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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12471.
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A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program

A Review of NASA’s Exploration Technology Development Program

Committee to Review NASA’s Exploration Technology Development Program

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12471.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Contract No. NNH05CC16C between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12471.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12471.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12471.
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COMMITTEE TO REVIEW NASA’S EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

EDWARD CRAWLEY,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Co-Chair

BONNIE J. DUNBAR,

Museum of Flight,

Co-Chair

GARY L. BENNETT,

Metaspace Enterprises

ELIZABETH CANTWELL,

Los Alamos National Laboratory

SHYAMA P. CHAKROBORTY,

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems

RAMON L. CHASE,

Analytic Services, Inc.

GARY S. GEYER, Consultant,

Las Cruces, New Mexico

KENNETH GWINN,

Sandia National Laboratories

AYANNA HOWARD,

Georgia Institute of Technology

STEVEN D. HOWE,

Universities Space Research Association

JOHN R. HOWELL,

University of Texas at Austin

JOHN E. HURTADO,

Texas A&M University

RAMKUMAR KRISHNAN,

Fluidic Energy, Inc.

IVETT A. LEYVA,

Air Force Research Laboratory

RAYMOND MARIELLA,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

DANIEL MASYS,

Vanderbilt University

EDWARD McCULLOUGH,

Boeing Company

DOUGLAS MEHOKE,

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

JAMES F. MILLER,

Argonne National Laboratory

TODD J. MOSHER,

MicroSat Systems, Inc.

GUILLERMO TROTTI,

Trotti and Associates, Inc.

GERALD D. WALBERG,

Walberg Aerospace

IAN WALKER,

Clemson University

WILLIAM W. WANG,

The Aerospace Corporation

MARILEE J. WHEATON,

The Aerospace Corporation

Staff

JOHN WENDT, Study Director

BRIAN DEWHURST, Study Director (from January 2008)

KERRIE SMITH, Study Director (through December 2007)

SARAH CAPOTE, Program Associate

HEATHER LOZOWSKI, Financial Associate (through March 2008)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12471.
×

AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD

RAYMOND S. COLLADAY,

Lockheed Martin Astronautics (retired),

Chair

CHARLES F. BOLDEN, JR.,

Jack and Panther, LLC

ANTHONY J. BRODERICK, Aviation Safety Consultant,

Catlett, Virginia

AMY L. BUHRIG,

Boeing Commercial Airplane Group

PIERRE CHAO,

Center for Strategic and International Studies

INDERJIT CHOPRA,

University of Maryland, College Park

ROBERT L. CRIPPEN,

Thiokol Propulsion (retired)

DAVID GOLDSTON,

Harvard University

R. JOHN HANSMAN,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

PRESTON A. HENNE,

Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation

JOHN M. KLINEBERG,

Space Systems/Loral (retired)

RICHARD H. KOHRS, Independent Consultant,

Dickinson, Texas

IVETT A. LEYVA,

Air Force Research Laboratory

EDMOND L. SOLIDAY,

United Airlines (retired)

Staff

MARCIA S. SMITH, Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12471.
×

Preface

In January 2004, President George W. Bush announced new elements of the national space policy by issuing the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE).1 The new policy set out goals for NASA, including that of exploring the “solar system and beyond” with human and robotic missions—specifically, to “extend human presence across the solar system, starting with a human return to the Moon by the year 2020.” In the year that followed, NASA created the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) as the primary agent for the development of the exploration program. NASA assigned ESMD the primary responsibility for the development of space technology to support the exploration program. ESMD in turn created and charged the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) to execute this development.

In the report2 that accompanied the Science, State, Justice, and Commerce fiscal year 2007 appropriations bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives,3 NASA was directed to “enter into an arrangement with the National Research Council (NRC) for an independent assessment of NASA’s restructured Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) to determine how well the program is aligned with the stated objectives of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), identify any gaps, and assess the quality of the research.” Although that bill did not become law, NASA nonetheless asked the NRC to make this assessment.

A statement of task was developed by NASA and the NRC (see Appendix A), and a committee was formed by the NRC’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board to carry out this task.

The Committee to Review NASA’s Exploration Technology Development Program was assembled and approved by the NRC Governing Board on September 28, 2007. The committee consists of 25 members (see Appendix B) and includes a cross section of senior executives, engineers, researchers, and other aerospace professionals drawn from industry, universities, and government agencies, with expertise in all of the fields comprised by the ETDP.

1

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), The Vision for Space Exploration, NP-2004-01-334-HQ, NASA, Washington, D.C., 2004, p. iii.

2

U.S. House of Representatives, Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, Fiscal Year 2007, H. Rept. 109-520, Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, 109th Congress, 2nd Session, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 2006.

3

U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 5672, Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2007, available at http://thomas.loc.gov/.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12471.
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The committee held its first meeting on October 10-11, 2007, in Washington, D.C. The meeting included a series of presentations by NASA personnel that provided an overview of the administrative and technical background for the ETDP. A set of questions to be used in the assessment process was agreed on by the committee and was sent to NASA for distribution to the centers. This was done in order to provide the centers with a clear and concise idea of the issues that the committee was charged to assess. (See Appendix C for a list of these questions.)

A subset of the committee met at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on November 8-9, 2007, for specialized presentations and a tour of the laboratory. A second subset met at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, on November 27-30, 2007, and a third subset visited the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 11-12, 2007. At each site visit, specialized presentations of the projects that constitute the ETDP were made and a tour of relevant facilities was given. A lead specialist and at least two other committee members were selected to perform a concentrated review of each project. Their reports and preliminary ratings were discussed by all other members of the committee using e-mail and in teleconferences organized on January 8, 11, and 16, 2008, to ensure consistency in the ratings given to each project. These reviews formed the basis of the committee’s interim report, described below.

The full committee met for a second time on February 5-6, 2008, in Irvine, California, to continue its data-gathering activity, obtain clarification on selected areas of ETDP technologies, and examine in detail crosscutting issues that emerged as a result of the overall study process.

Following the second meeting, the interim report prepared by the committee was transmitted to NASA, on March 28, 2008.4 The interim report contained the committee’s assessments of each of the 22 ETDP projects, as well as a brief discussion of the crosscutting issues that the committee planned to discuss in the final report. The reviews of the 22 ETDP projects are presented in Chapter 2 of this final report and are largely unchanged from those delivered in the interim report. It is important to emphasize that the committee’s assessments were of the projects as they stood in November/December 2007. Thus the committee did not attempt to account for any technical progress made by the projects in early 2008.

The committee co-chairs briefed ETDP management and project leaders on the interim report on April 15, 2008. At that time, the committee solicited written comments from the program in response to the interim report. The resulting input was considered during the drafting of the final report.

The full committee met for a third and final time on April 21-22, 2008, in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, to come to consensus on its findings and recommendations and to begin drafting the final report. A number of teleconferences were held later to finish preparing the report for the NRC review process.

4

National Research Council, Review of NASA’s Exploration Technology Development Program: An Interim Report, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2008.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12471.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Steven Battel, Battel Engineering,

Jesse Beauchamp, California Institute of Technology,

Robert L. Crippen, Thiokol Propulsion (retired),

John C. Mankins, ARTEMIS Innovation Management Solutions, LLC,

E. Phillip Muntz, University of Southern California,

Simon Ostrach, Case Western Reserve University (retired),

David Van Wie, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and

Dianne Wiley, The Boeing Company.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Maxine Savitz, Honeywell Incorporated (retired). Appointed by the NRC, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12471.
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In January 2004, President George W. Bush announced the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), which instructed NASA to "Extend human presence across the solar system, starting with a human return to the Moon by the year 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and other destinations," among other objectives. As acknowledged in the VSE, significant technology development will be necessary to accomplish the goals it articulates. NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) is designed to support, develop, and ultimately provide the necessary technologies to meet the goals of the VSE. This book, a review of the ETDP, is broadly supportive of the intent and goals of the VSE, and finds the ETDP is making progress towards the stated goals of technology development. However, the ETDP is operating within significant constraints which limit its ability to successfully accomplish those goals-the still dynamic nature of the Constellation Program requirements, the constraints imposed by a limited budget, the aggressive time scale of early technology deliverables, and the desire to fully employ the NASA workforce.

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