Missions & Hardware

Draft Standard Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for PI-led Missions

By Keith Cowing
July 23, 2008

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.

It is NASA’s intent that this AO clearly and unambiguously states the policies that govern the solicitation, selection, and implementation of PI-led mission investigations solicited by NASA for any of its PI-led mission programs (including New Frontiers, Discovery, Mars Scout, Explorer, Earth System Science Explorers (ESSP)). This AO standardizes the language and policies, to the maximum extent possible, that NASA uses in its PI-led mission AOs. To simplify the nature of the response necessary, this AO clearly and unambiguously states and numbers the requirements that all proposals shall meet in order to represent a compliant response to this AO. This AO clearly separates proposal requirements that apply to proposals from the program policies and requirements that apply to investigations that have been selected to proceed into Phase A Concept Studies. The successful proposer, however, will have a good understanding of the tasks necessary during Phase A and beyond.

It is intended that the “standards” established by this AO will be the template for all future SMD PI-led Mission AO’s with deviations allowed for program specific requirements.

The Draft Standard PI-led Mission AO is available in NSPIRES (http://nspires.nasaprs.com, select “Solicitations”, select “Open Solicitations”).

NASA welcomes comments and suggestions on this DRAFT Standard PI-led Mission AO, which will be available from July 10, 2008, through July 31, 2008. Comments are welcome on any topic, but are especially welcome where they identify policies, practices, or specific language that are unclear, ambiguous, nonoptimal, or unnecessary.

Comments should be addressed to [email protected] no later than July 31, 2008, in order to be most useful. Please include the phrase “AO COMMENT” (without quotes) in the subject line of any comment submitted.

Questions or requests for further information may be addressed to Dr. Paul Hertz, Chief Scientist, Science Mission Directorate, NASA, Washington, DC 20546; Telephone: 202-358-0986; Email: [email protected]. [Source: NAI Newsletter]

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