New Frontiers 5: Seventh Community Announcement

SAM.gov Special Notice ID Number: NNH20ZDA016L

Draft AO Text NNH23ZDA006J Released: January 10, 2023
NNH23ZDA006J Comments Due: March 03, 2023
Estimated Release of final AO: No earlier than 2026 (target)
Estimated Proposal due date: 90 days after AO release

This community announcement (CA) is the seventh in a series to provide an advance notice of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) plan to release an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to solicit New Frontiers Program mission investigations. The New Frontiers Program conducts Principal Investigator (PI)-led space science investigations in SMD’s planetary programs under a not-to-exceed cost cap for the PI-Managed Mission Cost (PIMMC). Budget uncertainty in the Planetary Science Division (PSD) makes release of the AO in 2023 and subsequent selection of a new mission difficult, and this seventh NF5 CA shares the decision reached by NASA to delay the release of the AO. NASA SMD’s new target is no earlier than 2026 for the release of the final AO. This is a delay of approximately three years compared to the November 2023 target date announced in an early communication. The schedule delay is significant enough that NASA plans to ask the Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science to provide a recommendation on which mission themes from the NF5 and NF6 lists should be included in the AO. This also provides an opportunity to update the science objectives for the mission themes based on the recently released planetary decadal survey, “Origins, Worlds, and Life: A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023-2032.”

All feedback already provided in response to that draft AO will feed into development of the AO targeted for release no earlier than 2026. In order to assist proposers, NASA plans to share the major policies for the next AO approximately 18 months before the targeted release of the AO.

NASA has not approved the issuance of the New Frontiers 5 AO. This CA does not obligate NASA to issue the AO and solicit proposals. Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing submissions in anticipation of the final New Frontiers 5 AO are incurred completely at the submitter’s own risk.

Further information will be posted when it is available on the New Frontiers Program Acquisition Website hosted by the Science Office for Mission Assessments (SOMA) at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) at https://newfrontiers.larc.nasa.gov/NF5/. For example, In May 2023 SOMA added the New Frontiers V Announcement of Opportunity (AO) LAUNCH SERVICES PROGRAM INFORMATION SUMMARY dated 3/24/2023 to the Program library. Questions and feedback may be emailed using “7th CA for NF5” in the subject line to Dr. Curt Niebur, the New Frontiers Program Lead Scientist, via [email protected].