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Stepping-Stones to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report
workshop did—contribute to the public discussion of technology policy for human and robotic exploration and development of space.
A framework for space technology investment and development, Advanced Systems, Technologies, Research, and Analysis (ASTRA), has been under development within the NASA human exploration of space organization. The framework, discussed in greater depth in Chapter 4, is intended to establish technology investment planning for space technology. When presented this framework at its December 2003 planning meeting, the steering committee deliberately chose to focus the first workshop in the series on specific policy issues that might need further treatment in the framework. The committee also planned input from other industrial sectors and government programs known for their innovative technology development processes. The committee recognized that many policy and technology issues could have been addressed in connection with the framework but decided that limiting the discussion to a few areas, including risk assessment and mitigation, international participation, and timelines and models for technology development; would allow for a more focused dialogue at the 2-day workshop.
ORGANIZATION OF THE WORKSHOP
The workshop agenda was divided into five discussion topics, including four panels and a series of NASA presentations:
Panel on the Rationale for Human and Robotic Space Exploration;
NASA exploration presentations—NASA Exploration Systems Office overview; Advanced Systems, Technologies, Research, and Analysis (ASTRA) for Space Flight Capabilities; and recent lunar and Mars architecture studies and technology drivers;
Panel on Technology as a Driver for Capability Transformation;
Panel on Risk Aversion—Flying in the Face of Uncertainty; and
Panel on International Cooperation/Competition—Why, How, When?
Several speakers were asked to serve as panelists on four of the topics. Each panelist was asked to provide a short oral presentation on the topic, after which session moderators directed the discussions. The first session centered on the rationale for civil human and robotic exploration and development of space and included discussions of specific roles for humans and robots (Chapter 3). The second session (Chapter 4) featured presentations by NASA personnel related to the new space exploration vision and NASA’s new organizational structure. Also presented at this session were system architectures for lunar and Mars missions. The third session examined the role of technology as an agent for organization and capability transformation (Chapter 5) and covered both barriers to and catalysts for transformation in various sectors. The fourth session focused on different aspects of risk and risk management as they relate to space exploration and technology management (Chapter 6). The final session discussed various issues involved in international cooperation in space exploration (Chapter 7).