Memo to NASA Science Asssociates Group Regarding ESA Cosmic Visions Competition

Status Report From:
Posted: Monday, April 2, 2007

From: "Malay, Jon"
03/30/2007 09:37 AM
To: More than 100 people
Subject: NASA Science Asssociates Group

Dear NASA Science Associates Group (NSAG) Colleagues:

This is to bring to your attention the email, attached below, from NASA regarding the ESA Cosmic Visions competition for science missions and how U.S. investigators can obtain a "letter of acknowledgement" from NASA if their collaboration with a European proposal team is deemed to be in alignment with NASA strategic planning.

Please also note that the NASA email also addresses the status of the NASA Science Plan, for which the NSAG provided an industry review last year, with a web site to which the Plan will soon be posted.

And finally, regarding an NSAG meeting with Dr. Alan Stern:  He starts work next week as the new Associate Administrator for Science Missions and it's been my hope that we would have an opportunity to meet with him at some time in the near future.  One idea I'm currently discussing with the AIAA is that we keep our eye on plans for the AIAA National Capital Section/Baltimore Section annual spring "Town Hall Meeting."   This dinner event is being planned by the AIAA in cooperation with Dr. Ed Weiler, Director of GSFC, and may provide us with just such an opportunity.  Although the plans are just now coming together, Dr. Weiler and the AIAA are inviting Dr. Stern, along with his Deputy AA Colleen Hartman and new part-time Chief Scientist (and Nobel Laureate) John Mather, to be speakers at the Town Hall dinner meeting.

The meeting will be held at the Univ. of Maryland Inn & Conference Center on Monday, May 7 at 5:30 pm.   What I'm proposing is that, although many of us would already want to attend this meeting, we will, in cooperation with the AIAA, invite all NSAG members to register.  This serves the dual purpose of supporting a great AIAA event and listening to, and interacting with, the new SMD leadership.  So mark your calendars now and stand by to receive the official notice of this event from the AIAA ... and then let's make the meeting a great event, with full participation by the NSAG.

Please feel free to let me know what you think about this near term plan.  And then let's look downstream for a next meeting with Alan, perhaps in mid-summer, when he's had a couple of months in the saddle.

Warm regards, Jon

Jonathan T. Malay Chair, NASA Science Associates Group

Director, Civil Space Programs Lockheed Martin Corporation Washington Operations, Space Systems & Operations

-----Original Message-----
From: NSPIRES-Help []
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2007 12:08 PM
Subject: NASA Planning Relative to ESA's "Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Call for Proposals"

The Call for Proposals from the European Space Agency (ESA) for the First Planning Cycle of the New Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 (the "Call"; is an ESA program planning activity.  NASA is not participating in the solicitation, but ESA program decisions that ultimately flow from the Call may provide cooperative opportunities that could advance progress toward NASA science goals.

It is anticipated that some U.S. investigators may wish to participate in the flight programs that will result from the advanced studies being solicited by the Call.  NASA does not intend to commit itself to support U.S. participation in the Cosmic Vision program in advance of the Assessment Phase proposal submission date.  However, NASA is interested in the Cosmic Vision program and the possibility of supporting U.S. investigator participation in future flight projects.

Per the Call, U.S. investigators collaborating on Assessment Phase proposals to be submitted to ESA will be required to provide ESA with a supporting letter from NASA.  NASA is prepared to provide proposing U.S. investigators with a letter of acknowledgement for proposals in alignment with established NASA strategic science objectives.  Proposers desiring such a letter must submit to NASA a brief description of (1) the mission concept contemplated, (2) the relevance of its science objectives to established NASA science objectives, and (3) U.S. involvement in the mission to be proposed.  This description may not exceed 1000 words (approximately two single-spaced pages with 12-point type), and must be submitted by email no later than May 15, 2007 to the email address below.   NASA will conduct a review of the proposed mission's relevancy to NASA science objectives and, for those submissions in good alignment with these objectives, will provide a letter of acknowledgement in time for submission to ESA with the proposal.

Subsequently, U.S. proposers must submit one copy of the full proposal, as submitted to ESA, to the address below no later than June 29, 2007.  It is NASA's current intention to consult with ESA on each proposal's alignment with NASA science objectives during ESA's proposal evaluation period.

NASA science objectives are based on National Research Council decadal surveys and are described in the 2007 NASA Science Plan (, which is currently in final production.  Pending web posting of the Science Plan, proposers may consult the 2003 NASA Space Science Enterprise Strategy (

Potential investigators should note that the current NASA plan entails future consultations with ESA and may change.  The present notice does not intend to state or imply any commitment to fund any future activity.  This information is provided as a snapshot of present thinking to support advanced planning for U.S. participation in the Cosmic Visions program within the broader context of ESA's Call and acquisition approach.

Any questions on NASA's policy regarding the ESA Call for Proposals may be addressed to Dr. Paul Hertz, Chief Scientist, Science Mission Directorate, NASA, Washington, DC 20546; Telephone: (202) 358-0986; E-mail:

Address for 2-page descriptions by email (no later than May 15, 2007):

Address for submission of full proposals (no later than 4:00 p.m. Eastern, June 29, 2007):

Cosmic Vision Proposals, attn: Susan Keddie
NASA Research and Education Support Services
Suite 200
500 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
Telephone for express delivery: (202) 479-9030

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