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Physics of the Cosmos News

09 November 2021

Astrophysics Division (APD) Needs Community Inputs to NASA Astrophysics Technology Gap Prioritization Process Following Astro2020

Dear Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) community members,

The Astrophysics Division (APD) and its three thematic Program Offices (POs) — Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS), Cosmic Origins (COR), and Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) — are planning to respond to the Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s (Astro2020) and would like your input. The POs are working to update our Astrophysics strategic technology gap priorities. This will inform APD’s response to the Decadal Survey.

Since 2019, the POs implement a joint biennial strategic technology gap prioritization process. To ensure that APD invests in the right technologies, we are reaching out to the community to help identify gaps between today’s state-of-the-art technologies and what will be needed for missions and development activities identified as priorities by Astro2020.

As the first step in our process, we want to hear what you think are the most important areas for technology development in response to Astro2020 that are currently not addressed. If you know of a missing technology gap, please download the technology gap submission form, fill it out according to the instructions enclosed there, and email the completed entry to Opher Ganel (opher.ganel@nasa.gov) and Brendan Crill (bcrill@jpl.nasa.gov) by Jan 3, 2022. If you have questions, please email those to Opher or Brendan, leaving enough time for a response and your submission before the above deadline.

After the submission due date, the POs’ science and technology teams will prioritize the gaps according to the four criteria shown on our technology websites. Importantly, the joint gap list will inform the scope of future Strategic Astrophysics Technology (SAT) solicitations. Prioritized rankings, along with a description of APD’s technology needs, will be published in the Astrophysics Biennial Technology Report (ABTR), which will be published mid-2022.

Please refer to our technology website for more information about the 2019 APD technology gaps. All gaps in that list will be considered again in the 2021 prioritization process. If you want to add new gaps, or suggest edits to existing ones, please do so.

This is your opportunity to take an active role in shaping the future of space technology for astrophysics and helping us align it to the recommendations of Astro2020. However, please note the above-mentioned gap submission deadline for this prioritization cycle.

Wishing you the best,

Dr Brian Williams
PCOS Chief Scientist, NASA GSFC
Dr Bernard Kelly
PCOS Support Scientist, NASA GSFC

On behalf of the APD Program Office Technologists

The European Space Agency LISA observatory


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