Commercial reusable suborbital research (CRuSR) vehicles may offer new capabilities for the conduct of NASA scientific research, education, and technology advancement. CRuSR vehicles are anticipated to be operational by 2011, and there may also be flight research opportunities as the vehicles are tested and demonstrated. The use of these commercial services may reduce the cost of suborbital flight research by leveraging private investment. In FY 2011, NASA plans to establish a Flight Opportunities Program. This program office will assist proposers with CRuSR vehicle platforms. The Flight Opportunities Program will reside within the Office of the Chief Technologist. Proposals seeking use of CRuSR platforms must take advantage of the platform’s unique capabilities. Proposers interested in using CRuSR vehicles to conduct an Earth or space science investigation must identify a vehicle that can provide the technical capabilities required to conduct the proposed investigation. Proposals must be for investigations that make use of an attached payload; the payload must be operated autonomously or remotely. No NASA sponsored crew are permitted on CRuSR vehicles in response to this solicitation.
NASA has determined that there may be payload opportunities for small space and Earth science research investigations, including both science and technology development, that utilize the International Space Station (ISS). Available external attach points include both zenith and nadir pointing locations, and internal attach points include nadir pointing locations. NASA has available annual external launch opportunities after 2011 on the Japanese HTV launch vehicle and the SpaceX vehicle. NASA also has regular opportunities on a suite of vehicles to launch pressurized cargo for use in the Window Observational Research Facility (WORF). Proposals seeking use of the ISS must take advantage of the Station’s unique capabilities. Proposers interested in using the ISS to conduct an Earth or space science investigation must identify a specific accommodation location that can provide the technical capabilities required to conduct the proposed investigation.
For both CRuSR vehicle payloads and ISS payloads, proposals must be submitted to the appropriate ROSES program element depending on the science addressed by the proposed investigation. Proposals for investigations using CRuSR vehicles and the ISS are solicited through the Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Platforms for Earth Science program (Appendix A.27), Geospace Science program (Appendix B.3), Solar and Heliospheric Science program (Appendix B.4), Planetary Astronomy program (Appendix C.5), and the Astrophysics Research and Analysis program (Appendix D.3). For any program whose due date has passed for 2010, proposals for investigations using CRuSR vehicles will be solicited in the next solicitation for that program. Proposals for life and microgravity science investigations are not solicited through ROSES.
ROSES-2010 has been amended to include the requirements for submitting proposals using CRuSR vehicles in Section IV(f) of the ROSES Summary of Solicitation. ROSES-2010 has been amended to include the requirements for submitting proposals utilizing the ISS in Section IV(g) of the ROSES Summary of Solicitation. These amendments have also been incorporated in the following ROSES appendices: Appendix A.27, Appendix B.3, Appendix B.4, Appendix C.5, and Appendix D.3.
Questions concerning the individual program elements through which CRuSR or ISS based experiments are solicited may be addressed to the NASA point of contact identified in the Summary of Key Information at the end of each program element appendix. General questions concerning the NASA Science Mission Directorate’s solicitation for CRuSR or ISS based experiments may be addressed to Dr. Paul Hertz or (202) 358-0986.