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Astrophsyics

About Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS)

The Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) Program is one of three focused programs contained within NASA's Astrophysics Division (APD), together with Cosmic Origins (COR) and the Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP). PCOS lies at the intersection of physics and astronomy. Its purpose is to explore some of the most fundamental questions regarding the physical forces and laws of the universe: the validity of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and the nature of spacetime, the behavior of matter and energy in extreme environments, the cosmological parameters governing inflation and the evolution of the universe, and the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Located at the Goddard Space Flight Center, the PCOS Program Office supports, tracks, and studies a suite of science missions and enabling technologies that focus on specific aspects of these topics. PCOS activities include:

  • Facilitating the PCOS Program Analysis Group (PhysPAG), which comprises standing Science Interest Groups (SIGs) engaged in particular branches of high-energy astrophysics, and shorter-term Science Analysis Groups (SAGs) convened to address related science and technology topics.

  • Keeping its members informed of upcoming developments and funding opportunities, both within NASA and at other agencies engaged in science and technology activities.

  • Soliciting, and prioritizing community-identified technology gaps that must be closed to enable or enhance future strategic Astrophysics missions with benefits to PCOS science. This technology gap prioritization informs APD’s strategic technology development solicitation, selection, and funding.

  • Managing funded technology projects with benefits to PCOS science.

The European Space Agency LISA observatory


PCOS News

Program News and Announcements

18 January 2021
Meeting of Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee (AAAC) on 26–27 January 2021 »  Details.
14 January 2021
NuSTAR General Observer Cycle 7 Proposal Deadline 29 January 2021 »  Details.
6 January 2021
Draft Astrophysics Explorers Program Solicitations Released for Community Comment for Solicitations for both Medium Explorer (MIDEX) and Missions of Opportunity (APEXMO) and Comments for both draft solicitations due by 25 February 2021 »  Details.
16 December 2020
The 237th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, Virtually Anywhere, 11–15 January 2021, will include Physics of the Cosmos events. The PCOS AAS2021 Meeting page lists currently scheduled sessions, presentations, chats, and displays »  Details.
4 December 2020
Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM) Step-2 Due Date. Step-2 proposals now due 3 February 2021. Step-1 proposal due date unchanged as 11 December 2020 »  Details.
4 December 2020
Release of Final text and Due Dates for ROSES Post-COVID Recovery program. Requests received by 4 January 2021 will be processed first. Final due date is 5 March 2021. »  Details.

Project News

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