Steering Committee for NASA Technology Roadmaps, National Research Council, National Academies. "Appendix E: TA02 In-Space Propulsion Technologies." NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities: Restoring NASA's Technological Edge and Paving the Way for a New Era in Space. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2012.
The scope of each of these technologies actually falls outside the scope of TA02, and NASA’s draft roadmap for TA02 does not suggest that any of them should be developed as part of TA02. Except for item 2.4.2, this section of the roadmap is used to highlight level 1 or level 2 topics in other roadmaps that are important to the TA02 roadmap— but that belong to other roadmaps. For example, with regard to 2.4.5. Power, the roadmap says:
Power systems play an integral role in all in-space propulsion systems for both human and robotic missions. The reader is referred to the Technology Area 3, Space Power and Energy Storage Systems.
Similarly, with regard to technologies 2.4.1, 2.4.3, and 2.4.4, roadmap TA02 refers readers to roadmaps TA04, TA12, and TA14, respectively, to learn the details of what should be done in these areas.
TOP TECHNICAL CHALLENGES
The panel identified four top technical challenges for TA02, all of which are related to the provision of safe, reliable, and affordable in-space transportation consistent with NASA’s mission needs. The challenges are listed below in priority order.
1 High-Power Electric Propulsion (EP) Systems: Develop high-power EP system technologies to enable high-ΔV missions with heavy payloads.
EP systems have a higher propellant efficiency than other in-space propulsion technologies that will be available in the foreseeable future, with applications to all NASA, Department of Defense (DOD), and commercial space