APD Responses to Decadal

The following table provides a snapshot of Astrophysics Division accomplishments and plans in response to the 2020 decadal survey “Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s”. We employ the shorthand notation used in the report’s tables S-1 through S-6 for the recommendation name. The column titled APD Response briefly indicates the current plan or strategy for that recommendation. The final two columns list where documentation for the APD action can be found and when the next update on that recommendation will be reported if appropriate.

Brief Recommendation Description (from report Tables S-1 through S-6)
APD Response
Latest Action Date/Community Update Links
Next Planned Action Date/Community Update
Faculty diversity and early career faculty awards
APD may seek new initiatives through the FY25 budget process
Release of President’s FY25 Budget Request for NASA (Mar 2024)
Workforce development/diversity, bridge programs and minority serving institutions partnerships
APD will participate in the SMD bridge program
Undergraduate and graduate "traineeship" funding
APD may seek new initiatives through the FY25 budget process
Release of President’s FY25 Budget Request for NASA (Mar 2024)
Independent postdoc fellowship
NASA supports postdoctoral researchers through its Hubble Fellowships and the NASA Postdoctoral Program
Winter AAS243 meeting charts
Treat discrimination and harassment as professional misconduct
The NASA Office of the Chief Scientist preparing to publish agency-wide policy update on this topic
OSTP has reviewed and approved agency policy NASA Policy Directive No. 1920 (NPD1920)
Online publication of NPD 1920 expected Q1 2024.
Collecting, evaluating and reporting demographic data and indicators pertaining to equitable outcomes
Regular reports for R&A program demographics are presented at Astrophysics Advisory Council (APAC) meetings as well as Winter and Summer AAS meetings
Winter AAS243 meeting charts
Include diversity in evaluation of funding awards
Inclusion plans are being piloted in several APD ROSES 2023 elements
Inclusion Plan Resources, and ROSES 2023 Released (2/14/2023)
Inclusion Plan presentation at AAS243: https://science.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/lessons-learned-presentation-for-aas243.pdf
Establish community astronomy model for observatory sites
IRTF participating through Maunakea Observatories, Cultural Heritage of Maunakea
Mitigation of radio-frequency and optical interference from sources including satellite constellations
The NASA Science Mission Directorate monitors and mitigates risks for the agency associated with satellite constellation interactions with NASA science missions. This ongoing effort includes monitoring the increased danger from satellite conjunctions, satellites in the field of view for celestial observations, and interference from satellites that fly under active-sensing Earth-observing missions (e.g., laser and lidar).
Climate change mitigations actions
The Astrophysics Division is guided by the NASA Climate Action plan.
Additionally, most proposal reviews are conducted remotely, reducing travel requirements for thousands of reviewers annually. Almost all NASA meetings for projects and missions have hybrid participation.
Compile and regularly report on proposal submissions and success rates
R&A submission and success rates reported regularly at APAC and AAS meetings.
See charts presented at 6/27-28/2023 APAC meeting
Winter AAS243 meeting charts
Augmentation and restoration of annual proposal call for ATP
Plans reflected in budget requests
Improve coordination among U.S. data centers supported by NSF and NASA
NASA and NSF are planning an initial workshop on the topic
"The Future of Astrophysical Data Infrastructure” workshop was held Feb 13-16. A ‘Roadmap’ report is available. A Windows on the Universe meeting was held Oct 16-18, 2023 and the resulting white paper is available.
Future, more specialized workshops on each stage of the Data Lifecycle are being organized.
Augmentation and improved coordination of laboratory astrophysics funding
Joint Laboratory Astrophysics study with NSF
Winter AAS243 meeting charts
End SOFIA operations by 2023
SOFIA operations ended
Action complete
Augmentation to NASA R&A program
Plans reflected in budget requests
See Fiscal 2024 President's Budget Request for NASA
Winter AAS243 meeting charts
Continue SAT program and expand eligibility to Explorer and Probe mission development
SAT program will continue but will not cover Explorer programs by design. Explorer mission technology development is funded through the APRA program.
Action complete
Review balloon program for optimal balance
Balloon Program review process begun. Final report due 3/2024
Winter AAS243 meeting charts
Great Observatories Mission and Technology Maturation program
First flagship to enter this process underway
Winter AAS meeting charts
Near-IR/Opt/UV telescope with high-contrast imaging capability
(part of HWO)
APD formulating plans for how its current and future programs will enhance the community's capability to perform time domain and multi-messenger astrophysics
Winter AAS243 meeting charts
Probe Missions Program
Draft Probe Announcement of Opportunity issued
Proposals Received November 16, 2023
Step-1 selections Q4, CY2024
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