From NASA: “NASA Receives Proposals for Future Solar System Mission”

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NASA

May 5, 2017
Editor: Bill Keeter

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NASA has received and is reviewing 12 proposals for future unmanned solar system exploration. The proposed missions of discovery – submitted under NASA’s New Frontiers program – will undergo scientific and technical review over the next seven months. The goal is to select a mission for flight in about two years, with launch in the mid-2020s.

“New Frontiers is about answering the biggest questions in our solar system today, building on previous missions to continue to push the frontiers of exploration,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “We’re looking forward to reviewing these exciting investigations and moving forward with our next bold mission of discovery.”

Selection of one or more concepts for Phase A study will be announced in November. At the conclusion of Phase A concept studies, it is planned that one New Frontiers investigation will be selected to continue into subsequent mission phases. Mission proposals are selected following an extensive competitive peer review process.

Investigations for this announcement of opportunity were limited to six mission themes:

Comet Surface Sample Return
Lunar South Pole-Aitken Basin Sample Return
Ocean Worlds (Titan and/or Enceladus)
Saturn Probe
Trojan Tour and Rendezvous
Venus In Situ Explorer

The New Frontiers Program conducts principal investigator (PI)-led space science investigations in SMD’s planetary program under a development cost cap of approximately $1 billion.

This would be the fourth mission in the New Frontiers portfolio; its predecessors are the New Horizons mission to Pluto, the Juno mission to Jupiter, and OSIRIS-REx, which will rendezvous with and return a sample of asteroid Bennu.

NASA/New Horizons spacecraft

NASA/Juno

NASA OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft

New Frontiers Program investigations must address NASA’s planetary science objectives as described in the 2014 NASA Strategic Plan and the 2014 NASA Science Plan.

The New Frontiers Program is managed by the Planetary Missions Program Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center for NASA’s Planetary Science Division.

Read more about NASA’s New Frontiers Program and missions at:

https://discoverynewfrontiers.nasa.gov/index.cfml

See the full article here .

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation’s civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program (LSP) which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches. Most recently, NASA announced a new Space Launch System that it said would take the agency’s astronauts farther into space than ever before and lay the cornerstone for future human space exploration efforts by the U.S.

NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories [Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and associated programs. NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the [JAXA]Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite.

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