The Southwest Initiative for Mars (SwIM), 15-9272Printer Friendly Version
Inclusive Dates: 11/01/01 - 04/30/04
Background - SwIM, the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) Initiative for Mars, was proposed and approved as a Focused Internal Research and Development (IR&D) project in late 2001.
Approach - The four specific goals of SwIM included:
SwIM was initially funded at a level of $2.1M, with a two-year term running through 2003. In 2003, a third-year extension was approved, accompanied by an increase in funding to $3.1M. SwIM's primary activities involved increasing Mars science and technology interest at SwRI, recruiting several established Mars scientists to SwRI, and seeding additional Mars science and technology work via 21 SwIM IR&D projects. SwIM also organized technical workshops and colloquia on Mars science and Mars technology efforts and built a skills database of Mars expertise for researchers to use.
Accomplishments - SwIM's accomplishments included:
In total, SwIM has directly generated more than $12 million in new external project work. As such, SwIM has clearly produced a strongly net positive return on investment. Perhaps more importantly, because of an active base of Mars-related work at the Institute, SwIM is expected to yield externally funded grants, instrument, technology, and mission contract proposals for many years. Indeed, if President Bush's mandate to NASA to undertake a human exploration program that could ultimately involve sending humans to Mars later in this century comes to fruition, the ultimate yield of SwIM may not be known for decades.