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Update from NASA SMD Planetary Science Division

Status Report From: Planetary Exploration Newsletter
Posted: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

image Jim Green, Director: This is a quick update to let everyone know what has been happening within the PSD. PSD personnel have worked tirelessly getting to the point where we could announce the selections for New Frontiers-3 and Discovery-12 missions both of which were done in the month of May. Juno and GRAIL have arrived safely at KSC and Mars Science Lab will be shipped, on schedule, in June. Every sign indicates that we are on schedule for these upcoming launches. In the meantime, we are getting ready for Dawn to "slip" into orbit around Vesta in July. How cool is that!

As you know NASA received a passed budget on April 14th. However, after passage we first received only a 30-day allotment. Funds for all of FY11 arrived late in the second week of May. Starting on Monday May 23rd access to these new funds for our Program Officers who run the ROSES programs began. Even by the end of the week on May 27th, some of the Program Officers did not have access to all their funds.

Jon Rall and all the R&A Program Officers are working as fast as they can to complete the panel reviews, evaluations, selections and awards. This includes going back to many of those that received 'selectable' letters this year for funding. If a PSD Program Officer requests information from you please respond quickly. The Program Officers are under very tight time constraints this summer to get their funding allocations spent before the fiscal year comes to an end on September 30th.

A big thank you to all the PSD staff from me. I need to let the science community know how much these people at Headquarters are really making a difference. We are on track for a historic year so lets continue to keep our eye on the ball and have successful launches.

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