The Thermosphere (DOT) Ionosphere (DOT) Mesosphere (DOT) Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) spacecraft being developed by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is the first mission in NASA's Solar Connections program. TIMED is a low-cost mission aimed at providing a basic understanding of the least explored and least understood region of the earth's environment, the atmospheric band extending from 60 to 180 kilometers in altitude. The TIMED suite of instruments is intended to determine the temperature, density, and wind structure in the Mesosphere, Lower Thermosphere and Ionosphere (MLTI) region including seasonal and latitudinal variations. TIMED is also intended to determine the relative importance of radiative, chemical, electrodynamic, and dynamic sources and sinks of energy for the thermal structure of the MLTI. This paper provides an overview of the TIMED mission, discussing science objectives, mission architecture, spacecraft and ground system design, and the decoupled mission operations concept. The focus of this discussion will be on cost reduction efforts, especially those related to advanced technology. This paper also provides a brief introduction to the four TIMED instruments (GUVI, SABER, SEE, and TIDI) and develops a context for understanding their common design elements.