NA61/SHINE (SPS Heavy Ion and Neutrino Experiment) is a fixed-target experiment operating at the CERN SPS accelerator. The main goal of the Collaboration is to study the properties of the phase transition between confined matter and quark-gluon plasma by performing a two-dimensional scan of the phase diagram of strongly interacting matter. Within this program, collisions of different systems (p+p, Be+Be, Ar+Sc, Xe+La, Pb+Pb) over a wide range of beam momenta (13A-158A GeV/c) have been recorded.
Recently, the physics program of NA61/SHINE was extended by measurements of open charm production in A+A collisions which is the main goal of NA61/SHINE beyond 2020. In order to meet the challenges of the required spatial resolution of primary and secondary vertex reconstruction, the detector was upgraded by a micro vertex detector. A Small-Acceptance version of the Vertex Detector (SAVD) was successfully commissioned in December 2016 and first pilot data were collected for Pb+Pb collisions at a beam momentum of 150A GeV/c. This data allowed to validate the measurement concept and to perform the first direct measurement of open charm hadron production in collisions of nuclei at the SPS energies. In October and November 2017, large statistics datasets for Xe+La collisions at 75A and 150A GeV/c were registered and are under analysis now. This contribution will present the motivation of open charm studies as well as the current status and details of the analysis of the collected Pb+Pb and Xe+La data.