Europa Community Announcement

Solicitation Number:                                                  NNH14ZDA007L
Posted Date:                                                                April 1, 2014
Release of RFI:                                                            Late April 2014 (target)
Release of PEA Community Announcement:            Late April (target)
Release of PEA:                                                           July 2014 (target)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) intends to release in the near future three (3) announcements of interest to the Planetary Science community. These opportunities are part of NASA’s continuing efforts to assess the scientific merits and technical feasibility of Europa mission concepts that cost-effectively implement the science objectives of the latest Planetary Science Decadal Survey.

The first announcement will be a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting brief descriptions of mission concepts that address Decadal Survey science objectives for Europa via missions costing less than $1B (FY 2015 dollars, phases A-E, excluding launch vehicle).  Upon review of the RFI responses, NASA may solicit and award funds for further study of credible concepts that are judged to be technically feasible, to fit within the $1B cost cap, and to provide adequate science return. This RFI is targeted for release by the end of April. Responses will be due approximately 30 days after the release of the RFI.

The Science Mission Directorate intends to release in July 2014 a Program Element Appendix (PEA) of the Stand Alone Missions of Opportunity Notice (SALMON-2) for Europa instrument science investigations. The second announcement, forecasted here for the end of April 2014, will be a preview Community Announcement describing the planned key parameters of the PEA. No draft PEA will be released; the Community Announcement is intended to convey similar information of interest to potential proposers.

The third announcement will be the Europa science instrument investigations PEA itself, currently planned for release by July 2014, to solicit proposals for instrument investigations conducted by a Principal Investigator (PI) as part of a robotic mission to explore Europa. It is anticipated that approximately fifteen investigations will be selected for Phase A formulation through this PEA. At the conclusion of this formulation phase, it is planned that a subset of these investigations may be selected to continue into Phase B and subsequent mission phases.

Europa instrument investigations proposed to the PEA must address either the science objectives or the reconnaissance objectives for Europa exploration. Instrument investigations relevant to both sets of objectives are welcome. The science goals and objectives are contained in the Decadal Survey. The reconnaissance objectives have been developed by NASA as necessary for enabling the future surface exploration of Europa. Detailed information on the science goals, objectives, and investigations will be released with the PEA and its supporting documents.

Participation in this PEA will be open to all categories of organizations (foreign and domestic, with the exception that foreign Principal Investigators and team members may not receive NASA funds if selected), including educational, industrial, and not-for-profit organizations, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs), NASA Centers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and other Government agencies, as well as non-U.S. partner organizations.

The time frame for these three announcements is intended to be:

Release of RFI                                                         Late April 2014 (target)
Release of PEA Community Announcement         Late April 2014 (target)
Release of final PEA                                                July 2014 (target)
PEA Preproposal conference                                  ~3 weeks after final PEA release
PEA Proposals due                                                  90 days after PEA release
Selection for competitive Phase A studies            April 2015 (target)
Concept study reports due                                    December 2015 (target)
Down-selection                                                       April 2016 (target)

NASA has not approved the issuance of the Europa Instrument Investigation PEA and this notification does not obligate NASA to issue the PEA and solicit proposals. Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing submissions in response to this notification are incurred completely at the submitter’s own risk.

Further information will be posted on the Europa Program Acquisition Page at as it becomes available. Questions may be addressed to Dr. Curt Niebur, Europa Program Scientist, Science Mission Directorate, NASA, Washington, DC  20546; Tel.: (202) 358-0390; Email: [email protected].

Point of Contact:

Dr. Curt Niebur
Europa Program Scientist
Planetary Science Division, Science Mission Directorate
Telephone:  (202) 358-0390
Fax:  (202) 358-3097
E-mail:  [email protected]