NASA Keck Time

The 2022A NASA Keck Call for Proposals is now available with proposals due September 16, 2021.

The 2022A Call includes a call for Key Strategic Mission Support (KSMS) proposals, as described in this announcement. Required but non-binding Notices of Intent (NOIs) for the KSMS proposals are due August 16, 2021 and should be submitted through this online site.

Click for 2022A semester information

Useful Links

The Keck Telescopes are two 10-meter aperture telescopes and are operated for the California Association for Research in Astronomy (CARA), the University of Hawaii (UH), NASA and the California Institute of Technology by the W. M. Keck Observatory in Waimea, Hawaii.

NExScI administers NASA's portion of the time on the Keck Telescopes, issuing the twice yearly proposal solicitations, conducting the peer review, and finalizing selections. If you require access to a past NASA Keck Call for Proposals, please email us at

NASA intends the use of the Keck telescopes to be highly strategic in support of on-going missions and/or high priority, long-term science goals. The NASA Keck call is open to a wide range of disciplines spanning from exoplanets and solar system topics to galactic and extragalactic topics.

The opportunity to propose as Principal Investigators for the NASA time on the Keck Telescopes is open to all U.S.-based astronomers (i.e. those who have their principal affiliation at a U.S. institution).

Subject to availability of funds, Principal Investigators of programs awarded time will receive limited research and travel funding with the amount determined through formulaic means. Successful Target of Opportunity and twilight observing proposals do not receive financial support since the observations may never be triggered. NExScI manages the Keck PI Data Awards (KPDAs) and will contract with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to administer their disbursement.

Remote Observing

Remote observing facilities (ROFs) at Caltech, Yale, and USRA (Columbia, MD) are available for use by NASA Keck time awardees. Scientists wishing to use the ROFs should start the approval process 5 weeks in advance of their scheduled observations.

Keck Observatory Archive

NExScI and WMKO maintain the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA), an archiving and access system for data collected with all past and present Keck instruments. All Keck data are publicly accessible following the 18-month proprietary period.

NASA Keck IRTF User's Group (NIKUG)

NExScI facilitates the NASA Keck IRTF User's Group (NIKUG). The NIKUG reviews all aspects of the operations of the facility, including budgets, observing proposal review, visitor support, telescope performance, maintenance, instrumentation, operational procedures, scientific results, and future plans. The group meets twice a year and reports to NASA Headquarters. Current membership of the NASA Keck NIKUG can be found here.

This NASA Keck web site is intended for professional researchers who wish to submit proposals for the NASA allocation of observing time at the W. M. Keck Observatory. For general public information, please visit the Keck Home Page.

(last updated August 16th, 2021 12:54:03)