UM Space Institute: Spaceflight PI Launchpad Discussion Group

Fridays, February – April

The University of Michigan Space Institute is convening a weekly discussion group around the presentations  from the latest NASA PI Launchpad Workshop. We welcome interested faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and senior PhD students to join in this conversation. The meetings will be held on Fridays from February through April.

The NASA PI Launchpad Workshop is intended to help prepare people to eventually be a Principal Investigator of a NASA spaceflight mission. It is specifically targeted at overcoming the rather high learning curve of being PI of a spaceflight mission, with the intent to increase the diversity of potential PIs. It is open to the full scope of research topics within NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, across all five divisions (Astrophysics, Biological and Physics Sciences, Earth Sciences, Heliophysics, and Planetary Sciences). While designed as preparation to become a full mission PI, it is applicable to smaller spaceflight hardware proposals, like instruments or ISS experiments. The workshop focuses on developing a compelling science story, creating the science traceability matrix, assembling a strong team, interfacing with system engineers and project managers, and the many facets of developing a good proposal for a science satellite mission.

For this 12-week-long discussion group, we will watch one (or several short) videos ahead of time and then gather to discuss that topic and steps for actively moving forward. Participants will work on their own mission idea and develop a plan for future submission. You do not have to attend every meeting to participate.

To see the weekly schedule and to sign up, please fill out this form. The first session will be Friday, February 4. We request that you sign up by Tuesday, February 1, so that we set a specific meeting time for our first session later that week.