For Release: April 23, 1996
Catherine E. Watson
Release No. 96-027
Space Science Information Office Shifted to NASA Langley
As part of NASA's policy to shift program implementation from
headquarters to its centers, the agency has transferred
responsibility for the independent review and evaluation of its
small flight programs to Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
The new office will have responsibility for administration of
the Announcement of Opportunity (AO) process for the
Discovery, Explorer and Solar-Terrestrial Probe programs.
AOs tell researchers that funding is available to do a specific
type of research. Scientists then write research proposals to the
originator of the AO to be considered for that funding, responding
to all the science requirements contained in the AO.
The new office will coordinate the preparation of these space
science-related AOs with NASA headquarters, receive the proposals,
and help headquarters organize and manage the proposal review
panels. The office also will conduct independent evaluations to
assure that selected investigations meet established criteria and
provide high-quality science return.
After an investigation has been selected, the SSSO will
support headquarters in assessing program activities and assuring
tasks are completed on schedule and within budget, as well as
participate in mission reviews and technical audits. These
responsibilities will include managing and conducting independent
and external independent readiness reviews of these space sciences
The Discovery, Explorer and Solar Terrestrial Probe programs
provide frequent access to space for small space science missions
that perform high-quality scientific investigations using small- to
mid-sized spacecraft. The Discovery program has supported missions
such as the Mars Pathfinder, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous and
the Lunar Prospector.
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