Status Report

NASA RFI for Concepts for the Next NASA Gravitational Wave Astronomy Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
October 3, 2011
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Concepts for the Next NASA Gravitational Wave Astronomy Mission
Solicitation number: NNH11ZDA019L

Release Date: September 27, 2011
Response Date: November 10, 2011

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) Program are soliciting information through this Request for Information (RFI) pertaining to potential gravitational-wave science missions. Specifically, NASA is seeking information that can be used to develop concepts that meet some or all of the scientific objectives of the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Mission. Information being sought includes relevant mission concepts, instrument concepts, enabling technologies, or any aspect of flight, ground or launch systems architecture.

The PCOS Program Office will work with the science community to develop new gravitational-wave mission concepts satisfying some or all of the scientific objectives listed in Table 1. Such scenarios might include one or more space-based observatories. These scenarios will be presented to the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAA) for consideration. Recommendations from the CAA will subsequently be used to guide detailed development of scientific, technical, and cost information for future US gravitational-wave missions. Data from these concept studies will also be used to assess future technology needs for the Astrophysics Division. Information from the technology assessment will also be provided to the CAA.

This Request for Information (RFI) is the first step in this process. Through this RFI, NASA is seeking information relevant to gravitational-wave mission concept(s) that will satisfy some or all the scientific objectives listed in Table 1. The RFI also requests standalone instrument concepts as well as relevant key enabling technologies for such missions or instruments. Mission concepts should range in cost from ~ $300M to $2,000M in FY12 dollars.

The full text of the request for information is posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at (select “Solicitations” then “Open Solicitations” then “NNH11ZDA019L”).

For further information on this RFI, please contact Jean Cottam, PCOS Chief Scientist, at You may also contact the NASA HQ PCOS program officers, Jaya Bajpayee, PCOS Program Executive, at, and Rita Sambruna, PCOS Program Scientist, at Please check for the most up to date information on the program.

SpaceRef staff editor.