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NASA

FYI focuses on the programs and missions sponsored by the Science Mission Directorate, including in the Astrophysics, Planetary Science, Heliophysics, and Earth Science Divisions. FYI also covers science-related missions supported by other directorates, including the International Space Station.

The new National Academies decadal survey for planetary science prioritizes completion of the Mars Sample Return mission, new flagship missions to Uranus and Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and a slate of candidate concepts for medium-scale missions.

NASA’s science budget is increasing by 4% in fiscal year 2022 and the Biden administration is seeking a 5% increase for fiscal year 2023. The agency’s Earth Science Division would receive a relatively large boost under the proposal, but there would be some pressure on the budgets for the Planetary Science, Astrophysics, and Heliophysics Divisions.

Governments and science organizations around the world are grappling over the extent to which sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine should extend to scientific exchanges.

In the past week, NASA reported it is reworking the architecture of the Mars Sample Return mission it is undertaking with the European Space Agency, pushing its launch date back two years, and ESA announced the ExoMars mission it has been pursuing with Russia will not launch as planned in September in view of the crisis in Ukraine.

The James Webb Space Telescope has successfully reached its orbit following a protracted mission-development process that was plagued by severe cost growth. Lessons learned from that experience have led to reforms in how NASA manages large space science missions.

NASA has chosen Earth scientist Kate Calvin to serve in the dual roles of chief scientist and senior climate advisor, bringing new visibility to the agency’s efforts to monitor and mitigate climate change.

Aside from its highest-profile recommendations, the latest astronomy and astrophysics decadal survey recommends priorities for small and mid-scale projects, with a particular emphasis on time-domain and multi-messenger astronomy. It also calls for increased spending on technology development.

The National Academies' latest decadal survey of astronomy and astrophysics recommends federal agencies expand their efforts to address persistent demographic disparities in the field and urges astronomers to deepen their engagement with local communities.

STEM education programs across federal agencies would see budget increases under the House’s and Senate’s spending proposals for fiscal year 2022, portions of which would support diversity and inclusion initiatives proposed by the Biden administration.

New reports explore technical and policy actions to mitigate the impacts of light pollution from planned satellite megaconstellations, which threaten to severely interfere with ground-based astronomical observations and cause other environmental and cultural harms.