Statement of Task

The Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) will assess the technology investment strategy of the “Solar Power from Space” Program to determine its technical soundness and contribution to the roadmap that NASA has developed for this program. The ASEB will assemble a committee with expert knowledge in solar power and associated technologies to conduct an independent technical assessment that will embody the following:

  1. Critique the overall technology investment strategy for the Solar Power from Space Program in terms of the plan’s likely effectiveness in meeting the program’s technical and economic objectives.

  2. Identify areas of highest technology investment necessary to create a competitive space-based electric power system.

  3. Identify, where possible, opportunities for increased synergy with other research and technology efforts, including the application of these technologies to commercial programs or programs associated with NASA’s science and exploration enterprises.

  4. Provide, where possible, an independent assessment of the adequacy of available resources for achieving the plan’s technology milestones.

  5. Recommend changes in the technology investment strategy, as appropriate. In particular, identify gaps or omissions in the program’s technology investment strategy that must be filled, if NASA is to field a full-scale system.

The ASEB will draw upon other elements of the NRC, as appropriate, in conducting this study. A final report will be issued at the end of the study.

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