The Earth System Science Pathfinder (ESSP) Program is a strategic investment by the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Earth Science Division (ESD).

The ESSP Program Office is located at Langley Research Center (LaRC) in Hampton, VA.

The ESSP Program Office objectives are to:

  • Ensure each program element (suborbital, orbital, instrument) is managed to its cost, schedule, technical and risk objectives by using the appropriate management approach.
  • Ensure success by continually performing assessments of ESSP projects and using lessons learned and best practices.
  • Promote decision making based upon clearly established cost, schedule, technical and risk parameters for each project.

The ESSP organization structure is designed to ensure knowledge transfer between projects and investigations. We form teams comprised of Mission Managers, Program Planning and Control analysts and Subject Matter Experts. By assigning personnel to multiple projects, ESSP is organized to facilitate mission success and to efficiently utilize Agency resources.


  • EVS: Earth Venture Sub-Orbital solicitation
  • EVM: Earth Venture Mission solicitation
  • EVI: Earth Venture Instrument solicitation

Acquisition-specific information can be found on the Science Office for Mission Assessments website.

Program Interfaces

The ESSP Program Office has interfaces with various organizations within and outside NASA to support ESSP projects. Examples of these organizations are below. The ESSP Program Office can facilitate interactions between ESSP projects and these organizations to ensure timely implementation of agreements.


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