WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) — NASA technology development efforts in the next five years should focus on high-priority technologies and associated technical challenges, a U.S. report says.
An emphasis on flight demonstrations for technologies that are nearly ready, and more budget allocations to advance and refine early emerging technologies, are also recommended in the report released Wednesday by the U.S. National Research Council, a private, non-profit research group based in Washington.
“It has been years since NASA has had a vigorous, broad-based program in advanced space technology development,” Raymond Colladay, chair of the committee that wrote the report, said. “Success in executing future NASA space missions will depend on advanced developments that should already be under way.”
The report recommends giving priority to technologies that will support three main facets of NASA’s overall mission — extending and sustaining human activities beyond low Earth orbit; exploring the evolution of the solar system and the potential for life elsewhere; and expanding understanding of Earth and the universe.
“If NASA can sustain implementation of its technology roadmaps — shaped by the priorities recommended in this study — they will form a solid foundation,” Colladay said. “This foundation will support a breadth of NASA missions, as well as commercial and national needs, and provide the agency with the means to achieve its long-term goals.”
The study that produced the report was sponsored by NASA.