A strategy-to-task-to-technology process2 was presented wherein modeling and simulation would be used to focus technology investment on critical operational environments and to guide critical trade studies. Spiral development3 would be used to insert advanced technologies and evolve architectures. The new NASA organization, the Office of Exploration Systems (Code T), was described. The office will rely on lessons learned in NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD) about large projects and systems and will employ incentives and opportunities in a manner unique to NASA. The need for technology was discussed by the steering committee and presenters. Steidle said there was a huge role for technology development within the new vision and that he would be looking to industry to fulfill many technology needs.

John Mankins, director of human and robotic technology in the Development Programs Division of Code T, presented an overview of the Advanced Systems, Technologies, Research, and Analysis (ASTRA) framework. ASTRA is a “collection of road maps, priorities, gap analysis results, and metrics for the development of future spaceflight capabilities for human and robotic exploration.”4 Dr. Mankins said that successful implementation and pursuit of the new vision will require advances in diverse technology areas, and that a resilient, adaptive process is necessary to plan and execute investments in space technology.

Steering committee and audience members mentioned the need for infusion of new, innovative technologies external to NASA into the ASTRA plan. Dr. Mankins and other participants acknowledged that there was no good means to bring new, nontraditional ideas into the NASA procurement process, and that a better means is necessary.


This panel session focused on the various ways that technology can be used to transform5 current capabilities. Panelists provided input on the topic from their


The strategy-to-task technique is “an approach used to develop low-level, often system-specific, requirements for a system or capability through a process of decomposition.” (Michael Bathe and Jeremy Smith. “A Description of the Strategy to Task Technique and Example Applications,” Journal of Battlefield Technology, Vol. 5, No. 1, July 2002.) The strategy-to-task-to-technology process goes one step further by combining this technique with prioritizations of technology.


The spiral model of development was a term coined in 1988 by Barry Boehm, a member of the software community, in response to software development failures. Boehm formally defines the spiral development model in a 2000 report (Spiral Development—Experience and Implementation Challenges, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)/SEI-2000-SR-006, February 9-11, 2000, p. 9); however, the DOD commonly uses the following definition:

An iterative process for developing a defined set of capabilities within one increment. This process provides the opportunity for interaction between the user, tester, and developer. In this process, the requirements are refined through experimentation and risk management, there is continuous feedback, and the user is provided the best possible capability within the increment. Each increment may include a number of spirals. (Under Secretary of Defense (AT&L), memorandum dated April 12, 2002).


John Mankins, NASA Headquarters, “Advanced Systems, Technologies, Research, and Analysis to Enable Future Space Flight Capabilities and Realize the U.S. Vision for Space Exploration,” presented to the steering committee on February 23, 2004.


Transformation and transform, as used in this workshop, suggests a change that shifts a paradigm. For example, the transportation paradigm has been shifted several times (e.g., the invention of the automobile and the airplane).

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement