Planetary Science Deep Space SmallSat Studies (ROSES 2016)

Funding Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This program element supports the study of spaceflight mission concepts that can be accomplished using small spacecraft, including CubeSats. All proposed investigations must be responsive to the goals of the Planetary Science Division, as described in the 2014 NASA Science Plan. Additionally, proposals may address the operational requirements of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office in conducting surveys for potential Near Earth Objects (NEO’s) and characterization of known NEO’s as documented in the National Research Council study, "Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies Final Report," released in 2010.

NASA’s Planetary Science Program is considering including small secondary payloads on every future planetary science launch. As such, studies performed under this program element will provide valuable information to assist future Announcement of Opportunity planning and NASA’s development of small spacecraft technologies relevant to deep space science investigations.

In order to advance the objectives outlined in the Science Plan, proposed investigations may target any body in the Solar System, including near Earth objects (NEO’s), except for the Earth and Sun. Investigations of extra-solar planets are not included in this program element.

The Planetary Science Deep Space SmallSat Studies (PSDS3) program is intended to capitalize on the creativity in the planetary science community to envision science enabled by smaller and significantly lower cost deep space missions. NASA expects to make awards for mission concept studies that will explore the breadth of missions possible that are enabled by CubeSat/SmallSat technologies. Mission design assistance, if required, for these mission concepts will be offered by NASA during the six-month studies. NASA Headquarters will also use the results of these studies when considering expanding the provisions and capabilities of future Announcements of Opportunity for technology development.  


  • PSDS316 NOIs Due: Sep 30, 2016

  • PSDS316 Proposals Due: Nov 18, 2016




Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

November 18, 2016