NASA will pay the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) nearly $10 million over the next five years to establish a Solar-Planetary Sciences Center at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to conduct research and develop concepts and requirements for solar-planetary science missions under a collaborative research agreement announced May 3.

The five-year agreement, which runs through May 8, 2016, but can be extended an additional five years at NASA’s discretion, will allow UMBC and Goddard scientists to develop mission concepts and cooperate on observational, experimental and theoretical research in support of NASA’s strategic heliophysics science objectives.