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Program Assessment


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NASA Earth-Sun System Research

The program supports scientific investigations into the causes and consequences of climate change; improvements in weather forecasts including space weather; and the monitoring and eventual prediction of natural hazards. The program includes space-based missions, air-based studies, and research and modelling activities.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • The program has been successful in demonstrating the use of remotely sensed data to improve our understanding of Earth's processes. Solar missions have the potential to monitor the sun's impact on human and robotic space explorers.
  • The program takes seriously the research priorities of Earth and solar scientists. The solar missions NASA chooses to fly largely reflect the list of key science investigations the solar community creates every ten years. The Earth science community is in the process of developing a similar list of research priorities to guide NASA.
  • A key opportunity to increase effectiveness lies in improving the Government's ability to fully exploit research results and transition key Earth science data sets and technologies to other federal agencies.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Reporting for each approved major mission: the estimated cost and planned schedule milestones, progress toward cost and schedule projections, and any plans to adjust estimated cost and schedule.
  • Assuring that the priorities developed in the National Research Council's forthcoming Earth science decadal survey are reflected to the extent feasible in the program's portfolio.

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