Over the next decade and beyond, NASA's Astrophysics Division expects to undertake a suite of space flight missions. Implementing them presents many daunting technological challenges. To overcome these challenges and pave the way to ever more ambitious missions, NASA's Astrophysics Division is establishing the Strategic Astrophysics Technology
(SAT) program to support the maturation of key technologies to the point at which they are feasible for implementation in space flight missions. The SAT Program is designed to support the maturation of technologies whose feasibility has already been demonstrated (i.e., TRL 3), to the point where they can be incorporated into NASA flight missions (TRL 6-7). Sometimes referred to as the "mid-TRL gap," funding for such intermediate TRL development activities has historically been problematic because technologies in this regime are sufficiently mature that they are ill-suited to funding under basic research programs, yet still too immature for a mission to assume the risk of incorporating it into a flight system. Indeed, the problem of the mid-TRL gap was of such concern that it is specifically called out in the Astro2010 report, and an enhancement in funding specifically targeted at mid-TRL development is included among its Small Project recommendations. This is the role of the SAT program.
This amendment presents revised text for Appendix D.8 including new priorities for technology investment for Physics of the Cosmos Missions in in Section 3, and a new point of contact for Technology Development for the Cosmic Origins, in addition to many other small changes to the text. New text is in bold and deleted text is struckthrough.
The due date for Notices of Intent and proposals remain unchanged at January 27, 2012, and March 23, 2012, respectively.
Further information about this amendment is available from Douglas Hudgins at Douglas.M.Hudgins@nasa.gov and (202) 358-0988.