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An Interim Report on NASA's Draft Space Technology Roadmaps



NASA has developed a set of 14 draft roadmaps to guide the development of space technologies under the leadership of the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT). Each of these roadmaps focuses on a particular technology area (TA). The roadmaps are intended to foster the development of advanced technologies and concepts that address NASA's needs and contribute to other aerospace and national needs. OCT requested that the National Research Council conduct a study to review the draft roadmaps, gather and assess relevant community input, and make recommendations and suggest priorities to inform NASA's decisions as it finalizes its roadmaps. The statement of task states that "based on the results of the community input and its own deliberations, the steering committee will prepare a brief interim report that addresses high-level issues associated with the roadmaps, such as the advisability of modifying the number or technical focus of the draft NASA roadmaps." This interim report, which does not include formal recommendations, addresses that one element of the study charge. NASA requested this interim report so that it would have the opportunity to make an early start in modifying the draft roadmaps based on feedback from the panels and steering committee. The final report will address all other tasks in the statement of task. In particular, the final report will include a prioritization of technologies, will describe in detail the prioritization process and criteria, and will include specific recommendations on a variety of topics, including many of the topics mentioned in this interim report. In developing both this interim report and the final report to come, the steering committee draws on the work of six study panels organized by technical area, loosely following the organization of the 14 roadmaps, as follows: A Panel 1: Propulsion and Power TA01 Launch Propulsion Systems TA02 In-Space Propulsion Technologies TA03 Space Power and Energy Storage Systems TA13 Ground and Launch Systems Processing B Panel 2: Robotics, Communications, and Navigation TA04 Robotics, TeleRobotics, and Autonomous Systems TA05 Communication and Navigation Systems C Panel 3: Instruments and Computing TA08 Science Instruments, Observatories, and Sensor Systems TA11 Modeling, Simulation, Information Technology, and Data Processing D Panel 4: Human Health and Surface Exploration TA06 Human Health, Life Support, and Habitation Systems TA07 Human Exploration Destination Systems E Panel 5: Materials Panel TA10 Nanotechnology TA12 Materials, Structures, Mechanical Systems, and Manufacturing TA14 Thermal Management Systems F Panel 6: Entry, Descent, and Landing Panel TA09 Entry, Descent, and Landing Systems In addition to drawing on the expertise represented on the steering committee and panels, the committee obtained input from each of 14 public workshops held on each of the 14 roadmaps. At these 1-day workshops, invited speakers, guests, and members of the public engaged in discussions on the different technology areas and their value to NASA. Broad community input was also solicited from a public website, where more than 240 public comments were received on the draft roadmaps in response to application of criteria (such as benefit, risk and reasonableness, and alignment with NASA and national goals) that the steering committee established. This interim report reflects the results of deliberations by the steering committee in light of these public inputs as well as additional inputs from the six panels. The steering committee's final report will be completed early in 2012. That report will prioritize the technologies that span the entire scope of the 14 roadmaps and provide additional guidance on crosscutting themes and other relevant topics

Topics: Technology Utilization and Surface Transportation
Year: 2011
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