1. Document its findings and recommendations in a report to the FOSS-SG

  2. As needed, support preparation by the Steering Group of an integrated report composed of FOSS-AO, FOSS-RP, and JCT reports; also, support NRC review and publication of the integrated report.

The task group should consider the draft final report of the Board 's former Task Group on Priorities in Space Research, as well as the same task group's published interim report, Setting Priorities in Space Research—Opportunities and Imperatives (NAP, 1992).


On behalf of the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council (NRC), and working under the oversight of the Future of Space Science Steering Group (FOSS-SG), the Task Group on Technology (FOSS-T) will study issues relating to better means to include advanced technology in science missions. The FOSS study is being sponsored by NASA and conducted by the NRC in response to the FY 1994 report language of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on VA-HUD-IA, and the FY 1995 report language of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee which reaffirmed the request for a formal NAS [NRC] assessment of the need for a national institute of space science.

In carrying out its duties in accordance with a written request from the NASA Administrator and authority from the FOSS-SG, the FOSS-T will analyze opportunities and obstacles in the incorporation of advanced technology into NASA's space sciences programs. The Task Group will specifically investigate the:

  1. Status of NASA's development, infusion, utilization, and transfer of advanced technology for space sciences; and the processes used by NASA in planning, selecting, and evaluating and terminating relevant technology development projects

  2. Effect of NASA's current organization and modes of internal communication (and potential alternatives) on technology development, infusion, utilization, and transfer

  1. Current relationships among NASA, private industry, and universities in the development of technology for space sciences

    Consideration will also be given to the:

    • interplay between innovation, risk management, and cost

    • technology exchange with other government agencies (e.g., DOD and NOAA)

    • effect of “smaller, faster, cheaper” on innovation

    • effect of NASA's goal to foster technology transfer to U.S. industry on its technology development for space sciences

    • assurance of flexibility to explore unconventional ideas

    • use of the Space Station in the development of technology for space sciences

    • effect of extremely prolonged space program and mission development times on the development, selection, and use of advanced technologies.

The FOSS-T will use as its starting point the NRC report prepared under its direction by the Committee on Space Science Technology Planning, SSB/ASEB, Improving NASA's Technology for Space Science (NAP, 1993). While advanced technology for spacecraft and other flight hardware should be the focus of the Task Group, it should not rule out consideration of other relevant technologies, such as that for improved ground-based user data access and distribution systems.

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