 2007 Town Hall, Baltimore, MD
  • Apr 4, 2007 Town Hall, Chicago, IL
  • Apr 5-7, 2007 3rd Meeting, Chicago, IL
  • Jun 6-8, 2007 4th Meeting, Wash, DC
town hall speaker format
Town Hall Speaker Format
  • What are the most valuable science opportunities of the Beyond Einstein program?
  • What are the long-term goals for the science, beyond the science goals of the mission projects; are we opening a new field or resolving existing questions?
  • To what degree can ground-based or existing space-based capabilities solve some of these questions?
  • What is the degree of precision needed from the measurements to move the science forward?

1. Greg Madejski, Stanford University 9. Alan Weinstein, Caltech

2. Katja Pottschmidt, UC, San Diego 10. Daniel Holz, LANL/Univ. of Chicago

3. Matt Malkan, UC, Los Angeles 11. Albert Lazzarini, Caltech

4. Richard Rothschild, UC, San Diego 12. Brent Ware, JPL

5. Robert Cahn, LBNL 13. Kip Thorne, Caltech

6. Richard Ellis, Caltech 14. Harald Pfeiffer and Mark Scheel, Caltech

7. Eric Linder, UC, Berkeley 15. Michael Seiffert, JPL

8. Alexandre Refregier, CEA Saclay

  • 4:30 - Open Microphone, 2 minutes per speaker
contact information
Contact Information
  • Sandra Graham, SSB Study Director
    • 202/ 334-3477 or
  • Brian Dewhurst, BPA Study Director
    • 202/ 334-2998 or