Technicians at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, prepare the heat shield for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), critical hardware to place the Curiosity rover on the red planet last August. This view shows the inner surface of the (MSL) heat shield, where technicians are installing electronics of an instrument for collecting data about temperature and pressure during descent through the (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin)

A Look Back and Ahead at NASA’s Space Technology Program

Posted by Doug Messier on February 25, 2013, at 6:29 am

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — As the New Year unfolds, NASA is looking forward as well as reflecting upon recent payoffs in its portfolio of space technology investments.

“Last year was an amazing year for space technology,” said Michael Gazarik, Director of NASA’s Space Technology Program (STP). “We are developing, testing, and flying technologies in over 800 projects. The technologies we need for tomorrow, we’re building them today.”

During its first full year with an operational budget, NASA’s STP moved from formulating technology development projects to implementing and executing of cutting-edge space technologies. With an acute understanding of the technological challenges facing NASA’s future missions, the program is continuing into 2013 with a focus on proving promising technologies that will be tested in the harsh environment of space.

“The agency’s future missions demand new technology to allow humans and robotic spacecraft to go further than they ever have before,” Gazarik said. “We are feeding the nation’s innovation economy, generating new businesses, creating good, high-paying jobs and enabling exploration.”

Read more: A Look Back and Ahead at NASA’s Space Technology Program | Parabolic Arc.

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