A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review by Committee to Review NASA 's Exploration Technology

By Committee to Review NASA 's Exploration Technology Development Program, National Research Council

In January 2004, President George W. Bush introduced the imaginative and prescient for area Exploration (VSE), which prompt NASA to 'Extend human presence around the sun process, beginning with a human go back to the Moon by way of the yr 2020, in practise for human exploration of Mars and different destinations,' between different pursuits. As stated within the VSE, major expertise improvement should be essential to accomplish the objectives it articulates.NASA's Exploration know-how improvement application (ETDP) is designed to aid, strengthen, and eventually give you the precious applied sciences to fulfill the objectives of the VSE. This ebook, a evaluate of the ETDP, is commonly supportive of the motive and objectives of the VSE, and reveals the ETDP is making growth in the direction of the acknowledged targets of know-how improvement. even if, the ETDP is working inside major constraints which restrict its skill to effectively accomplish these ambitions - the nonetheless dynamic nature of the Constellation application necessities, the limitations imposed through a restricted funds, the competitive time scale of early know-how deliverables, and the need to totally hire the NASA crew.

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In terms of technology infusion, a lack of clarity is inherent in many of the elements regarding the degree of autonomy needed by the customer versus the cost involved for mitigating risks identified in the Constellation Program and documented in the ISD project plan. This appears to be a function of unclear priorities provided by the Constellation Program for the infusion of these technical advances into the flight program. Ratings Quality: Green Flag The ISD project team has made well-thought-out critical choices for addressing the project objectives and risks within the limitations of the unclear customer requirements.

The heat shield design and thermal protection system (TPS) material qualification represent major technological challenges. The NASA team for this project stated that the present TRL is 4. The TRL needs to be advanced to 6 to support the CEV project. Status The project team is composed of NASA, the companies producing the materials, and the CEV contractor. The work is being carried out in a coordinated manner and, overall, is of good quality. The currently used metrics are appropriate. It appears that an upgrade to the arc-jet facility at NASA’s Ames Research Center (ARC) will take place that will improve its flow simulation capabilities.

In this way, a complete understanding of the combined effects of radiation, thermal, volatile, and particulate environments that will be likely on the Moon can be brought to bear on the design of reliable electronic components. Effectiveness in Developing and Transitioning: Yellow Flag Those with experience in the long-term life of critical electronic components and systems in uncrewed systems (NASA has plenty of expertise, especially at JPL as well as at GSFC) know how much likelihood of failure should be allocated to these systems.

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