Additional Details on Major Change between the Draft and Final Heliophysics SMEX AO

Community Announcement
Additional Details on Anticipated Major Change between the Draft andย Final 2016 AO for Heliophysics Small Explorer Missions

On April 14, 2016, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) released a Community Announcement on “Anticipated Major Change between the Draft and Final 2016 Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for Heliophysics Small Explorer Missions.” This follow-up Announcement provides additional details. Proposers should be aware of the following changes and clarifications from the language in the Draft Heliophysics Small Explorer Missions AO.

  • The AO Cost Cap for a Heliophysics Explorer mission will be increased to $165M in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 dollars, including access to space, but not including any contributions. The sum of contributions of any kind to the entirety of the investigation remains limited to one-third (1/3) of the proposed Principal Investigator (PI)-Managed Mission Cost.
  • Although NASA-provided launch services continue to be offered, proposers may also propose alternative access to space, including contributed launch services. NASA-provided launch services may be proposed at a charge of $50M in FY 2017 dollars against the PI-Managed Mission Cost. Alternative access to space, which must be arranged by the proposer and be funded within the PI-Managed Mission Cost or contributed, may also be proposed. A charge to the PI-Managed Mission Cost of $2.0M will be levied on non-NASA launch services for the NASA launch vehicle monitoring functions and advisory services.
  • Investigations to be flown aboard the International Space Station (ISS) may be proposed. NASA will provide accommodations on the ISS, as well as transportation to the ISS, at a charge of $50 million in FY 2017 dollars against the PI-Managed Mission Cost.
  • Alternative access to space may include payload accommodations as a hosted payload (e.g., instrument package) on a U.S.- or non-U.S.-provided spacecraft launching on a U.S.- or foreign-manufactured launch vehicle.

In addition to the these major changes, this AO will incorporate a large number of additional changes relative to previous Heliophysics Explorers Program AOs, including both policy changes and changes to proposal submission requirements. Many of these are identified in Appendix I of the Draft Heliophysics Small Explorer AO (link to Draft AO can be found at Acquisition website given below). All proposers must read the final AO carefully, and all proposals must comply with the requirements, constraints, and guidelines contained within the AO.

NASA has not approved the Final 2016 Heliophysics Small Explorer AO and this notification does not obligate NASA to issue the 2016 Heliophysics Small Explorer AO and solicit proposals. Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing submissions in response to any of the 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: [email protected] (subject line to read “SMEX AO”).