ROSES-16 Amendment 48: This amendment releases draft text for program element C.26 Instruments For Gondola For High-Altitude Planetary Science (IGHAPS) and invites community comment until January 9, 2017.
NASA’s Planetary Science Division has begun development of the stratospheric balloon-borne platform Gondola for High-Altitude Planetary Science (GHAPS) intended for use by the broad science community. The GHAPS platform will host a 1-meter telescope and is designed to fly a minimum of five missions from any of the six Balloon Program Office (BPO) launch locations, with minimal refurbishment costs between flights. The purpose is to produce significant science returns through observations in the 300 nm to 5 μm range and possibly beyond. As a stratospheric balloon platform flying above 99.5 percent of the atmosphere, GHAPS offers access to wavelengths not possible from the ground or current space assets. Advances in balloon system technology promise long duration flights with day-night cycles, enabling missions that satisfy the objectives in the 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey (Vision & Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022). GHAPS will provide competed guest observer access through the peer review process, allowing the broader science community to accomplish compelling planetary science using this platform.