NASA's Office of Space Science (OSS) has created the Science Data Management Task Group to make recommendations about possible changes and privatizations of elements of OSS's data management environment, including NSSDC. The task group, chaired by astrophysicist Dr. Jeff Linsky of the University of Colorado, consists of about a dozen scientists primarily representing the OSS science disciplines (astrophysics, space physics, planetary science).
This group visited NSSDC on May 15, 1996, and spent several hours hearing presentations by Steven Holt, director of Goddard's Space Science Directorate; James Green, chief of the Space Science Data Operations Office; and this author, head of NSSDC. They also were given demonstrations of several of NSSDC's World Wide Web (WWW)-based information and data systems. The presentations and demonstrations were punctuated by frequent queries and discussions between task group members and the Goddard and NSSDC personnel involved.
The task group is now deliberating on its recommendations and is expected to deliver a report to NASA in late June 1996. NSSDC will post an update to the on-line version of this newsletter when the group's recommendations have become public. It is possible that some internal NASA deliberation will follow the release of the group's report prior to the detailed clarification of NSSDC's future.
Author:Miranda Beall (firstname.lastname@example.org)