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Principal-Investigator-Led Missions in the Space Sciences E Major Changes in Requirements Between Announcements of Opportunity The Explorer and Discovery programs have the longest histories, with multiple AO releases. The initial AOs (before 1997) are not available on the NASA Web site, but the AOs after 1997 are available and illustrate the main changes that occurred during the late 1990s in each program. The Discovery AO released on March 31, 1998 (AO-98-OSS-04) resulted in the selection of Deep Impact and MESSENGER on July 6, 1999. The latest Discovery AO, released on April 16, 2004 (NNH04ZSS02O) has not yet resulted in any selection. The Discovery 2004 AO had the following important changes relative to the 1998 AO release: Added requirement to adhere to NPR 7120.5B NASA Program and Project Management Processes and Requirements Document for approval to implementation phase. In the 1998 AO, NPR 7120.5B was only given as a source for “products typically associated” and may be used as a reference in defining a team’s mission approach. In 1998, teams were encouraged to use innovative processes when cost, schedule, and technical improvements could be demonstrated. Amount of NASA oversight changed. In the 2004 AO, the requirements section states that the PI will have a “large degree of freedom” provided that there is demonstrated commitment to fundamental principles for sound management, engineering and safety, and mission assurance (NPR 7120.5B). It also says that NASA intends to maintain a significant degree of insight into mission development. In the 1998 AO, the corresponding statements are as follows: (1) The PI will have a “large degree of freedom” within stated constraints with only essential NASA oversight and (2) PI teams may “use own” processes and procedures to the fullest extent possible. An added requirement is that 25 percent of unencumbered reserve be available at the end of Phase B for Phases C-D. There is an added requirement for software IV&V. There is an added requirement for a risk management plan. NOTE: The full names of the missions are given in Appendix H.
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Principal-Investigator-Led Missions in the Space Sciences Many more specific NASA requirements documents (for example, NPR 7100.1D and NPD 8020.7E) are referred to in the main text. In 1998, fewer documents were referenced, most were only listed in the Discovery Program library, and their tie-in to the project requirements was vague. The total Office of Space Science cost cap increased to $360 million (FY 2004 dollars) in 2004 from $299 million (FY 1998 dollars) in 1998. The MIDEX AO released on March 25, 1998 (AO-98-OSS-03) resulted in the selection of Swift and FAME on October 14, 1999 (note that FAME was not confirmed for Phase C/D). The latest MIDEX AO, released on July 16, 2001 (AO-01-OSS-03) resulted in the selection of THEMIS and EUSO (an MoO). An AO was planned for May 2004 but has been delayed by at least 1 year. However, planned changes in this release from the 2001 release were provided to the public for review and comment. The following changes are noted between the 2001 and 1998 AO releases. Planned changes for 2005 are also noted: The amount of NASA oversight changed slightly. In the 2001 AO, the following statement is found in the requirements section: “Responsibility for implementing a selected investigation rests with the PI and the investigator team, which will have a large degree of freedom,” with “appropriate NASA oversight to ensure mission success.” The same statement is found in the 1998 AO but with the word “essential” instead of “appropriate” used to describe the NASA oversight. There is added discussion of available GSFC services. A requirement for demonstrating a minimum of 20 percent cost reserve against cost to complete (excluding the cost of the launch vehicle and MO&DA) has been added. In the 1998 AO release, no reserve requirement was specified. In the 2004 planned AO release, this requirement will be changed again to 25 percent unencumbered reserve at the end of Phase B, with funded schedule reserve also required. The total Office of Space Science cost cap planned for the 2005 AO release is $170 million (FY 2005 dollars), the total cost cap in the 2001 AO release was $180 million (FY 2001 dollars), and the total cost cap in the 1998 AO release was $140 million (FY 1998 dollars). In the 2005 planned AO release, international participants will be required to present signed letters of endorsement at the time of proposal submission. In earlier AO releases, no such requirement was stated. The SMEX AO released on April 14, 1997 (AO-97-OSS-03) resulted in the selection of HESSI, GALEX, and TWINS (as an MoO) on October 1, 1997. The latest SMEX AO, released on February 3, 2003 (AO-03-OSS-02 ), resulted in feasibility studies for five missions—NEXUS, DUO, IBEX, NuSTAR, and JMEX. The following changes between the 2003 and 1997 AO releases were noted: A requirement for software IV&V was added. There was more discussion of available GSFC services. A requirement was added that less than 25 percent of the total Office of Space Science commitment be expended before the start of Phase C. The total Office of Space Science cost cap is $120 million in FY 2003 dollars; in 1997, the total cost cap was $69 million (launch vehicle, $19 million; Phases A-D, $38 million; Phase E, $9 million; and the ground data system, $3 million).
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