Science Mission Directorate (SMD)
The Science Mission Directorate (SMD) focuses on exploration and the advancement of the space sciences. SMD develops and deploys satellites and unmanned probes to study the solar system, galaxy and beyond. In addition, the Science Mission Directorate sponsors scientific research, seeking to understand the origins, evolution, and destiny of the universe and to understand the nature of the strange phenomena that shape it. SMD works with NASA’s partners around the world to answer these fundamental questions. SMD also seeks to understand the solar system in order to prepare for future human exploration, and what kind of life might exist beyond Earth. Other major initiatives of SMD include:
- The history of Mars and the formation of the solar system, which can help scientists learn more about Earth’s future and the possibility of human habitation on other planets.
- The search for Earth-like planets around other stars, which may shed light on the origins of the Earth and our solar system, as well as understand how planetary systems form. (Source: NASA)
More information on the direction of SMD research can be found in the SMD Science Plan for 2010, which identifies the direction NASA has received from the President and Congress, advice received from the nation's science community, principles guiding the conduct of the SMD, and challenges faced.
Information on funding for the SMD can be found under the NASA Budget tab.
MR (December 2010)