Press Release

NASA Selects Two New Frontiers Concepts for Further Study

By SpaceRef Editor
July 17, 2004
Filed under ,

NASA today announced the selection of two proposals for
detailed study as candidates for the next mission in the
agency’s New Frontiers Program.

The proposals are missions that would drop robotic landers
into a crater at the south pole of the moon and return
samples to Earth, and a mission that would orbit Jupiter from
pole to pole for the first time to conduct an in-depth study
of the giant planet.

"These two outstanding proposals were judged to be the best
science value among the seven submitted to NASA in 2004,"
said Dr. Ed Weiler, associate administrator for space science
at NASA Headquarters, Washington. "It was a very tough
decision, but we’re excited at the prospect of the
discoveries either of them could make in continuing our
mission of exploration of the solar system, and what they
could tell us about our place in the universe," he added.

Each proposal will now receive up to $1.2 million to conduct
a seven-month implementation feasibility study focused on
cost, management and technical plans, including educational
outreach and small business involvement.

Following detailed mission concept studies, due for
submission by March 2005, NASA intends to select one of the
mission proposals for full development as the second New
Frontiers mission by May 2005. The selected New Frontiers
science mission must be ready for launch no later than June
30, 2010, within a mission cost cap of $700 million.

The selected full mission investigations, and the Principal
Investigators, are:

o "Moonrise: Lunar South Pole-Aitken Basin Sample Return
Mission," Dr. Michael Duke Principal Investigator,
Colorado School of Mines, Boulder. This investigation
proposes to land two identical landers on the surface
near the moon’s south pole and to return over two
kilograms (about five pounds) of lunar materials from a
region of the moon’s surface believed to harbor
materials from the moon’s mantle.

o "Juno," Dr Scott Bolton, Principal Investigator, NASA’s
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. This
investigation proposes to use a highly instrumented
spacecraft placed in a polar orbit about the planet
Jupiter to investigate the existence of an ice-rock
core, determine the global water and ammonia abundances
in Jupiter’s atmosphere, study convection and deep wind
profiles in the atmosphere, investigate the origin of
the jovian magnetic field, and explore the polar

The two selected proposals were submitted to NASA in February
2004, in response to the New Frontiers Program 2003 and
Missions of Opportunity Announcement of Opportunity.

The New Frontiers Program is designed to provide
opportunities to conduct several of the medium-class missions
identified as the top priority objectives in the Decadal
Solar System Exploration Survey, conducted by the Space
Studies Board of the National Research Council.

NASA’s New Horizons mission, which will fly by the Pluto-
Charon system in 2014 and then target another Kuiper belt
object, was designated the first New Frontiers mission.

SpaceRef staff editor.