Status Report

NASA New Frontiers 5: Third Community Announcement

By SpaceRef Editor
May 12, 2021
Filed under ,

Third Community Announcement: New Frontiers 5 (NF5) Announcement of Opportunity Release Date Delays
 ID Number: NNH20ZDA016L


Estimated Release of draft AO ………….….

October 2023 (target)

Estimated Release of final AO ……..……….

October 2024 (target)

Estimated Proposal due date ………………..

90 days after AO release


This community announcement notifies potential proposers of the decision made by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) to delay the release of an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to solicit New Frontiers 5 Program mission investigations. NASA SMD’s new target is no later than fall 2024 for the release of the final AO. This is a delay of approximately two years compared to the November 5, 2020 announced target date of October 2022 that was posted on both on as a “special notice” and as a community announcement on NSPIRES.


The launch date for Dragonfly, the fourth mission in the New Frontiers Program, has been delayed to June 2027. This delay of the Dragonfly launch date is not a reflection on the progress and performance of the Dragonfly project. Rather, the delays are driven by other missions being in peak development and COVID-related challenges in the broader Planetary Science Division portfolio. The updated AO schedule estimate allows selection of the fifth New Frontiers mission at around the time of Dragonfly’s launch, thereby avoiding the budget strain of having two New Frontiers missions in development at the same time.


The new AO release date places the fifth New Frontiers mission firmly in the time period being deliberated upon by the ongoingplanetary science decadal survey. NASA SMD intends to use the results of this decadal survey, expected in early 2022, to guide the New Frontiers 5 AO.


NASA has not approved the issuance of the New Frontiers AO and this notification does not obligate NASA to issue the AO and solicit proposals. Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing submissions in response to this third notification or the planned Draft NF5 AO are incurred completely at the submitter’s own risk.


Further information will be posted on the New Frontiers Program Acquisition Page at as it becomes available. Address questions and comments on this third community notice to Dr. Curt Niebur, New Frontiers Program Lead Scientist, Planetary Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA, Washington, DC 20546; Tel.: (202) 358-0390; Email:


SpaceRef staff editor.