This survey responds to the following finding of the NASA Planetary Sciences Subcommittee (PSS):
Laboratory instruments and facilities are critical for analyzing extraterrestrial materials, terrestrial materials that inform planetary exploration and data analysis, constraining the interpretations of planetary remote sensing data, and developing future flight instrumentation. The planetary community perceives that a significant proportion of Planetary Science Directorate (PSD) PI-led laboratories may be underfunded to the point at which the science they support is put at risk.
NASA has supported laboratories and major instrumentation for many years. It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain technical staff support, placing stress on the community’s research and training needs. The PSS will obtain community input, through the Advisory Groups and other avenues as appropriate (e.g., the NASA Astrobiology Institute), about the number and type of PI laboratories that undertake research supporting PSD objectives, and their technical staff support models. This is to understand the planetary community’s capabilities and challenges, and define the magnitude of the stress on research and training needs. The requested information will be used to inform discussions with NASA PSD about the challenge and help formulate potential solutions.
This survey is being overseen by PSS members Ariel Anbar, Hap McSween, Clive Neal, and Larry Nittler.