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20/20 Vision: the Science, the Technologies, the Facilities and the Politics That May Drive Space Astrophysics in the 21st Century

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Title: 20/20 Vision: the Science, the Technologies, the Facilities and the Politics That May Drive Space Astrophysics in the 21st Century


1
20/20 Vision the Science, the Technologies, the
Facilities and the Politics That May Drive Space
Astrophysics in the 21st Century
  • November 15, 2007

James H. Crocker Vice President, Sensing
Exploration Systems
2
Bayeau Tapestry
Battle of Hastings 14 Oct 1066
3
Emergence
  • Emergence refers to the way complex systems and
    patterns arise out of a number of relatively
    simple interactions.
  • In dealing with complex systems its helpful to
    understand the Strange Attractors influencing
    the motion
  • We too often focus solely on the Science we want
    to do or the Technology we want to build with out
    knowledge of the larger context and forces at play

4
ALMA
gt 1 Billion US
5
Ground-Based Observatories
Subaru
  • Keck Telescope
  • Gemini Telescope
  • Subaru Telescope
  • Very Large Telescope (VLT)
  • Very Large Array (VLA)

VLT
ESO
Subaru Telescope, NAOJ
Gemini
VLA
NRAO / AUI / NSF
Keck
W. M. Keck Observatory
Gemini Observatory/AURA
6
The Great Observatories
  • Compton
  • Hubble
  • Spitzer
  • Chandra

Compton
Spitzer
NASA
Hubble
Chandra
NASA - MSFC
NASA
7
The Golden Age of Astronomy-Literally !
  • Why are we allowed to spend literally Billions of
    , not an insignificant of the federal budget
    on these missions ?

8
Sputnik Changed Everything!
This geopolitical earthquake fundamentally
changed the way we look at science and science
funding.
  • 1957NY Times front page

9
Sputnik was part of a truly emergent phenomenon
that continues to today
  • Its why many of us went into science and
    engineering
  • Its why the federal government funds science at
    the level it does
  • Its why private individuals and foundations do as
    well
  • It why we went to the moon ( we didnt really go
    for science
  • AND its why Space Science is linked at the hip to
    Human Space Exploration

10
Looking Back
  • At the turn of the last century we did not even
    know why stars shine
  • There was not extragalactic astronomy because we
    didnt know about galaxies outside of our own.
  • At the midpoint of the century the Steady State
    model was just being successfully challenged by
    the Big Bang Model
  • The progress in the last half of the century has
    been..Amazing

11
What About the few Decades?
  • What will be the questions that resonate with the
    public, the policy makers and the research
    community?
  • When it requires 20 years of commitment to
    sustain a mission, the reasons to carry it out
    need to be compelling, durable , and easily
    communicated (i.e. JWST see first stars to form
    in the universe)
  • What was the nature of the Big Bang?
  • How did galaxies form?
  • What is the nature of dark matter and dark
    energy?

12
New NASA Missions
JWST
  • Constellation X
  • James Webb Space Telescope
  • LISA Gravity Wave Experiment
  • Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM)

NASA
Constellation X
NASA
LISA
ESA
JDEM
NASA, LBNL
13
Predictions
  • Sputniks echo will reverberate into the first
    half of the next century keeping exploration
    alive.
  • Funding for NASA will remain constant ( 1
    billion).
  • New large astrophysics missions will be
    constrained to the same funding line. Overall
    astrophysics flat at best.
  • We will have 250-300 million per year (less over
    runs)
  • Technical readiness will trump the question.
  • Missions will be selected more on cost
    feasibility and technical readiness than the
    science priority.
  • JWST will be followed by JDEM and LISA, or
    Constellation X based on perceived technical
    readiness.

14
How did JDEM get in the Head of the Line?
  • Important Mapping/Survey missions can be done
    with a smaller aperture at any stage of discovery
    (SDSS for example on the ground)
  • Mapping/Survey missions are needed to Fill in
    our knowledge at each stage of discovery.
  • Kepler, COBY, WMAP are all examples.

15
The Conundrum
  • For hundreds of years progress in our field has
    come dependably with increase in the scale of our
    instruments. Moore's Law only partially applies.
  • Major advances come with factors of gt10X
    improvements in our instruments
  • Like particle physics, it just cost more to first
    order- its physics!
  • If it cost 2B-4B to do a Great Observatory and
    we have 250M year thats 8 to 16 years, but
    design life is 5 years without servicing..

Do not lose site of the fact that 250M is a lot
of money ! This is a incredible fact!
16
What Could Change This?
  • What other missions could align the politics and
    public interest to encourage the commitment of
    additional billions of dollars?
  • The vision of space exploration developed in the
    early part of the last century was based on
    Other Worlds
  • We now have found 250 at last count but.

17
Terrestrial Planet Finder
NASA
NASA
18
Ares V Terrestrial Planet Finder
  • Ares V would enable such a observatory, a
    true follow on to Hubble

NASA
NASA
19
Use of Exploration Architecture Looking Back
  • Sky Lab was a direct out growth of Apollo, the
    Apollo Applications Program
  • Hubble was a payload for the Space Shuttle.
  • So what do we propose, that gets us a ride ?

20
Ares V Exploration Mission
  • Choose ONE
  • 8 meter, simple, monolith, NIR, optical, UV
    observatory. Serviceable to last 25 years with
    human and/or robotic servicing. Trade increased
    mass and simple technology for savings
  • OR
  • 8X16 meter multi app, partially dilute ,54 sq m,
    serviceable, same effective collecting area great
    resolution,

21
Star-9 Distributed Aperture Telescope
22
New York Times 2057
6.59
  • 100 Years after Sputnik

NEW YORK, November 13, 2057
New Eden Planet Found
Vol XIIVCCMM, No 1005100
Astronomers say they have found a new planet in
orbit around a star light years from Earth. The
planet is so similar to Earth, it is being called
New Eden. The discovery ipsum dolor sit
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NASA
Planet hunters say the system has many
similarities to our own.
Behind the Great Discovery
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23
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