NASA has announced that it is currently investigating five different science missions that have been selected as candidates for potential space flight. The space organization plans to take the first steps in choosing one of two of the missions next year for flight opportunities as early as 2020. The proposals under consideration would study Venus, near-Earth objects, and a variety of asteroids.
Each of the investigation teams will be given $3 million to conduct concept design studies and analyses. The fan selections from the proposals will be made in September 2016 for continued development leading up to launch.
Any of the selected missions would cost about $500 million, not including the launch vehicle or the cost of post-launch operations. NASA originally requested proposals for spaceflight investigations back in November 2014.
NASA had a panel of scientists and engineers that reviewed 27 submissions from that proposal request and narrowed it down to the final five candidates. The mission includes Deep Atmosphere, Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI), Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography, and Spectroscopy mission (VERITAS), Psyche to study a metallic asteroid known as Psyche, Near Earth Object Camera (NEOCam), and Lucy to perform reconnaissance of the Jupiter Trojan asteroid.