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Enhancing and Enabling Technologies
Pages 10-13

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From page 10...
... 45 Although technology is not specifically mentioned in the committee's charge, CAPS was encouraged to consider technological issues by the following comments in Vision and Voyages: "The scientific harvest from these robotic missions has been sensational, but the extraordinary breadth and depth of these discoveries would not have been possible without parallel technology developments that provided the necessary capabilities." 46 Thus, in addition to identifying priority science mission concepts requiring study prior to the initiation of the next planetary science decadal survey, CAPS also discussed several enabling and/or enhancing technologies that would benefit from further review in the coming years. These technologies are summarized in Table 3 and are described in more detail later in this section.
From page 11...
... Daughtercraft enhancements to large- and Substantial planetary science discoveries possible with small craft medium-class missions that expand the scope of their mothership by conducting complementary science and/or exploration of multiple locales Advanced radioisotope power systems Understand the expected demand for plutonium and associated power-conversion technologies to meet power demands of large-, medium-, and, potentially, small-class missions during the next decade Electric propulsion Understand the technology development plans for advanced electric propulsion Aerocapture Understand the technology development plans for aerocapture Optical communication Understand the technology development plans for free-space optical communication and how far it may be usefully extended into the solar system Autonomous operations Computing advances allow for more spacecraft autonomy in exploration, improving science return and reducing cost proposal for a comet surface (i.e., non-cryogenic) sample return mission is under consideration in the current competition for New Frontiers 4.
From page 12...
... complementary to an orbiter) ; exploring high-risk or uncharted regions; and serving as low-gravity laboratories." 51 One particular example of the use of CubeSat and related technologies noted in the 2016 report was that deployable, daughtercraft enhancements to large- and medium-class missions "could expand the scope of the mothership with complementary science or site exploration." 52 Communication and propulsion technologies, coordinated operations, autonomous operations, and risk posture are key areas of study in advance of the next planetary science decadal survey that could appropriately capitalize on this emerging technology area in mission concepts.
From page 13...
... The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) , 61 sponsored by NASA's Space Technology and Human Exploration and Operations mission directorates, is the next technology demonstration following the successful Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration, 62 a very successful pathfinder mission that flew aboard the Lunar Atmosphere Dust and Environment Explorer in 2013.

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