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  • NASA should not continue to invest in infrared interferometry as the basis for a future New Worlds Flagship Mission; coronagraphs (including VNC) and external occulters represent the most viable mission architectures.
  • The ExoPAG recognizes the need to get to a mid-decade technology downselect as described in Astro2010. Further, it is crucial that the community buy into the process and will accept and support the outcome, whatever that outcome might be.
  • That process will include both continued support for technology development related to coronagraphs and external occulters (e.g. SAT/TDEM) and concept studies of a set of missions in these two categories.
  • Next-gen UVOIR telescope community must be engaged with the process from the very beginning (including participation in SAGs).
Concept studies:
Present – Spring 2012
  • SAGs will define the minimum science requirements for the mission to achieve a top rating in the 2020 decadal survey
  • SAGs will coordinate to define bounds for the scope and content of the studies and a set of “ground rules” to be followed so that the results of the two studies are as directly comparable as possible.
  • SAG output presented and discussed at ExoPAG-5 in Jan. 2012, finalized by Spring 2012.

Summer 2012
  • NASA Headquarters issues solicitation for participation in Interim Science Working Groups (ISWG) to conduct (funded) concept studies; membership of working groups selected by end of 2012.

Jan. 2013
  • Concept studies begin.

Jan. 2014
  • Concept study reports completed and submitted to NASA

Summer 2014
  • Senior Review-style evaluation of the concept study reports conducted.
  • Organized by NASA HQ
  • ISWGs present the results of their study in a face-to-face meeting with review panel, discuss any issues/questions with the panel.

December 2014
  • Review panel submits report to NASA summarizing their findings and recommendations for the architecture downselect.

2015
  • Report and resultant NASA decisions fed into DSIAC.