and researchers need to work cooperatively with their peers outside the agency in a collaborative research and development partnership, where appropriate. Similarly, in the interest of expediting technology transition when OCT believes it is ready to hand off the technology for application, coordination with the end user needs to occur early and often. End users internal to NASA are the mission directorates in the agency in science, exploration, and operations. They are also partners. With a proactive culture of collaboration, OCT will encourage technology transition to end users in industry or other government agencies and departments, or in universities that might pursue new avenues outside NASA space objectives. The scope of this study included space technology needs of industry for commercial space and space technologies that address national needs like energy, medicine, etc. on a broader scale.


This report represents the compiled technical input, assessment, and prioritization of NASA’s draft roadmaps by six study panels and the steering committee. The panels, which were composed of subject-matter experts, were each responsible for evaluating one to four draft roadmaps. The steering committee was responsible for providing guidance to the panels, coordinating their work, and compiling both the interim report and this final report.

Chapter 2 describes the process used by each panel and summarizes their key results in the form of a prioritized list of top technical challenges and a description of high-priority technologies for each of the 14 draft roadmaps. A more detailed description of the results of each panel’s deliberations for each roadmap appears in Appendices D (for TA01) through Q (for TA14). Specifically, those appendixes contain the following:

•   A description of the draft roadmap’s technology area, including changes made by the panels to the list of level 3 technologies associated with each technology area,

•   The top technical challenges determined by the panel,

•   A detailed numerical assessment of the level 3 technologies,

•   A description and assessment of each of the highest-priority technologies,

•   A brief explanation of medium- and low-priority technology ratings,4

•   A discussion of development and schedule changes for technologies in the roadmap,

•   Other general comments, and

•   A summary of the public workshop held on the draft roadmap.

Chapter 3 describes the process used by the steering committee to take the inputs from the panels on each roadmap and develops recommendations on the highest-priority technologies for emphasis in the next 5 years of the 30-year window considered. Chapter 3 prioritizes the most important top technical challenges using an organizing framework defined by three technology objectives:

•   Extend and sustain human activities beyond low Earth orbit.

•   Explore the evolution of the solar system and the potential for life elsewhere (in situ measurements).

•   Expand our understanding of Earth and the universe in which we live (remote measurements).

Chapter 4 addresses observations and develops additional recommendations for topics that transcend a single roadmap, including many of the topics addressed in the interim report (which did not include recommendations).


NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). 2011. 2011 NASA Strategic Plan. NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

NRC (National Research Council). 2009. America’s Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs. The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.


4In Chapter 2 and the appendixes, the report focuses on providing detailed information and explanations only for technologies ranked as high priority

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