Chairs Johnson and Beyer Statement on Release of the Decadal Survey on Planetary Science and Astrobiology

Press Release From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2022

(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Committee on Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey released a new consensus study, “Origins, Worlds, and Life: A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023-2032.” The report defines 12 priority science questions across three scientific themes – origins, worlds and processes, and life and habitability – to help identify high-priority missions and research programs in planetary science and astrobiology for the next decade. The report also recommends ways to support the profession as well as the technologies and infrastructure needed to carry out the science. The study was sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“I am inspired by the vision of the new decadal survey in planetary science and astrobiology,” said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “Our nation’s planetary science program has enjoyed a rich history of success, using robotic spacecraft to accomplish incredible technological feats and deliver scientific results and images that advance our understanding of planetary science and capture the imaginations of scientists and the global public alike. The new report, ‘Origins, Worlds, and Life,’ offers the consensus-based priorities of the scientific community for the coming decade. It includes the most compelling scientific questions and a comprehensive recommended program spanning research, technology development, missions of all sizes, scientific infrastructure, partnerships, and critical issues of workforce, equity, and accountability. I urge NASA and NSF to carefully review the survey committee’s recommendations and begin developing a plan to implement them.”


“I am thrilled that the National Academies has released “Origins, Worlds, and Life”, the planetary science decadal survey for 2023-2032,” said Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Chairman Don Beyer (D-VA). “The survey’s priority questions on origins of the solar system and worlds beyond, the processes that shape those systems, and the connections between terrestrial life and the search for life elsewhere will continue to spark curiosity, imagination, and inspiration for years to come. I look forward to further review of the survey and its guidance to NASA on maintaining a balanced portfolio of research, technology and robotic planetary science missions as well as investigations aided by human exploration. The cutting-edge and discovery-based vision of the ‘Origins, Worlds, and Life’ survey will no doubt lead to discoveries we cannot predict. My hope is that it also leads to unprecedented breakthroughs in expanding diversity and inclusion in the planetary science profession.”


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