Special HEAD Meeting: High Energy Large and Medium-class Space Missions in the 2020s

June 29 – July 1, 2015
Chicago, IL

The next Decadal review will begin work in just a few years and now the time to begin serious consideration of both large and medium-class space missions for high energy astrophysics. Last week NASA Astrophysics Director Paul Hertz charged the Physics of the Cosmos Program Advisory Group (PhysPAG), as well as the Cosmic Origin PAG and Exoplanet PAG, to write a report (due ~August) recommending 3-4 large space mission concepts chosen from the 2010 Decadal report, “New Worlds, New Horizons,” or from the recent 30 year Roadmap, “Enduring Quests, Daring Visions.” The full text of his charge, along with his initial suggestions regarding 4 possible large missions, is provided.

NASA plans to set up a Science & Technology Development Team (STDT) for each concept, with funding sufficient to develop the science case and necessary engineering & costing required for a full Decadal submission. Although the reports are to focus on Large missions, he also invited the PAGs to include appendicies, at their discretion, discussing Medium class (“Probe”) missions at the <$1B level. This meeting offers the HEAD community an opportunity to gather and provide input to the PhysPAG, CoPAG, and ExoPAG regarding high-energy large mission concepts and probe class missions. The meeting will include invited talks covering HEAD-related large mission concepts along with overviews of HEAD science goals for the 2020s. Contributed talks & posters regarding the science and/or technology of probe-class missions will also be accepted. Time will be set aside for splinter meetings as well, including likely XRSIG, GWSIG, GammaSIG, and CosmicSIG meetings. All presenters will be asked to provide a short (1-2 page) written contribution, due before the meeting, that will constitute the proceedings of the meetings. This will also be provided to the PhysPAG, CoPAG, and ExoPAG Executive Committees for their consideration when drafting their reports. Questions/comments/suggestions about this meeting can be sent to Randall Smith. Randall Smith HEAD Secretary headsec@aas.org