Whitepaper #367 in the Decadal Survey for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics) 2024-2033. Main topics: basic research; infrastructure/workforce/other programmatic. Additional topics: planetary magnetospheres; research tools and infrastructure.
NASA’s and NSF’s small mission grants primarily fund the development and construction of instrumentation. A side effect of this approach is that mission operations tend to be severely under budget (or unfunded). In order to fully utilize current and past missions, we recommend adding new funding sources for mission operations and data analysis of underutilized historical datasets.