Anticipated changes between draft and final Heliophysics SMEX 2016 AO

Community Announcement
Anticipated Major Change between the Draft andFinal 2016 AO for Heliophysics Small Explorer Missions

On March 11, 2016, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) released a draft solicitation for community review and comment: the Draft 2016 Heliophysics Small Explorer (SMEX) Announcement of Opportunity (AO) NNH16ZDA003J. A large number of questions and comments were received from the scientific community. SMD is now issuing information on an anticipated major change between the Draft and Final AOs based, in part, on these comments. Proposers should read the Final Heliophysics SMEX 2016 AO carefully when it is released.

In order to expand the range of options for access to space, The Heliophysics SMEX AO will be revised to allow co-manifested, rideshare, or secondary launch opportunities. Although NASA-provided launch services will be offered and may be proposed, proposers may also propose alternative access to space. While the specific requirements are still being developed, it is anticipated the Final AO will be similar, but not identical, to the 2015 Earth Venture Mission-2 AO (NNH15ZDA011O) and/or the 2014 Astrophysics Small Explorer AO (NNH14ZDA013O). Clarifications regarding Principal Investigator (PI)-Managed Mission Cost requirements and the AO Cost Cap are pending and will be incorporated into the Final SMEX AO.

NASA has not approved the Final 2016 Heliophysics Small Explorer AO and this notification does not obligate NASA to issue the 2016 Small Explorer AO and solicit proposals. Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing submissions in response to any of these draft solicitations are incurred completely at the submitter’s own risk.

Further information will be posted on the Heliophysics Explorer Program Acquisition website at as it becomes available. Questions may be addressed to the Heliophysics Explorer Program Scientist: Dr. Jeffrey Newmark, Heliophysics Division, Mail Suite 3M81, Science Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC 20546-0001, E-mail: (subject line to read “SMEX AO”).