Planetary Science Advisory Committee

This is an updated montage of planetary images taken by spacecraft managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Included are from top to bottom images of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

The Planetary Science Advisory Committee (PAC) supports the advisory needs of the Planetary Science Division (PSD), the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and other mission directorates as required, and the NASA Administrator.

The scope of the PAC includes all aspects of planetary science, scientific exploration of the Moon and Mars, the robotic exploration of the solar system, astrobiology, exoplanet research, space- and ground-based research, technology development, planning, and training required to support these science areas.

In addition to scientific research, the scope encompasses considerations of the development of near-term enabling technologies, systems, and computing and information management capabilities, as well as developments with the potential to provide long-term improvements in future operational systems.

Responsibility for biological planetary protection is outside the purview of the PAC.

PAC Members

  • Hope Ishii, Chair, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Ryan Watkins, Executive Secretary, NASA HQ
  • Walter Kiefer, LPI
  • Lisa Danielson, LANL
  • D'Arcy Meyer-Dombard, U. Illinois
  • Ty Robinson, NAU
  • Brent Barbee, NASA GSFC
  • Shannon Curry, UC Berkeley
  • Kandi Jessup, SwRI
  • John Grant, Smithsonian
  • Louise Prockter, APL
  • David Murrow, Retired (Lockheed)
  • Morgan Cable, JPL
  • Deborah Woods, MIT Lincoln Labs

PAC 101: Welcome to the PAC

The Planetary Science Advisory Committee is a new FACA committee of NASA, replacing the NAC SC Planetary Science Subcommittee.

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Storm clouds in white and pale red encircle Venus.
Modern image processing brought out the details of Venus's storm clouds, as seen from the Mariner 10 spacecraft.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

PAC Charter

The Planetary Science Advisory Committee is a new FACA committee of NASA, replacing the NAC SC Planetary Science Subcommittee.

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Three-quarters of planet Jupiter is visible, with alternating swirling bands of brown and white present.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this image of Jupiter's southern hemisphere on Feb. 17, 2020, during a close approach to the planet.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Image processing by Kevin M. Gill, © CC BY

PAC-Designated Federal Officer and Appointments

The Planetary Science Advisory Committee is a new FACA committee of NASA, replacing the NAC SC Planetary Science Subcommittee.

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Saturn and its rings. The planet appears as though it is tilted backward, appearing to reveal the underside of its rings. Overall Saturn is yellow with bands of red, yellowish-brown, light orange, pink, and blue.
As NASA's Cassini spacecraft hurtled its way toward a July 1, 2004 rendezvous with Saturn, the Hubble Space Telescope snapped breathtaking views of the solar system's most photogenic planet. This image, taken on March 22, 2004, is so sharp that many individual ringlets are visible in Saturn's ring plane.
NASA, ESA and E. Karkoschka (University of Arizona)

Analysis Groups

The Planetary Science Advisory Committee is a new FACA committee of NASA, replacing the NAC SC Planetary Science Subcommittee.

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Neptune is a bright, deep blue in this image.
Voyager 2's captured this image of Neptune, showing the planet's Great Dark Spot and companion bright smudge.
NASA/JPL

Materials from the Predecessor Subcommittee

The Planetary Science Advisory Committee is a new FACA committee of NASA, replacing the NAC SC Planetary Science Subcommittee,

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Mercury in several different colors
This image from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft uses spectral data to highlight various minerals, features and properties on Mercury.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

PAC Meeting Documents

Scroll through to see presentations and other supporting documents from PAC meetings.

Please direct questions regarding the Planetary Science Advisory Committee to Ryan Watkins, Executive Secretary.

Federal Register Notice

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Seal of the National Archives with eagle illustration holding parchment and branches

June 14, 2021

March 1-2, 2021

Nov. 30, 2020 (Virtual Meeting)

Aug. 17-18, 2020 (Virtual Meeting)

March 9-11, 2020

Dec. 6, 2019

Sept. 23-24, 2019

Sept. 26, 2018

July 2, 2018

Feb. 21-23, 2018

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