NASA selects four possible missions to study the secrets of the solar system
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 14, 2020
NASA has selected four Discovery Program investigations to develop concept studies for new missions. Although they're not official missions yet and some ultimately may not be chosen to move forward, the selections focus on compelling targets and science that are not covered by NASA's active missions or recent selections. Final selections will be made next year.
NASA's Discovery Program invites scientists and engineers to assemble a team to design exciting planetary science missions that deepen what we know about the solar system and our place in it. These missions will provide frequent flight opportunities for focused planetary science investigations. The goal of the program is to address pressing questions in planetary science and increase our understanding of our solar system.
"These selected missions have the potential to transform our understanding of some of the solar system's most active and complex worlds," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. "Exploring any one of these celestial bodies will help unlock the secrets of how it, and others like it, came to be in the cosmos."
Each of the four nine-month studies will receive $3 million to develop and mature concepts and will conclude with a Concept Study Report. After evaluating the concept studies, NASA will continue development of up to two missions towards flight.
The proposals were chosen based on their potential science value and feasibility of development plans following a competitive peer-review process.
The selected proposals are:
DAVINCI+ (Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging Plus)
Io Volcano Observer (IVO)
VERITAS (Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy)
The concepts were chosen from proposals submitted in 2019 under NASA Announcement of Opportunity (AO) NNH19ZDA010O, Discovery Program. The selected investigations will be managed by the Planetary Missions Program Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, as part of the Discovery Program. The Discovery Program conducts space science investigations in the Planetary Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, guided by NASA's agency priorities and the Decadal Survey process of the National Academy of Sciences.
Established in 1992, NASA's Discovery Program has supported the development and implementation of over 20 missions and instruments. These selections are part of the ninth Discovery Program competition.
KBR wins $400M recompete to provide NASA Intelligent Systems Research
Houston TX (SPX) Feb 12, 2020
KBR has been awarded a $400 million contract by NASA to provide intelligent systems research and development support services at the agency's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. KBR will provide resources and technical expertise to support the Intelligent Systems Division on scientific research, technologies and applications development. The company's work will assist the division with a variety of research domains and the infusion of advanced information systems technology on NASA missions an ... read more
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