PI Launchpad Workshop Content

2021 Virtual PI Launchpad

NASA SMD is organizing a virtual workshop in June of 2021 for researchers and engineers who would like to submit a NASA space mission proposal in the next few years but don’t know where to start. We are interested in broadening the pool of potential NASA space mission PI’s. We are not accepting new applications at this time.

The 2021 Virtual PI Launchpad will occur over June 14th-25th via WebEx. Presentations and Panels will be recorded and posted online at a later date. Information about the 2019 PI Launchpad can be found below.

The 2021 Virtual PI Launchpad is a collaboration between SMD, the University of Arizona, the University of Michigan, JPL, GSFC, and the Heising-Simons Foundation. If you have questions, please contact us at HQ-SMD-PIWorkshop.

If you are a member of a potential industry partner and would be interested in participating in Networking or other industry related aspects of the PI Launchpad, please fill out the form here.

About the PI Launchpad

Are you interested in developing your first flight mission proposal but have no idea where to start? NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD), the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the University of Arizona have teamed up to make this process more transparent and accessible.

In the Fall of 2019, the University of Arizona hosted the first PI Launchpad. This workshop occurred over 3 days, covering a range of topics relevant to mission development. Attendance was limited due to budget constraints and many more people applied or expressed interest than we were able to accomodate. As a public service, we are posting all of the content developed for the PI Launchpad here. In addition to the workbook used by participants throughout the workshop, below we post videos and pdfs for all panels and presentations.

Any information contained in this or any linked pages is meant for general use and not for profit. If you use any slides or content from the linked videos and pdfs, you must provide credit to the original author/presenter. If you are unsure of whom to credit, please contact Erika Hamden.

We are in the process of adding closed captions to the videos and will upload new videos as soon as they are available.


The PI Launchpad was organized through the work of:

  • Prof. Erika Hamden (University of Arizona)
  • Dr. Nicole Cabrera Salazar (Movement Consulting)
  • Ellen Gertsen (NASA SMD)
  • Dr. Michael New (NASA SMD)
  • Julie Breed (GSFC)
  • Paula Evans (NASA SMD)
  • Michael Liehmon (University of Michigan)
  • Kirsten Petree (NASA SMD)
  • Paul Propster (JPL)
  • Betsy Pugel (GSFC)
  • Richard Quinn (ARC)
  • Randii Wessen (GSFC)
  • James Woodard (NASA SMD)

The PI Launchpad was generously funded by a grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation and through support from NASA. The speakers and panelists whose presentations are captured here graciously provided their time and expertise to this workshop and made it a success.

2019 Resources Overview & Downloads

License Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Please direct questions or corrections on this page to SARA@nasa.gov