Science Mission Directorate (SMD)

The overarching role of NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is to provide fundamental research on profound science questions using space-based observatories and related assets. The nation's space research program in Earth and space science is overseen by the Office of the Associate Administrator for SMD. This work is carried out by engaging the external and internal science community to define and prioritize science questions and seeks to expand the frontiers of scientific pursuits pertaining to Earth Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science, Astrophysics, and Biological and Physical Sciences. The SMD provides virtual human access to the farthest reaches of space and time, as well as practical information about changes on planet Earth through sponsored research and a variety of robotic observatory and explorer craft.[1]


Source: NASA Science Mission Directorate

The structure of the Science Mission Directorate is outlined in the following organization chart.


Source: NASA Science Mission Directorate - 2020 Organization Chart

The individuals leading the Science Mission Directorate—including Division Directors, Program Directors, Branch Chiefs, and the Chief Technologist—are listed here.

Updated November 2020 by Kristen Johnson