|Volume: 05, Issue: 06||11/08/2006|
NASA Announces Discovery Program SelectionsNASA selected concept studies for missions that would return a sample of an enigmatic asteroid, probe the chemistry of Venus' atmosphere, and reveal the interior structure and history of the Earth's moon on Monday, October 30, 2006.
Also selected for further study are three missions of opportunity that would make new use of two NASA spacecraft that have completed their primary objectives. "The science community astounded us with the creativity of their proposals," said NASA's Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Mary Cleave. "We look forward to the new knowledge of our solar system that these concepts may provide."
Three missions were selected for concept studies:
The three missions of opportunity selected for concept studies are:
These proposals were among approximately two dozen submitted in response to NASA's Discovery Program 2006 Announcement of Opportunity in April. The announcement solicited two types of investigations: complete missions to design, build, and fly new spacecraft to accomplish specific planetary science objectives; and missions of opportunity that propose scientific uses for existing spacecraft or build instrumentation for spacecraft of other space agencies.
NASA may select one or more investigations to continue into a development effort after a detailed review of the concept studies. Decisions about which mission concepts will proceed to development are expected next year. New missions will receive $1.2 million to conduct concept studies. If selected for continuation beyond the concept phase, each project must complete its mission, including archiving and analyzing data, for less than $425 million. Missions of opportunity will receive $250,000 to conduct concept studies. If selected for continuation each mission of opportunity must complete its project, including archive and analysis, for less than $35 million.
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