The Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD) defines and manages systems development for programs critical to the NASAs Artemis campaign and planning for NASAs Moon to Mars exploration approach in an integrated manner. ESDMD manages the human exploration system development for lunar orbital, lunar surface, and Mars exploration. ESDMD leads the human aspects of the Artemis activities as well as the integration of science into the human system elements. ESDMD is responsible for development of the lunar and Mars architectures. Programs in the mission directorate include Orion, Space Launch System, Exploration Ground Systems, Gateway, Human Landing System, and Extravehicular Activity (xEVA)and Human Surface Mobility.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; C - Direct Payments For Specified Use; I - Use of Property, Facilities, and Equipment; J - Provision of Specialized Services; L - Dissemination of Technical Information; M - Training
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2023 NASA selected five new research teams to collaborate on lunar science and lunar sample analysis research to support future exploration of the Moon as part of the agency’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). The new SSERVI teams were selected via peer review from a pool of 14 competitive proposals.
The National Aeronautics and Space Act, as amended, 51 U.S.C. § 20113
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
NASA recognizes and supports the benefits of having diverse and inclusive scientific, engineering, and technology communities and fully expects the reflection of such values in the composition of all panels and teams, including peer review panels, proposal teams, science definition teams, and mission and instrument teams. Per Federal statutes and NASA policy, no eligible applicant shall experience exclusion from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NASA on the grounds of their race, color, creed, age, sex, national origin, or disability. NASA welcomes proposals from all qualified and eligible sources, and strongly encourages proposals from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs), veteran-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB), HUBZone small businesses, and women-owned small businesses (WOSBs), as eligibility requirements apply
Beneficiary Eligibility
Institutions apply on behalf of individuals. All Human Exploration financial assistance complies with 14 CFR 1250, i.e., the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that ensures that no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any Human Exploration -funded research or research-related activities. As a condition of receipt of NASA funding, the institution acknowledges and agrees that it must comply (and require any beneficiaries, e.g., subgrantees, contractors, successors, transferees, and assignees to comply) with applicable provisions of national laws and policies prohibiting discrimination
Financial Assistance Use of Unique Entity Identifier & SAM requirements. Review NASA Proposers Guide and NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement (GCAM) for specific certifications and assurance requirements, Review funding opportunity announcement for additional information.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this listing. Applicants should review individual funding opportunity announcements to determine if Notice of Intent and/or Phase 1 proposals are required. All Principle Investigators and Co-Investigators are required to register in NASA Solicitation and Proposal Integration and Review System (NSPIRES) https://nspires.nasaprs.com/external.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. General application processes and procedures are found in the NASA Proposers Guide. Applicants are encouraged to review the individual funding opportunity announcement and updates for specific application procedures, including requirements for intent to apply and phase 1/phase 2 applications.
Award Procedure
General award processes and procedures are found in the NASA Proposers Guide. Review the individual funding opportunity announcement and updates for any deviations that may apply to that funding opportunity.
Applicants should review funding opportunity announcement for specific deadlines and other key dates.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days.
From 30 to 60 days. Information on NASA appeals policy and process can be found in the NASA Grant and Cooperative Agreement Manual (GCAM)
From 30 to 60 days. Renewal and extension information can be found in the NASA Grant and Cooperative Manual (GCAM) and the NSSC website at https://www.nasa.gov/centers/nssc/grants
How are proposals selected?
Evaluation of intrinsic merit includes consideration of the following factors: (i) Overall scientific or technical merit of the proposal and/or unique and innovative methods, approaches, concepts, or advanced technologies demonstrated by the proposal; (ii) Proposer's capabilities, related experience, facilities, techniques, or unique combination of these which are integral factors for achieving the proposal's objectives; (iii) The qualifications, capabilities, and experience of the proposed principal investigator, team leader, or key personnel critical in achieving the proposal objectives; and (iv) Evaluation against the state-of-the-art. Review panels are instructed not to compare proposals to each other; all comparative evaluations are conducted by NASA program personnel.
How may assistance be used?
This financial assistance is used for Basic Research, Educational Outreach, or Training Opportunities in the area of human space exploration. Applicants should review funding opportunity announcement for additional information.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: The requesting office is required to monitor recipient performance for an incremental period in a manner that permits evaluation and review of the effort performed. For example, measurement criteria may include: (1) Meeting specified milestones between beginning and ending dates, (2) Successful completion of significant activities or objectives identified, and/or (3) On-time delivery of reports and other required documentation.
Not applicable.
NASA follows the requirements from 2 CFR 200.333
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Generally, up to three years but no more than five years. Review funding opportunity announcement for additional information. Incrementally Funded
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Ned J. Penley
DAA, Management for ESDMD and SOMD
Washington, DC 20546 USA
Phone: 202.358.0766
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 22$33,379,671.00; FY 23 est $15,000,000.00; FY 24 est $16,000,000.00; FY 21$64,633,837.00; FY 20$67,035,535.00; FY 19$63,166,721.00; FY 18$56,064,179.00; FY 17 est $28,000,000.00; FY 16$30,976,788.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The range in award value depends on the research opportunity's objectives and the number of meritorious proposals accepted. Awards will generally range from under $100K per year for focused, limited efforts (e.g., data analysis) to $1.5 M per year for extensive activities (e.g., development of scientific hardware) and will be made as a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
General and Special Terms and Conditions (Award Terms) Grants and Cooperative Agreement Manual 2 CFR 1800 Research Terms and Conditions
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2022 Through the release of a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) every two or three years, NASA ESDMD jointly with Science Mission Directorate (SMD) announces opportunities for the submission of multi-institutional, team-based proposals for research to support NASA’s goals in lunar and planetary science and human exploration. Research intended to contribute to human exploration should yield results and products that increase overall utilization efficiency and effectiveness for Artemis mission planning, implementation, and operations teams. For FY 2022 CAN-4, the lunar focus included the following research areas relevant to ESDMD : Traverse Planning, Characterization of Shadowed and Permanently Shadowed Regions (PSRs),Lunar Sample Collection and Sample Handling Operations, Characterizing Physical/Chemical Regolith or Dust Properties, Automated Laboratory Systems ,Planetary Protection.
Fiscal Year 2023 Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) Continues. In FY 2023 NASA awarded a total of $7.5 M for new awards, from this solicitation at up to $1.5M per Team per year for each of the five years of the award.
Fiscal Year 2024 Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) – Continues


Federal Grants Resources