a method exist for including such innovations, while acknowledging that those proposing missions will have a high standard to meet.
Recommendation 3: NASA should consider mission options outside the three remaining and five additional medium-size missions described in the decadal survey that are spurred by major scientific and technological developments made since the decadal survey. As with any New Frontiers mission, these proposals must offer the potential to dramatically advance fundamental scientific goals of the decadal survey and should accomplish scientific investigations well beyond the scope of the smaller Discovery Program. Both mission-enabling technological advances and novel applications of current technology could be considered. However, NASA should limit its choices to the eight specific candidate missions unless a highly compelling argument can be made for an outside proposal.
The basis for these overarching recommendations is discussed further in Chapter 1. However, the mission sections in Chapter 2 provide information that will be vital for drafting the next New Frontiers announcement of opportunity, and this report must be read in its entirety in order to understand the committee’s findings and recommendations. The mission-specific recommendations in Chapter 2 are also included in Chapter 3 for ease of reference. Finally, the committee notes that the New Frontiers Program is intended to be both strategic—based on the science goals established in the decadal survey—and adaptable to new discoveries. The committee believes that it is important for NASA to find a method for incorporating new discoveries into the goals of the program for announcements of opportunity made several years after a decadal survey has been produced. Seeking input from the scientific community via the NRC (in the form of reports such as this one) is one method to achieve this, but not necessarily the only method. The committee hopes that in the future NASA will continue to recognize the importance of such a process.