Mary Sladek Mary Sladek


Updated on September 24, 2018 - 1:30 PM CDT
Posted on September 24, 2018 - 10:57 AM CDT

Tags: General Public | Higher Education | NASA Headquarters | Underserved / Underrepresented | Use of NASA Data | Scientist Engagement | Community Posts | Scientists | Astrophysics | Earth Science | Heliophysics | Planetary Science | SciAct Community

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has published a Request for Information (RFI) for Inputs to the Science Mission Directorate Strategic Plan for Scientific Data and Computing (NNH18ZDA017L).

 The NASA Science Mission Directorate requests information, comments and suggestions to assist in the development of a Strategic Plan for Scientific Data and Computing. RFI NNH18ZDA017L solicits input from all stakeholders, including but not limited to members of scientific community, academic institutions, other agencies, the private sector, professional societies, advocacy groups, the general public, and international collaborators.

The objective of the Strategic PlaTn for Scientific Data and Computing is to articulate a whole-of-SMD 5-year strategy that has four overall goals:

● Improve discovery and access for all SMD data for immediate benefit to science data users and to improve the overall user experience, 
● Identify large-scale and cross-disciplinary/division science users and use cases to inform future science data system capabilities,
● Enable strong theory programs that are firmly based on NASA's observations, and
● Modernize science data and computing systems to improve efficiency and enable new technology and analysis techniques for scientific discovery and commercial use.

Currently SMD stores over 100 Petabytes (PB) of observational and model data. The Earth Science Division alone archives contain nearly 30PB of observational data and more than 70PB of model output. By 2023, the Earth Science archives will contain over 150PB of observational data with an annual growth rate of 50PB per year. Within 5 years, all four Science Divisions are projected to generate over 100PB of data per year and continue to grow rapidly as new missions are launched and new models are run. This anticipated growth of SMD's science archives presents unique opportunities for new scientific discovery as well as significant challenges for data management, curation, access, analysis, maintenance of provenance, and computing.

The Strategic Plan for Scientific Data and Computing is intended to span the range of activities within the Science Mission Directorate, including opportunities for cross-disciplinary science investigations. Respondents are therefore encouraged to think broadly about future capabilities and needs, and we encourage members of all fields of NASA science, engineering, industry, and academia to respond to this RFI in order to ensure a range of views.

NASA will use responses to aid in programmatic decisions about future investments for data and computing, including partnerships with private sector and philanthropic organizations.  It is emphasized that this RFI is neither a Request for Proposal, nor an Invitation for Bid. This RFI is being used to obtain information for planning purposes only; therefore, NASA does not plan to respond to the individual RFI responses. As stipulated in FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not considered offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract. Pursuant to FAR 52.215-3, entitled Request for Information or Solicitation for Planning Purposes, this information is being made available for market research, information, and planning purposes. This RFI is subject to review or cancellation at any time and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to enter into a contract. The Government will not pay for the information submitted in response to this request, and respondents will not be notified of the results.

This RFI is open to responses from all parties including commercial entities, international organizations, academia, NASA Centers, and other government agencies. This RFI may be downloaded from NSPIRES at by searching on NNH18ZDA017L or directly accessed at:!{B896B39A-F430-1916-2247-B791CE3D5FBF}&path=open. Responses will be accepted only when submitted via NSPIRES by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on October 19, 2018.  Responses provided by email, mail or other means will not be accepted.

Questions concerning this Request for Information may be addressed to: Kevin Murphy or Ellen Gertsen, Science Mission Directorate, NASA, Washington, DC 20546; Email: