1.    Extend and sustain human activities across the solar system.

2.    Expand scientific understanding of Earth and the universe in which we live.

3.    Create the innovative new space technologies for our exploration, science, and economic future.

4.    Advance aeronautics research for societal benefit.

5.    Enable program and institutional capabilities to conduct NASA’s aeronautics and space activities.

6.    Share NASA with the public, educators, and students to provide opportunities to participate in our Mission, foster innovation, and contribute to a strong national economy.

As part of the effort to develop a detailed plan for implementing the Space Technology Program, OCT developed a set of 14 draft technology roadmaps. These roadmaps establish time sequencing and interdependencies of advanced space technology research and development over the next 5 to 30 years for the following 14 technology areas (Tas):

•   TA01. Launch Propulsion Systems

•   TA02. In-Space Propulsion Technologies

•   TA03. Space Power and Energy Storage

•   TA04. Robotics, TeleRobotics, and Autonomous Systems

•   TA05. Communication and Navigation

•   TA06. Human Health, Life Support, and Habitation Systems

•   TA07. Human Exploration Destination Systems

•   TA08. Science Instruments, Observatories, and Sensor Systems

•   TA09. Entry, Descent, and Landing Systems

•   TA10. Nanotechnology

•   TA11. Modeling, Simulation, and Information Technology and Processing

•   TA12. Materials, Structures, Mechanical Systems, and Manufacturing

•   TA13. Ground and Launch Systems Processing

•   TA14. Thermal Management Systems

These draft roadmaps represented the starting point and point of departure for the steering committee to evaluate and prioritize technologies and recommend areas for improvement. The roadmaps are organized through a technology area breakdown structure, which in turn served as the structure for evaluating the technologies for this study. Level 1 represents the technology area (TA), which is the title of the roadmap. Each roadmap describes level 2 subareas and level 3 technologies.


A set of criteria was established by the steering committee to enable the prioritization of technologies within each and, ultimately, among all of the technology areas of the NASA technology roadmaps. These criteria were chosen to capture the potential benefits, breadth, and risk of the various technologies and were used as a guide by both the panels and the steering committee to determine the final prioritization of the technologies.

Broad community input was solicited from a public website where more than 240 public comments were received on the draft roadmaps using the established steering committee evaluation criteria and other descriptive factors. The public and panels were given the same rubrics to evaluate the technologies so that the various inputs could be more fairly compared against each other.

A series of public workshops were held to solicit input from the members of the community who were interested in contributing to the discussion of the technology roadmaps. The workshops were organized by the various panels, and all included speakers specifically invited by the panel members. The workshops were open to the public and included times for open discussion by all members of the audience. The views expressed during the workshops were considered by the panel members as they assessed the level 3 technologies.

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