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Science Strategy

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate conducts scientific exploration that is enabled by access to space. We project humankind’s vantage point into space with observatories in Earth orbit and deep space, spacecraft visiting the Moon and other planetary bodies, and robotic landers, rovers, and sample return missions. From space, in space, and about space, NASA’s science vision encompasses questions as practical as hurricane formation, as enticing as the prospect of lunar resources, and as profound as the origin of the Universe.  To ensure the success of the space program through generations to come, we must have simple, but compelling, long-term goals and a coherent, thoughtful plans to achieve them.


PDF format (5.1 MB) NASA 2014 Strategic Plan
The NASA 2014 Strategic Plan outlines NASA's vision for the future and provides a clear, unified, and long-term direction for all NASA activities.  The strategic plan is the foundation on which NASA will build and measure success and aligns NASA's full spectrum of activities to accomplish national priorities in civil aeronautics research, space exploration, science, and advanced research and development.

PDF format (3.7 MB) NASA 2014 Science Plan
The NASA 2014 Science Plan reflects the direction NASA has received from our government’s executive branch and Congress, advice received from the nation’s scientific community, the principles and strategies guiding the conduct of our activities, and the challenges SMD faces. The science plan that results enables NASA, as stated by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, to “do the best  science, not just more science.

NOTE: This publication will be replaced with a 508 compliant version when available.


PDF format (5.0 MB) Responding to the Challenge of Climate and Environmental Change: NASA's Plan for a Climate-Centric Architecture for Earth Observations and Applications from Space

A 49-page report on NASA's plans to revitalize the nation's research satellite system; expand research, applications, technology, and education activities using NASA and non-NASA satellite data; and develop/mature technologies required for the next generation of Earth observing missions.


PDF format (140 KB) Ensuring Scientific Integrity at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This report describes the policies that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) currently has in place to ensure scientific and engineering integrity, the actions that NASA has already taken to extend its assurance, and NASA’s plan for additional actions in furtherance of implementing the Administration’s policies on scientific integrity.

The report is organized to respond to the four major areas and seventeen sub-areas addressing scientific and engineering integrity that are explicitly addressed in Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy Dr. John P. Holdren’s memo to heads of executive departments and agencies (PDF, 478 KB).

Read the Cover letter from NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. (PDF, 438 KB).


PDF format (10.6 MB) 2013 Astrophysics Roadmap

The Astrophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate articulates a long-term plan for scientific exploration of the universe and the search for life beyond the solar system.