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NASA seeks community input to refine space technology priorities
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NASA seeks community input to refine space technology priorities
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Apr 17, 2024

NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) is revising its approach to technology development as it aims to enhance its missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The agency has identified nearly 190 national space technology needs and is soliciting input from the American aerospace community to prioritize these for future endeavors.

Dr. Kurt Vogel, associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters, emphasized the shift towards a more collaborative process to tackle the challenges posed by future missions. "STMD is developing many key technologies, but this open approach helps us better prioritize and align with stakeholder needs, ensuring efficient investment," he explained.

The initiative involves collecting wide-ranging feedback on critical technology shortfalls, such as additive manufacturing, cryogenic fluid management, and in-situ resource utilization. This feedback will guide NASA's resource allocation and support mission requirements effectively.

In the coming month, stakeholders from U.S. industry, academia, and government will contribute through virtual meetings and surveys. NASA will then compile and prioritize the data, planning to share the results with stakeholders and the public.

This prioritization will influence adjustments in NASA's technology development efforts to align with identified priorities. The process is also expected to foster new commercial opportunities and support the growth of the U.S. space economy.

NASA intends to make this feedback and workshop process an annual event to continuously adapt its investment strategies based on stakeholder input and ensure transparency and engagement.

"Our prioritization process must be rigorous, detailed, and consistent year-over-year," Vogel stated. "We aim to build trust and provide a valuable tool for guiding investment strategies in the civil space sector."

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