Status Report

NASA Seeks Science Instruments to Sponsor on Korean Space Agency Lunar Orbiter

By SpaceRef Editor
September 13, 2016
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NASA is soliciting proposals for scientific instruments that might reveal answers about lunar resources that could support the agency’s journey to Mars. NASA would sponsor the instruments to fly on a lunar orbiter designed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). The spacecraft, the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), is scheduled to launch in December 2018, and is part of KARI’s Korea Lunar Exploration Program, which aims to robotically explore the moon through a series of orbiter and lander missions, starting with the KPLO.

KARI has provided 15 kilograms of KPLO payload space to NASA, for which NASA anticipates selecting up to four instruments to sponsor, with a total budget of $15 million. NASA’s objective in selecting instruments is to address Strategic Knowledge Gaps, or SKGs. SKGs represent gaps in knowledge or information required to reduce risk, increase effectiveness, and improve the design of robotic and human space exploration missions.

“The KPLO mission represents an excellent opportunity for NASA to partner with KARI while contributing to these important knowledge gaps,” said Jason Crusan, Director of NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This opportunity strengthens our understanding the solar system and the potential to harvest its resources for future human exploration.”

Participation is open to all categories of organizations or institutions, U.S. or non-U.S., including educational, industrial, and not-for-profit institutions, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs), NASA Centers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and other Government agencies.

This solicitation is being released under the SALMON-2 AO as solicitation number NNH12ZDA006O-KPLO. A virtual Industry Day/Question and Answer session will be held on September 23, 2016, see the KPLO Homepage at for logistical information.

The solicitation information can be found on NSPIRES at{AF44B73B-7DBF-5540-1793-4C5491CFFE7C}&path=init.

Mandatory Notices of Intent to propose take the form of a Step-1 pre-proposal and are due 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on September 30, 2016. Proposals and mandatory NOIs will use the NSPIRES system for submission at .

Proposals are due 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on October 28, 2016.

Comments and questions may be addressed by E-mail to: Mr John Guidi, NASA Headquarters, Advanced Exploration Systems Division, Washington, DC 20546-0001, Tel: 202-358-1644, E-mail: 

SpaceRef staff editor.