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NASA Issues New Policy to Advance High-Risk Space Missions

NASA has released a new policy that seeks to streamline management and development processes for research teams that seek to offer investigation proposals for high-risk space projects that cost less than $150 million.

The agency said Friday the new policy for Class D missions will take effect on Jan. 1, and aims to leverage research activities involving small satellites.

The new policy includes amendments to the Class D regulation NASA issued in 2010 such as reduction in documentation requirements and modifications to process approvals and reviews.

The regulation also seeks to encourage proposers to take risks, concentrate on mission design and implementation and reduce management overhead.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s science mission directorate, said the policy could help advance technological innovation and commercial partnerships.

“This new strategy should increase the cadence and invention potential for future low cost missions,” he added.

Class D missions under NASA’s portfolio include the Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats or TROPICS and other instruments and spacecraft that work to study neutron stars, pulsars, hurricanes and clouds.

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