Sunday, March 13, 2016

Large Mission Concepts to Study for the 2020 Decadal Survey for Exoplanet Astronomy

Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG) Report to Paul Hertz Regarding Large Mission Concepts to Study for the 2020 Decadal Survey


Gaudi et al


This is a joint summary of the reports from the three Astrophysics Program Analysis Groups (PAGs) in response to the "Planning for the 2020 Decadal Survey" charge given by the Astrophysics Division Director Paul Hertz. This joint executive summary contains points of consensus across all three PAGs. Additional findings specific to the individual PAGs are reported separately in the individual reports. The PAGs concur that all four large mission concepts identified in the white paper as candidates for maturation prior to the 2020 Decadal Survey should be studied in detail. These include the Far-IR Surveyor, the Habitable-Exoplanet Imaging Mission, the UV/Optical/IR Surveyor, and the X-ray Surveyor. This finding is predicated upon assumptions outlined in the white paper and subsequent charge, namely that 1) major development of future large flagship missions under consideration are to follow the implementation phases of JWST and WFIRST; 2) NASA will partner with the European Space Agency on its L3 Gravitational Wave Surveyor; 3) the Inflation Probe be classified as a probe-class mission to be developed according to the 2010 Decadal Survey report. If these key assumptions were to change, this PAG finding would need to be re-evaluated. The PAGs find that there is strong community support for the second phase of this activity - maturation of the four proposed mission concepts via Science and Technology Definition Teams (STDTs). The PAGs find that there is strong consensus that all of the STDTs contain broad and interdisciplinary representation of the science community. Finally, the PAGs find that there is community support for a line of Probe-class missions within the Astrophysics mission portfolio.

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