- Status Report
- August 7, 2022
Dear Colleague Letter from Colleen N. Hartman regarding funding of S-band radar planetary observation efforts at Arecibo
[fax date 21 Dec 2001]
National Aeronautics and
Washington DC 20546-0001
Reply to the Attn of: SE
After five years without any increase for inflation, the supporting Research and Technology (SR&T) Programs of NASA’s Office of Space Science have secured a modest Fiscal Year (FY) 02 increase. This increase, while welcome and necessary, cannot undo the effects of the previous period of static funding.
The current budget for the near Earth Objects Observations (NEOO) program faces some especially difficult choices. Out of the entire FY 02 NEOO budget of $3.55M, a full $3M is committed to Search and Follow-up observational programs designed to discover large NEOs or to obtain follow-up astrometry of these objects (to improve our knowledge of their orbits). This priority responds to a Congressional imperative that the detection rate of Earth-orbit “crossing asteroids must be increased substantially” (HR Report 105-610, 105th Congress 2d session, p. 30, 1990), and to NASA’s own 1998 commitment to achieving the goal of detecting and cataloging 90% of NEOs larger than 1km in diameter within ten years” (http://wwww.hq.nasa.gov/office/legaff/pilcher5-21.html)
S-band radar planetary observation efforts at Arecibo remain a valuable part of this commitment, and will continue to be funded with $400K in FY 02. That support includes the cost of turbine fuel, observation planning and operation of the S-band radar system, as well as a ephemeredes predictions.
In order to bring these efforts into line with other elements of the NEOO program, Arecibo’s S-band radar observations will be subject from now on to peer-review evaluation. Discussions will also be held with the National Science Foundation to determine whether that agency might provide additional funding for these observations.
Dr. Colleen N. Hartman
Director, Solar System Exploration
Office of Space Science
Committee Report – House Rpt. 105-610 – DEPARTMENTS OF VETERANS AFFAIRS AND HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, AND INDEPENDENT AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 1999
NEAR EARTH ASTEROID TRACKING
The Near Earth Asteroid Tracking program objective is to catalog, track, and characterize near-earth objects. The Committee notes the high public interest in near-earth objects as well as the need to accelerate cataloging and tracking of near-earth objects. The lesson learned from the EX11 asteroid is also an indication that study and detection of these near-earth objects must be undertaken with great care. The Committee is encouraged by testimony presented during hearings and subsequent information submitted by NASA regarding its efforts to triple the capacity in detecting near-earth objects and agrees with the goal of coordinating NASA efforts with other agencies and international partners. The importance of these efforts is not to be taken lightly. Therefore, the Committee recommends an additional $1,600,000 for this program in fiscal year 1999 for acquisition of new equipment, upgrading existing equipment, and accelerated tracking, cataloging, and characterization of near-earth objects.