View Full Version : What happened to Discovery program?

2005-Jan-24, 04:55 AM
Several low-cost planetary science missions have been launched under the auspices of Discovery program -- competitive selection from multiple submissions, -- Deep Impact being the latest. Two more, Dawn and Kepler, are slated to launch in 2006. These two were selected back in 2001 and AFAIK, there were no calls for submissions since then. What happened?

Kullat Nunu
2005-Jan-24, 08:04 AM
From the Discovery Program (http://discovery.larc.nasa.gov/discovery/) website news:

The next Discovery AO [Announcement of Opportunity] release is planned for February/March 2005.

The results of the 2004 Discovery AO competition will be posted on this page when they are available. The announcement has been delayed.

Haven't seen other news.

2005-Jan-25, 04:31 AM
I see. So there was an AO in 2004, and I simply missed it:

Notice of Intent to Release an AO issued January 15, 2004
Federal Business Opportunities synopsis issued March 23, 2004
AO release April 16, 2004
Preproposal Conference April 23, 2004
Notice of Intent due May 14, 2004
Proposal deadline, 4:30 p.m. ET July 16, 2004
Non-U.S. Letter of Endorsement due (with proposal) July 16, 2004
Selections announced (target) January 16, 2005
Concept Study kickoff February 16, 2004
Concept Study due (target) August 16, 2006
Downselect (target) November 16, 2005
Confirmation for flight (target) August 16, 2006
Launch (NLT) June 30, 2010

Still, that's three years between 2004 AO and the previous one. Before 2001 they took off every 18 months, and consequently so did the missions. Now there will be a 3-4 year gap between Dawn/Kepler and the next one (or two). Curious that the next AO is coming less than 18 months later -- indeed might precede selection announcement for the 2004 AO.