Astro 2020 Decadal report cover art

Precursor Science Workshop II


  • When: 7-9 September 2022
  • Where: Virtual
  • Who: all community members interested in precursor science for NASA's future Great Observatories

This second workshop on Precursor Science will continue the dialog initiated during the first workshop in April 2022. As before, community discussions will inform the creation of a new ​NASA ROSES funding solicitation, with proposals due later in 2022. The workshop will also provide opportunities for community members to engage with each other and NASA on potential ideas for precursor science investigations in preparation for submitting proposals.

The ROSES call for Precursor Science proposals will support science investigations that will reduce mission risk and inform mission architectures and trades for future Great Observatories. All three Future Great Observatory (FGO) concepts identified in the Astro2020 Decadal Survey Report are in the scope of this activity. The FGO precursor science investigations may include, but are not limited to, theoretical studies, laboratory astrophysics experiments, archival research, and observational investigations.

We are working to ensure that these workshops will be accessible to all scientists. We especially want to promote significant involvement by early career researchers and minoritized community members in both the workshop and the FGO precursor science proposals. Please see the Workshop I Summary Report.

This three-day (15 contact-hour) workshop features plenary talks and discussions as well as multiple breakout sessions. During the first day, we will frame the work and current understanding by exploring connections between science ideas and science gaps through historical and current examples; and discuss how to identify science topics and scope the proposal, including discussing the required Inclusion Plan and how to build inclusive and high-functioning teams. The second day will include breakout sessions to workshop the science gaps and ideas spreadsheet developed during the first workshop along with an activity centering inclusion. We’ll regroup and look forward on the last day by discussing the outcomes from the breakout sessions, how precursor science will integrate into the broader Great Observatories Maturation Program (GOMaP) process, and next steps for both community members and NASA.

We look forward to welcoming you to the next virtual Precursor Science Workshop!


Types of science investigations:

  • Precursor Science: informs mission architecture/trades.
    • Criticality: now.
  • Preparatory Science: Informs data/interpretation or early operations.
    • Criticality: by/after launch.
  • Follow up: investigations that follow up on discoveries or other science from the mission
    • Criticality: after launch/ potentially: coordination / planning prior to launch
  • Other: everything else!

Organized in part by NASA HQ Astrophysics and NASA's Physics of the Cosmos, Cosmic Origins, and Exoplanet Exploration Program Offices.

For urgent queries, please contact Eric Smith eric.p.smith@nasa.gov and/or Terri Brandt t.j.brandt@nasa.gov.