Three JPL-led technology validation studies move forward
NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) selected 11 technology investigators as part of the New Millennium Program, Space Technology 9 Project. The Project will flight demonstrate and validate technologies.
The selected investigators will conduct studies of their advanced spacecraft technologies that are candidates to fly within the next five years. The total project cost is $1.2 million for this phase.
NASA's New Millennium Program develops and tests emerging new technologies, specialized equipment and components to withstand the harsh environment of space. The goal of this phase of the program is to make the new technologies available for future space and Earth science missions.
"We are tremendously excited by the potential scientific payoff for future science missions enabled by these advanced technologies. We are very appreciative of the space technology community for joining with NASA in pursuit of the technologies," said NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, Dr. Ghassem Asrar.
Technology investigators grouped by capability areas:
Precision Formation Flying System Technology: technologies that will continuously and collaboratively control multiple spacecraft flying in formation to image, for example, planets in other solar systems. Control will use intersatellite communication and distance measurements. Marty Siemon of General Dynamics Decision Systems, Scottsdale, Ariz., was selected for "Intersatellite Communications Subsystem Study;" Jeffery Tien of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif., was selected for "Autonomous Formation Flying Sensor;" and Oliver Lay, JPL was selected for " Modulated Sideband Technology for Absolute Ranging (MSTAR) Range Sensor."
System Technology For Large Space Telescopes: technologies that include a large deployable sunshield and a mechanical cryogenic cooler, which cools optical systems to approximately -425 Fahrenheit. These capabilities will enable future large space telescopes to detect and characterize planets in orbit around nearby stars. Emanuel Tward of Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Redondo Beach, Calif., was selected for "Sunshade Cryocooler." Domenick Tenerelli of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif, was selected for "System Technology for Large Space Telescopes."
Descent and Terminal Guidance System Technology for Pinpoint Landing and Hazard Avoidance: technologies that will enable future missions to the moon, Mars, Europa, comets, asteroids, and other deep space destinations. These missions will be designed to perform in situ science investigations or sample return. During the missions, hazard avoidance and accurate landing near terrain of scientific interest will be essential for success. Larry Matthies, left, of JPL was selected for "Descent Image Navigation and Hazard Detection."
Click picture to find out more about Larry Matthies
Aerocapture System Technology for Planetary Exploration: technologies to demonstrate flight maneuvers executed upon arrival at a planet in which atmospheric drag is used to decelerate the spacecraft into orbit. William Congdon of Applied Research Associates, Inc., Centennial, Colo., was selected for "Advanced Silicone-17 Thermal Protection System for Aerocapture;" "Advanced Phenolic-20 Thermal Protection System for Aerocapture;" and "Advanced Silicone-20 Ablative Thermal Protection System for Aerocapture." James Masciarelli of Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation, Boulder, Colo. was selected for "Validation of Aerocapture Guidance Technology."
Solar Sail Flight System Technology: technologies that will deploy and operate a steerable solar sail with measurable acceleration. David Lichodziejewski of L'Garde, Inc., Tustin, Calif., was selected for "Inflatable Solar Sail for Multimission Applications."
The technology providers join five NASA-led system technology capability area teams to conduct concept definition studies. The studies will include technology-validation experiment descriptions; rationale for flight validation; system development approach; partnering relationships; schedule and cost data. NASA will evaluate the reports and select the concept area that will fly in space as the Space Technology 9 flight validation mission.