New Millennium Program

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The New Millennium Program (NMP) process is summarized here.

Chart summarizing technology selection steps.

Identification of Flight Validation Technology Candidates

Science objectives and technology needs identified in the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) strategic plans and roadmaps are used to generate a set of technology-capability areas to be considered for a new NMP project. This iterative process includes interactions with the science and technology leadership of the SMD, as well as technology assessments made by key technologists at NASA Centers.

NMP uses the capability needs and technology assessments to develop candidate validation scenarios and assess their feasibility within the budget allocated for a project. Results of these pre-concept studies are presented to the SMD Associate Administrator (SMDAA) for endorsement and guidance on priorities and constraints. The SMDAA subsequently authorizes the preparation of a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) to solicit technology providers for either a system or subsystem validation project.

For a system validation project, the SMD selects a NASA center to lead each of the technology capability areas. Once the technology providers are selected by the SMDAA in the NRA process, they join their respective center-led project team to conduct the "Concept Definition Study" for the project. For the subsystem validation project, the SMDAA selects a number of technology providers for independent, stand-alone subsystem experiments. Each subsystem technology provider then conducts a "Concept Definition Study."

Concept Definition

A standard two-step NRA process for selection of technologies is used for both system and subsystem opportunities. For system opportunities, technologies that are selected in response to the NRA (Step 1) and included in the project(s) selected for formulation refinement (Step 2) become pre-qualified for full development and delivery of the flight article. For subsystem opportunities, technologies selected in response to the NRA (Step 1) undergo a down selection review and selection (Step 2) for formulation refinement.

Following completion of the concept studies, the study reports are evaluated by a NASA Headquarter's-led Program Review Board. In the case of the system validation project, the SMDAA selects one of the flight validation experiments to proceed to formulation refinement. For the system validation project, the SMDAA selects a subset of the proposed experiments to proceed to formulation refinement. In addition, the SMDAA selects a NASA center to lead the subsystem validation project that encompasses the selected subsystem validation experiments.

Formulation Refinement

During this phase, the project team refines the concept by performing a preliminary design, developing the project documentation , drafting agreements, and, in particular, developing a credible life-cycle cost. At the conclusion of this phase, the NMP Office determines the readiness of the project to proceed into the implementation phase, which is approved following a successful NASA Headquarters confirmation review.

Project Approval

Following the confirmation review, the SMDAA provides written approval for the project to begin the implementation phase.

Project Implementation

During this phase, the project proceeds to critical design review, builds and delivers the flight validation hardware/software, conducts operational activities, acquires the flight validation data, analyzes and documents the results, and distributes its report for infusion into future science missions.

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