The goal of theory is to understand how the fundamental laws of physics laws of physics and chemistry give rise to the features of the universe. It is recommended that NASA establish independent theoretical research programs in planetary sciences and in astrophysics similar to the solar-system plasma-physics theory program, which is characterized by stable, long-term support for theorists in university departments, NASA centers, and other organizations engaged in research in topics relevant to present and future space-derived data. It is recommended that NASA keep these programs under review to full benefit from the resulting research and to assure opportunities for inflow of new ideas and investigators. Also, provisions should be made by NASA for the computing needs of the theorists in the programs. Finally, it is recommended that NASA involve knowledgeable theorists in mission planning activities at all levels, from the formulation of long-term scientific strategies through the planning and operation of specific missions.