NASA Seeks New Planetary Science Investigations for Discovery Program

NASA has released a draft funding opportunity that seeks new planetary studies to support the space agency’s Discovery Program.

The agency said Wednesday it plans to allocate $500M for up to five projects in fiscal year 2019.

The Discovery Program offers flight opportunities to science investigations that could help expand the agency’s understanding of planetary systems by exploring elements of the solar system, mapping planets, promoting space research and implementing technology advancements in space.

“By conducting a series of planetary science investigations, NASA will provide a mechanism by which pressing questions in planetary science may be addressed, permitting a steady improvement in our understanding of planetary systems and the processes that affect them,” the AO document states.

Previous missions backed by the Discovery Program include Mars Pathfinder, Lunar Prospector, Kepler and the Dawn space probe.

NASA aims to launch the next set of studies into space between 2025 and 2029.

The agency plans to release the final announcement of opportunity for Discovery in February and will accept proposals through June 7 of next year.

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