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Suggested Citation:"6 Looking Forward." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Report Series: Committee on Solar and Space Physics: Agile Responses to Short-Notice Rideshare Opportunities for the NASA Heliophysics Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25726.
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Page 19
Suggested Citation:"6 Looking Forward." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Report Series: Committee on Solar and Space Physics: Agile Responses to Short-Notice Rideshare Opportunities for the NASA Heliophysics Division. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25726.
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Page 20

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6 Looking Forward As detailed above, 14 findings and 5 conclusions were drawn from community input, CSSP meeting discussions, and the expertise of committee members. These findings and conclusions call out challenging and exciting unresolved solar and space science topics that could be addressed by a new HPD agile rideshare program, along with some types of secondary payloads that may be well suited to such opportunities. The need to respond quickly to new opportunities introduces an urgency that differs from NASA’s usual systematic and strategic approach to selecting and developing missions. The remaining findings and conclusions document strategies that may contribute to the success of a new rideshare program. These include the implementation of program efficiencies allowing for the delivery of functional and compliant secondary payloads in a timely fashion and their subsequent integration, launch and operations, as well as innovations in current HPD practices and strategic investments, all in pursuit of a highly effective program targeting high-priority decadal science. This report highlights the current landscape of known agile rideshare opportunities and plausible secondary payloads. This landscape is rapidly changing, both in terms of anticipated opportunities for rides to space and the spectrum of secondary payloads that may enable an expansion of HPD science missions. The expansion of rideshare opportunities to LEO is a notable example of the changing landscape, although the level of competition for these rides remains to be seen. If indeed launch opportunities to LEO or to other locations become routine and plentiful in the near future, the need for an agile response to a subset of opportunities may be lessened. The constant availability of launches might lend itself to a more traditional planning process with a longer lead time. However, other elements of the agile rideshare program discussed in this report remain pertinent, such as the need for standardization. The rapidly changing landscape is motivation for NASA HPD to develop an adaptable program that can respond to evolving rideshare opportunities and secondary payload innovations. In spite of potential risks, including the potential impact of increased satellite traffic on views of the night sky and space traffic management, rideshare opportunities present an exciting avenue to enrich heliophysics with new solar and space science observations. 19

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Report Series: Committee on Solar and Space Physics: Agile Responses to Short-Notice Rideshare Opportunities for the NASA Heliophysics Division explores the kinds of solar and space science that would be enabled by an agile response to rideshare opportunities. This report then explores the types of payloads that are suited to these opportunities and the development and implementation of a new program that would allow agile responses to future short-notice rideshare opportunities.

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