National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Announcement – 2021-02-26

The LWS Science (formerly TR&T) element in 2021 ROSES has been released. The ultimate goal of the LWS Program is to provide a scientific understanding of the system that leads to predictive capability of the space environment conditions at Earth, other planetary systems, and in the interplanetary medium. Every year the LWS Program solicits Focused Science Topics (FSTs) that address some part of this goal.

To be responsive, proposed investigations must have objectives suitable for one of the four following Focused Science Topics (FSTs) for proposals this year:

  1. Impact of Terrestrial Weather on the Ionosphere - Thermosphere;
  2. Pathways of Cold Plasma through the Magnetosphere;
  3. Understanding the Large-Scale Evolution of the Solar Wind throughout the Heliosphere through the Solar Cycle; and
  4. Towards a Quantitative Description of the Magnetic Origins of the Corona and Inner Heliosphere.

Step-1 proposals are due September 8, 2021.

Step-2 proposals are due November 18, 2021.

Announcement – 2021-02-22

A new LWS Tools and Methods (LWSTM) call for ROSES proposal has been released. The call solicits tools, techniques and/or methods that enable critically needed science advances in the area of heliophysics research covered by LWS objectives, see LWSTM seeks innovative adaptations and applications of emerging AI techniques, concepts, methodologies, etc. to demonstrate their feasibility and potential to increase science return, as well as to inform missions in heliophysics research disciplines of promising techniques and capabilities. The LWSTM program element is intended to allow heliophysics research to be an early, innovative, and less risk-averse adopter of AI tools and techniques, especially in areas with potential for high payoff, if successful.

Proposed tools and/or methods must be able to proceed expeditiously leading to completion in one and half years.

LWSTM has been added to ROSES-2021 as program element B.18. Step-1 Proposals are due July 1, 2021 and Step-2 proposals are due August 31, 2021.

LWS Science Home

(Targeted Research & Technology)

The goal of the Living With a Star (LWS) Program is to develop the scientific understanding needed for the United States to effectively address those aspects of the connected Sun-Earth system that may affect life and society. A highly readable account of the Sun-Earth system can be found in the LWS TR&T-sponsored free book by John A. Eddy (NASA Publication Number: NP-2009-1-066-GSFC). In addition, the LWS program has sponsored the development of a set of highly accessible Textbook Series on Heliophysics and Space Weather for its Summer School programs.


The LWS Targeted Research and Technology (TR&T) program element solicits proposals leading to a physics-based understanding of the integral system linking the Sun to the Earth both directly and via the heliosphere, magnetosphere, and ionosphere. The program’s objectives can be achieved by data analysis, theory and modeling, and the development of tools and methods (e.g., software). LWS is a crosscutting program whose goals and objectives relate to NASA’s Exploration Initiative, as well as NASA's Strategic Enterprises, namely (and in no priority order):

  • Aeronautics - LWS characterizes those aspects of the Earth’s radiation belt environment needed to design reliable electronic subsystems for use in air and space transportation systems;


  • Biological and Physical Research – LWS defines the radiation environment beyond the Earth’s magnetosphere to enable exploration of interplanetary space by humans;


  • Earth Science - LWS improves our understanding of the effects of solar variability and disturbances on terrestrial climate change;


  • Exploration Systems and Space Flight - LWS develops the knowledge needed to predict solar energetic particle events that affect the safety of humans and technology in space; and


  • Space Science - LWS quantifies the physics, dynamics, and behavior of the Sun-Earth system over the 11-year solar cycle.


The LWS TR&T Science Definition Team (SDT) Report, 2003 identified particular scientific topics to be addressed using measurements by the LWS space flight missions, as well as data from other missions, and also by employing theory and modeling efforts. Among these topics are: the role of solar variability in climate and in stratospheric chemistry; ionospheric perturbations and scintillations; neutral thermosphere composition and density; geomagnetically-induced currents; energetic particles in the magnetosphere and atmosphere; and radiation associated with explosive events on the sun. The hazards to and effects on society, space-based systems, and human space flight are of particular importance to this program.

Significant progress toward quantitative understanding and predictive capability with respect to these problems will require large-scale, integrated modeling activities. Recognizing the need for activities that would be broader and more sustained than those that can be supported by a traditional NASA grants program, the TR&T Science Definition Team Report recommended that “…large modeling activities that address coupling across traditional science domains in the Sun-Earth chain specifically be included as strategic capabilities.” The TR&T SDT also recommended the formation of a TR&T Steering Committee in order to update periodically the designated strategic capabilities for future NRAs. The report of this Steering Committee is available at the Web site given above.