NASA Jump-starts Space Technology Program
Senior NASA officials are so eager to jump-start advanced technology efforts that they sought and won congressional approval to devote $36.5 million in 2010 funding to eight high-priority research projects.
Those projects, which include joint efforts with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to investigate horizontal launch capabilities, in-orbit satellite servicing and power-beam propulsion, are set to begin immediately, said Robert Braun, NASA chief technologist.
The majority of the space agencyâ€™s newÂ technology initiatives are set to begin in 2011 with the creation of the Space Technology Program. The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama included a request for $572 million to establish the Space Technology Program in NASAâ€™s 2011 budget. The program combines many of the space agencyâ€™s existing research and technology initiatives, such as the Innovative Partnerships Program, with a set of new programs designed to shepherd advanced technology from initial concept studies to flight testing, Braun said Aug. 10 during a visit to the NASA Ames Research Center here.
Work to be conducted in 2010 includes systems analysis, technology assessment and ground-based testing, Braun said. Continuation of these activities in 2011 will depend on the results of the work completed in 2010 and congressional deliberations, he added.
Read the full story.