Findings from SBAG 25
- SBAG urges NASA to release lessons learned from the first generation of planetary-science-focused SmallSat and CubeSat missions (e.g., selected SIMPLEx missions, Artemis-1 CubeSats) and relevant prior studies (e.g., Planetary Science Deep Space SmallSat Studies). Some members of the community involved in these efforts are concerned that the budget caps for these earlier missions have in practice proved challenging for supporting a robust science investigation. Subsystem costs that are not directly downscalable (e.g., ground segment) and Phase E-F costs may represent a significant fraction of the already-limited budget. SBAG is also concerned that current technology development investments may not adequately address key areas where commercial, off-the-shelf components are inadequate for planetary SmallSat or CubeSat missions (e.g., propulsion, power, and thermal management). SBAG strongly supports these planetary-science-focused small satellite programs. The intent of this finding is to make current and future opportunities as successful and scientifically productive as possible.
- SBAG reiterates its support for a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible planetary science community, and appreciates NASA’s efforts on these intersecting subjects. For example, SBAG looks forward to NASA’s response to the discussion and recommendations in the state of the profession chapter of the 2023-2032 Decadal Survey. SBAG also supports NASA’s efforts to collect and analyze demographic data in NSPIRES, and as such endorses Finding #2 from the February 9th-11th, 2021 OPAG meeting (see: https://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/meetings/OPAG2021Feb/OPAG-Findings-from-2-21-mtg.docx).