NASA SMD Uses a Bullhorn to Say ‘No Thanks’ To 2020 Mars Rover Science Definition Team Applicants

By Keith Cowing
January 28, 2013
Filed under
NASA SMD Uses a Bullhorn to Say ‘No Thanks’ To 2020 Mars Rover Science Definition Team Applicants

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) sent this “thanks but no thanks” email to everyone who offered their services to the 2020 Mars Rover Science Definition Team – but were turned down. T

SMD made sure to let everyone on the list see everyone else’s name/email addresses. Class act.

There are more than a hundred recipients on this email. Their names and email addresses have been blurred out. (see image below)

“From: “Schulte, Mitch (HQ-DG000)”
Subject: 2020 Mars rover Science Definition Team
Date: January 20, 2013 10:51:50 AM EST

— Everyone (more than a hundred) who volunteered but were turned down

Cc: “Meyer, Michael A. (HQ-DG000)”, “Tahu, George (HQ-DG000)”, “Beaty, David W”, John Mustard

20 January 2013

Dear Colleague,

Thank you for your letter of application (LOA) for the Science Definition Team (SDT) for the 2020 Mars science rover. I regret to inform you that you were not selected for the team. We received 158 applications to participate in this important activity from a highly distinguished group of colleagues, and the decision was difficult. We recognize the high level of expertise represented in the LOAs and will be looking to many of you to be expert witnesses to the SDT. We also are planning on forming a red team to critically review the products of the SDT and we will rely heavily on the LOAs to identify the red team members. We hope that you will consider serving in these important roles if asked.

We are delighted at the overwhelming response to the call, and with the quality of the applications. To us, this clearly indicates that the Mars science community is vibrant, active, and engaged, because of people like you, and we look forward to working with this community as we move forward with the Mars Exploration Program.

Best Regards,

Dr. Mitch Schulte
Program Scientist, Mars 2020″

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.