Missions, Hardware, Software, & Sensors: July 2008

POC: Craig Moore, 256-544-7585,

The Marshall Space Flight Center is sponsoring a Space Sensors and Measurement Techniques workshop in August to discuss new technologies for sensor development. The two-day workshop will be held Aug. 5-6, 2008, at the Nashville Doubletree Hotel, Nashville, Tenn.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Stand Alone Missions of Opportunity Notice (SALMON), is intended to provide opportunities for science and technology investigations on space flight missions that advance the high priority science, technology, and exploration objectives of NASA's four Mission Directorates. This five-year omnibus Announcement of Opportunity (AO) incorporates Program Element Appendices (PEAs) for general Mission of Opportunity (MO) proposal opportunities as well as focused proposal opportunities for specific flight opportunities.

This amendment announces a new proposal opportunity in Appendix E.7 entitled "Concept Studies for Human Tended Suborbital Science". NASA recognizes the advancement of the commercial spaceflight industry and the potential for human-tended suborbital flight experiments enabled by this capability. The imminent emergence of human suborbital flight for commercial purposes offers an opportunity for a new mode of research for the scientific community: human-tended suborbital investigations for cases where having a human in-the-loop would increase the scientific return of flight experiments.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issues this DRAFT Standard PI-led Mission Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to solicit community comments.

This DRAFT Standard PI-led Mission AO represents a restructuring of previous NASA AOs for PI-led missions (e.g., 2006 Discovery Program AO, 2006 Mars Scout Program AO, 2007 Small Explorer Program AO). It is the product of an effort by NASA (the "AO Simplification Team") to simplify and remove burden from the community in generating Step 1 proposals that respond to AOs. The AO Simplification effort has solicited comments from the proposing, evaluating, and implementing communities. There have been several community announcements, town halls at science conferences, and community workshops to discuss the pros and cons of AO Simplification and specific ideas with the community. The AO Simplification Team has received over 700 specific suggestions from the community and has considered all of them. A White Paper has been developed by the AO Simplification Team that captures the rationale for many of the decisions that were made in writing the DRAFT Standard PI-led Mission AO. That White Paper will be posted on the same NSPIRES website as this DRAFT AO.

This amendment announces a new proposal opportunity in Appendix D.9 entitled "Kepler Guest Observer - Cycle 1." This program element solicits proposals for the acquisition and analysis of new scientific data from the Kepler mission, which will be the tenth mission to be launched under NASA's Discovery Program. Observations associated with the Kepler Guest Observer -- Cycle 1 solicitation will begin immediately following the successful scientific commissioning of the spacecraft. During its 3.5-year prime mission, Kepler will continuously monitor a ~100 square degree field-of-view (FOV) in the Cygnus region, with the objective of photometrically detecting transits of Earth-size planets in the habitable zone. The instrument's high-precision photometry capability, with two available cadence modes (1 minute and 30-minute) is also sufficient for asteroseismology research and other variability analyses of both Galactic and extragalactic sources.