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Invitation to Membership on the Formulation Assessment and Support Team for the Asteroid Redirect Mission

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) intends to release a letter of invitation for membership on the Formulation Assessment and Support Team (FAST) for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). ARM is part of NASA’s plan to advance the new technologies and spaceflight capabilities needed for a human mission to the Martian system in the 2030s, as well as other future human and robotic missions. 

ARM includes the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) and the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), along with leveraging the global asteroid-observation community’s efforts to detect, track and characterize candidate asteroids. 

For additional information on how to apply for FAST membership, go to the NASA NSPIRES website at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={A680142F-8F79-93C8-CED4-644C30C5F31A}&path=open


Release Date: June 23, 2015

Identification number: NNH15HEOMD002

DESCRIPTION

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) intends to release a letter of invitation for membership on the Formulation Assessment and Support Team (FAST) for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM).

OVERVIEW OF THE ARM FAST OPPORTUNITY

ARM is part of NASA's plan to advance the new technologies and spaceflight capabilities needed for a human mission to the Martian system in the 2030s, as well as other future human and robotic missions. ARM includes the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) and the Asteroid Redirect Crewed Mission (ARCM), along with leveraging the global asteroid-observation community's efforts to detect, track and characterize candidate asteroids. ARRM will be the first robotic mission to visit a large near-Earth asteroid and collect a multi-ton boulder from its surface. The spacecraft will use the multi-ton boulder to perform an enhanced gravity tractor asteroid deflection demonstration and then return it to a stable orbit around the Moon, where astronauts will explore the boulder and return with samples in the mid-2020s during the ARCM. Subsequent human and robotic missions to the returned material could also be facilitated by its availability in cislunar space and would benefit scientific and partnership interests, expanding our knowledge of small celestial bodies and enabling the demonstration of mining asteroid resources for commercial and exploration needs. Please visit http://www.nasa.gov/asteroidinitiative for further details about the mission.

Members of the ARM FAST will participate in requirement formulation efforts during the initial development phase of the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM). The FAST will also assist in developing an initial list of potential investigations focused on the following four main areas as they support the robotic and crewed segment objectives: science, planetary defense, asteroidal resources and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), and capability and technology demonstrations. Finally, the FAST will provide input to NASA on potential hosted payloads and partnerships.

ARM FAST membership will consist of NASA and non-NASA participants and is open to all qualified and interested individuals (U.S. citizens and permanent residents) at U.S. institutions or representing themselves. Participation in the FAST by non-civil service personnel will be limited to providing non-consensus, non-voting input.

DETAILS OF THE PLANNED REQUEST

NASA anticipates releasing a "Dear Colleague Letter" that invites applications for membership on the ARM FAST. The Letter will request that each application should be no more than two pages in length. The application should describe the applicant's current research and expertise in one or more of the four areas identified above. In addition, a statement of how much time the applicant will have between September and December of 2015 for activities related to the ARM FAST should also be included. Input by members into the FAST process will be gratuitous, with no expectation of compensation. NASA plans to offer invitational travel, at NASA's expense, to members asked by NASA to travel to FAST meetings. Additional details will be described in the "Dear Colleague Letter" and associated FAST charter. The following schedule describes the anticipated major milestones of NASA's "Dear Colleague Letter" for application to the ARM FAST. These dates are subject to change.

"Dear Colleague Letter" released:On or around July 7, 2015 ; Application Due Date: Release + 1 month; Selections Announced (target): Release + 2 months

The issuance of this Community Announcement does not obligate NASA to issue the "Dear Colleague Letter" and solicit applications. Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing submissions in response to this Community Announcement are incurred completely at the submitter's own risk. The ARM FAST "Dear Colleague Letter" may contain provisions that differ from this announcement, in which case those in the Letter will take precedence.

Questions or comments about this Community Announcement on the ARM FAST "Dear Colleague Letter" may be addressed to: Dan Mazanek, NASA ARM Mission Investigator, NASA Langley Research Center, 1 N Dryden, Mail Stop 462, Hampton, VA 23681; Email: Daniel.D.Mazanek@nasa.gov; Tel: 757-864-1739. E-mail correspondence is preferred.

Comments should be provided to Mr. Mazanek within 1 week of this announcement in order to be considered in the Letter. The character string "ARM FAST" (without quotes) should be included in the subject line of all transmissions.

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