space systems technology development enterprise. Its purpose would be to provide maturation opportunities and agency expertise for visionary, far-reaching concepts and technologies. NASA’s consideration should include implications for the agency’s strategic plan, organizations, resource distributions, field center foci, and mission selection process.
Recommendation 4.2: To allow for successful, sustained implementation of NIAC2 infusion objectives, NIAC2 should report directly to the Office of the Administrator, be outside mission directorates, and be chartered to address NASA-wide mission and technology needs. It is worth noting that this organizational structure was in place during the formation and initial operation of NIAC. To increase NIAC2’s relevance, NASA mission directorates should contribute thematic areas for consideration. The Innovative Partnership Program (IPP) offers characteristics compatible with effective and healthy, long- and short-term advanced concepts projects. The agency should consider adding a new element to the existing IPP to house the (internal management of) NIAC2, with its focus on technology readiness level 1 and 2 and higher concept studies.
Recommendation 4.3: Identification of center technical champions and provision for technical participation of NASA field center personnel in NIAC2 efforts—participation that can be expected to increase as NIAC2 projects mature—is recommended. Increased participation of NASA field center personnel, beyond review and management functions, may significantly enhance advanced concept maturation and infusion into NASA mission planning. As appropriate, Phase II and Phase III NIAC2 projects should include realistic transition plans to the appropriate NASA enterprises.