NASA Wants Your Help

NASA wants you.

Kurt “Spuds” Vogel, NASA associate administrator for space technology, wants community input on space technology shortfalls to help the agency prioritize approximately 200 topics in space technology to improve how it invests its limited funding. He released a list of 187 “technology shortfalls,” covering 20 areas of existing technology that require additional development to meet NASA’s future needs—these range from space transportation and life support to power and thermal management.

You can provide input from now through May 13th by visiting this website, reviewing the listed technologies, and rating their importance. 

 “NASA has gotten into a battle rhythm with our stakeholders where we are setting our priorities more in the space of the activities that we’re engaging in and not, initially, about the problem space: the problems that we are solving,” said Vogel. He said that the old approach runs the risk of turning NASA’s space technology program into a “hobby shop,” he said, subject to the whims from policymakers. 

NASA will use the input and a separate internal agency effort to develop a ranked list of technologies and release it this summer, disclosing how different groups in industry and academia ranked the technologies. 

Vogel said he expected NASA to update the prioritization annually. “The first year or two will be where most of the changes will happen. After that, it will smooth out, and you’ll see it as a tool you can use in a similar way; we’re going to use it as well.”

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