NASA ROSES-18 Amendment 17: New Opportunity in C.25 SESAME Technology Development

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2018

ROSES-18 Amendment 17: New opportunity in Scientific Exploration Subsurface Access Mechanism for Europa (SESAME) technology development program.
The Scientific Exploration Subsurface Access Mechanism for Europa (SESAME) technology development opportunity supports the formulation and maturation of system concepts and the associated technologies capable of penetrating ice and accessing the subsurface liquid water on ocean worlds such as Europa. The overall goal of this opportunity is to define, and ultimately validate, a realistic architecture for deep (>1 km) subsurface access under flight-like constraints. In addition, the endeavor seeks to identify, address, and reduce technical risks for the most promising ice-penetration systems so that these systems may eventually be infused into potential future flight opportunities. This program does not solicit technologies or hardware for a specific flight opportunity.
More specifically, the SESAME technology development solicitation seeks to:
a)    identify promising cryogenic ice penetration systems capable of facilitating the detection of evidence of life, especially extant life, in the ocean worlds of the outer solar system by providing access to subsurface liquid water bodies that may be located hundreds of meters to tens of kilometers below the surface of the ice;
b)    identify the technology component(s) that represent the greatest technical risk to the overall penetration system;
c)    begin to reduce the key technology risks through an analytical and experimental technology development effort;
d)    develop prototype hardware for cryogenic ice penetration system(s); and
e)    assess the performance of the prototype hardware through analysis and complementary laboratory experiments.
Step-1 proposals are due by July 27, 2018, and Step-2 proposals are due by September 28, 2018.
On or about June 27, 2018, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement "Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2018" (NNH18ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at and will appear on the RSS feed at:
Questions concerning this program element may be directed to Ryan Stephan of the Planetary Exploration Science Technology Office at

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