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Cosmic Origins News

8 September 2023

Special Announcement About the Habitable Worlds Observatory START and TAG Teams

Dear Colleagues,

We want to thank you for the tremendous interest from the community in the Habitable Worlds Observatory (HWO). The large number of self-nominations for the Science, Technology, Architecture Review Team (START) gave us the ability to form a diverse START with the skills and backgrounds needed to study the Astro2020-recommended science scope for HWO. The START will be working closely with the HWO Technical Assessment Group (TAG), composed of agency personnel that will identify opportunities for external involvement from industry, academia, etc. related to HWO’s technical strategy. We are posting the announced membership lists of the START and TAG on the Great Observatory Maturation Program (GOMAP) website: https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/programs/gomap

The START and TAG will work together to quantify the Astro2020 recommended science scope for HWO, understand each science objective’s breakpoints, and study architecture options to meet that scope. The START will have the main responsibility for studying and quantifying the scope of HWO. The TAG will identify the HWO architecture options, high-level design trades, as well as aerospace landscape opportunities HWO can leverage. The coupled nature of these two groups’ responsibilities will be acknowledged by frequent collaboration between the two groups.

Additionally, we are asking both teams to interface with and expand the broader community of contributors to HWO. That includes further outreach to historically excluded communities, and establishment of an “inclusive one-team culture” in preparation for a potential project office that will need expertise from across the agency, multiple commercial, and academic partners. Community involvement will also be facilitated by additional opportunities for involvement with HWO:

  • The START and TAG activities will be conducted in a transparent and open manner, with opportunities for input from community members.
  • The START and TAG will coordinate and create working groups to support that work, which will include and may be led by community members not on the START and the TAG.
  • We will create a mentorship program for the START and TAG, focused on bringing in early career personnel from institutions not currently represented on the START or TAG.
  • Individuals and teams can propose to the HWO-relevant calls, including:
    • Astrophysics Decadal Survey Precursor Science
    • Extreme-Precision Radial Velocity Foundations Science
    • Strategic Astrophysics Technology
    • Future HWO-specific calls, for example on technology development, architecture trade studies
    • Technology roadmapping
  • The NASA Astrophysics Program Analysis Groups (PAGs) have created and may create HWO-relevant Science Analysis Groups (SAGs).

Please consider getting involved in these activities, and please encourage your fellow community members to get involved with these and other HWO-relevant activities. We look forward to working with you on these and other activities to make HWO an endeavor that the community is included in and proud to have been a part of.

To find out more about how to get involved with HWO, you can tune into the START and the TAG kickoff meeting from October 31-November 2, 2023. Information on how to participate virtually will be made available on the GOMAP website once those details are available. That webpage will also contain information about future START/TAG meetings, and other ways to get involved with HWO.

If you have any questions or concerns please email us at julie.a.crooke@nasa.gov or shawn.goldman@nasa.gov.


Julie Crooke and Shawn Domagal-Goldman

NASA’s First Asteroid Sample
Has Landed,
Now Secure in Clean Room

Congratulations OSIRIS-REx! After years of anticipation and hard work by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx team, a capsule of rocks and dust collected from asteroid Bennu finally is on Earth. It landed at 8:52 a.m. MDT (10:52 a.m. EDT) on Sunday. Read more.

COR News and Events

See our new Events Calendar

Current and Upcoming Events

Continuing Call for Nominations to the Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group (COPAG) Executive Committee. »  Details.
19 – 20 October 2023
Astrophysics Advisory Committee (APAC) Meeting 19-20 October 2023 »  Details.
25 October 2023
JWST Call for Proposals for Cycle 3 »  Details.

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Program News and Announcements

29 September 2023
Infrared Science and Technology Integration Group (IR STIG) Webinar | Monday, 2 October 2023, 3:00 PM ET »  Details.
29 September 2023
AWESOM SAG Meeting | Friday, October 6, 2023, 11am – noon ET »  Details.
29 September 2023
Community Input for the Cosmic Origins Precursor Science Gaps | November, 17th 2023 »  Details.
22 September 2023
Diffuse Gas in Cosmic Ecosystems Science Interest Group | September 28, 2023 – 4pm EST / 1 PM PST »  Details.
22 September 2023
Windows on the Universe: Establishing the Infrastructure for a Collaborative Multi-messenger Ecosystem | October 16 – 18, Tucson, AZ »  Details.
22 September 2023
Galaxies Science Interest Group (Galaxies SIG) Seminar | Tuesday October 3rd, 2023 at 1pm ET »  Details.
22 September 2023
NASA’s Webb Telescope Inspires ARTECHOUSE Exhibit, Public Art »  Details.

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