Status Report

NASA Coordination with ESA’s 2012 Call for a Small Mission of Opportunity for a launch in 2017

By SpaceRef Editor
May 1, 2012
Filed under ,

– Request due to NASA by May 15
– NASA response to PI by June 1
– Proposal due to ESA by June 15
– Submission of full proposal and cover letter to NASA by June 22

The Call for Proposals from the European Space Agency (ESA) for a Small Mission of Opportunity in ESA’s Science program for a launch in 2017 is an ESA program planning activity ( NASA is not participating in the solicitation, but ESA program decisions that ultimately flow from the Call may provide cooperative opportunities that could advance progress toward NASA science goals.

It is anticipated that some U.S. investigators may wish to participate in the flight programs that will result from the advanced studies being solicited by the Call. NASA does not intend to commit itself to support U.S. participation in the ESA Small Mission program in advance of the proposal submission date. However, NASA is interested in the Small Mission program and the possibility of supporting U.S. investigator participation in future flight projects.

Per the Call, U.S. investigators collaborating on proposals to be submitted to ESA may provide ESA with a supporting letter from NASA. NASA is prepared to provide proposing U.S. investigators with a letter of acknowledgement for proposals in alignment with established NASA strategic science objectives. Proposers desiring such a letter must submit to NASA a brief description of (1) the mission concept contemplated, (2) the relevance of its science objectives to established NASA science objectives, and (3) contemplated U.S. involvement in the mission to be proposed. This description may not exceed 1000 words (approximately two single-spaced pages with 12-point type) and must be submitted by email no later than May 15, 2012, to Requests for letters of acknowledgement should come from the lead U.S. collaborator on the proposed mission. NASA will conduct an internal review of the proposed mission’s relevancy to NASA science objectives and, for those submissions in good alignment with these objectives, will provide a letter of acknowledgement in time for submission to ESA with the proposal. NASA will provide a response to the PI by June 1, 2012.

Subsequently, U.S. proposers must submit, via NSPIRES, one copy of the full proposal, as submitted to ESA, no later than June 22, 2012, along with a cover letter from the U.S. lead collaborator. Instructions for electronic submission of these two documents through NSPIRES will be provided to proposers who request a letter of acknowledgement.

NASA science objectives are based on National Research Council decadal surveys and are described in the SMD Science Plan for 2010 (

Potential investigators should note that the current NASA plan entails future consultations with ESA and may change. The present notice does not intend to state or imply any commitment to fund any future activity. This information is provided as a snapshot of present thinking to support advanced planning for U.S. participation in the Cosmic Visions program within the broader context of ESA’s Call and acquisition approach.

Address for 2-page descriptions by email (no later than May 15, 2012):

Any questions on NASA’s policy regarding the ESA Call for Proposals may be addressed to Dr. Colleen N. Hartman, Assistant Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA. Telephone: (202) 358-2165; E-mail:

SpaceRef staff editor.