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Physics of the Cosmos News

10 September 2021

2021 Astrophysics Explorer Solicitations Released

The NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has released two solicitations for Astrophysics Explorers Science Investigations. The Astrophysics Explorers Program conducts Principal Investigator (PI)-led space science investigations relevant to SMD's astrophysics programs. Astrophysics Explorers investigations must address NASA’s strategic objective to discover how the universe works, explore how it began and evolved, and search for life on planets around other stars.

NASA has released the 2021 Astrophysics Medium Explorer (MIDEX) Announcement of Opportunity (NNH21ZDA018O), and the 2021 Astrophysics Explorers Mission of Opportunity (MO) Program Element Appendix Q (PEA-Q) (NNH17ZDA004O-APEXMO2) as Amendment 20 to the NASA Third Stand Alone Missions of Opportunity Notice (SALMON-3) Announcement of Opportunity NNH17ZDA004O.

NASA expects to select approximately two to three Astrophysics Explorers MIDEX missions for Phase A studies, and down-select approximately one MIDEX mission to proceed into Phase B and subsequent mission phases. NASA expects to select approximately two or more Astrophysics Explorers Missions of Opportunity for Phase A studies, and down-select approximately one or more Missions of Opportunity to proceed into Phase B and subsequent mission phases.

A joint Preproposal Conference will be held via teleconference/WebEx on 14 September 2021 from 10a Eastern/9a Central/8a Mountain/7a Pacific to 4:15p Eastern/3:15p Central/2:15p Mountain/1:15p Pacific. The agenda and logistical information for this session may be found by visiting the Astrophysics Explorers Program Acquisition preproposal conference webpage.

Mandatory Notices of Intent are required from proposers to either or both Announcements of Opportunity by 14 October 2021 at 11:59p Eastern/10:59p Central/9:59p Mountain/8:59p Pacific, and proposals are due by the same hour on 9 December 2021.

Comments and questions may be addressed by email to the Astrophysics Explorers Program Scientist, Dr. Linda S. Sparke, at linda.s.sparke@nasa.gov (with subject line "Astrophysics Explorers MIDEX AO" or "Astrophysics Explorers MO PEA" as appropriate). Proposers are encouraged to send comments and questions early, so that they may be addressed at the Preproposal Conference.

Responses to all inquiries will be posted at the Questions and Answers (QAs) location of the Astrophysics Explorers Program Acquisition website. The period for questions/comments will close three weeks before the proposal due date, and the period for responses will close 10 days before the proposal due date. Anonymity of persons/institutions who submit questions will be preserved.

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