SWOT Mission Enters Phase A
(20-Nov-12) In the Fall of 2012, SWOT passed two important milestones and has now entered Phase A in the NASA mission development lifecycle. The milestones are common to all NASA satellite missions and include the Mission Concept Review (MCR) and Key Decision Point A (KDP-A). For SWOT, the MCR was a two-day process wherein mission science and the associated flight and ground mission design are evaluated to determine if they meet certain maturity criteria. KDP-A is a NASA-HQ programmatic review that follows MCR that provides direction for the an official project to be formed and enter the formulation phase (A). SWOT very favorably passed both reviews such that the mission is now in Phase A. Phase A will last for about 18 months and then progress towards subsequent milestones leading to Phases B, C, and D. The Launch Readiness is currently targeted for October 2020 with planned three year primary science operations phase (E).