An Interim Report on NASA's Draft Space Technology Roadmaps

An Interim Report on NASA's Draft Space Technology Roadmaps

For the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to achieve many of its space science and exploration goals over the next several decades, dramatic advances in space technology will be necessary. NASA has developed a set of 14 draft roadmaps to guide the development of such technologies under the leadership of the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT). Each roadmap focuses on a particular technology area. OCT requested that the National Research Council conduct a study to review the draft roadmaps, gather and assess relevant community input, and make recommendations and suggest priorities to inform NASA's decisions as it finalizes its roadmaps. The success of OCT's technology development program is essential, because technological breakthroughs have long been the foundation of NASA's successes, from its earliest days, to the Apollo program, to a vast array of space science missions and the International Space Station. An Interim Report of NASA's Technology Roadmap identifies some gaps in the technologies included in the individual roadmaps. The report suggests that the effectiveness of the NASA space technology program can be enhanced by employing proven management practices and principles including increasing program stability, addressing facility issues, and supporting adequate flight tests of new technologies. This interim report provides several additional observations that will be expanded on in the final report to be released in 2012.

NASA SP.

NASA SP.


Supersheds

The Architecture of Long-Span, Large-Volume Buildings

Supersheds

Supersheds: The Architecture of Long-Span, Large-Volume Buildings deals with large single-volume buildings known as supersheds. This book explains and catalogues the changes in modern architecture of supersheds and illustrates this with significant and important examples. This text is composed of six chapters. The first chapter gives a background of 19th century architecture that made possible great exhibition halls and long-spans of the railway era. The second chapter deals with another type of supershed: airship and aircraft hangars. In the third chapter, industrial architecture in Europe and in the U.S. during the early 20th century is examined. Examples of beautiful factories and building designs are mentioned, and the effects of World War II on the type of building constructions are also discussed. The fourth chapter traces the evolution of the well-serviced multi-use shed. The architecture of the extruded shed, the cool box, and special structures are described as well. The major influences that affected building design in the second half of the 20th century are mentioned as the machine transfer technology and computers. The fifth chapter explains the concept of ""more with less,"" where the task is to accomplish more with less material. Space structures, suspended roof structures, and air-supported structures are given as examples. The last chapter discusses the future of modern architecture along with new forms, materials, and technology, such as solid state chemistry, computers, and biotechnology. Architects, civil and construction engineers, architectural students, and the general public who has an interest in reading about large building designs and supersheds will find this book interesting.

Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology

Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology

Over 125,000 entries cover 124 scientific and technological fields, including acoustical engineering, cartography graphic arts, microbiology, organic chemistry, radiology, and zoology

Choice, Not Fate

Shaping a Sustainable Future in the Space Age

Choice, Not Fate

Space technology has an important role to play in shaping a sustainable future, employing both human and robotic spaceflight capabilities. But the U.S. civil space program focuses the majority of its resources on the traditional paradigm of sending humans to increasingly distant targets (the Moon, Mars, and beyond). Rather than picking the destinations first and figuring out the goals later, the book suggests that NASA’s spaceflight programs should primarily target the creation of advanced capabilities, especially space infrastructure in the Earth-Moon system, and facilitate a greater role for the commercial sector in this endeavor. This will bring direct benefits to Earth more quickly and at the same time enable steady progress in the exploration and development of the solar system. The narrative begins by examining space in the context of today’s globalized world. Globalization has been a good news/bad news story, and space technology has been an important factor in this process. New wealth and international collaboration have been generated, but so have new problems and old problems have accelerated and spread. If we make the right choices, space development can do more to provide solutions in the decades ahead. The work of noted space futurists of the Cold War era is reviewed, with particular attention to the question: Why have things turned out differently from what most experts predicted and most advocates expected? The NASA exploration program finds itself locked into the “Von Braun paradigm” of the 1950s, which focuses on human spaceflight to the Moon and Mars without adequately explaining the reasons for doing it. This situation is not well suited to the political, economic, and societal environment of the 21st century. At a time when long-term strategic thinking is needed to address enduring global issues, many forces drive us to short-term thinking. The most significant of these forces for the nation’s top decision-makers come from the election cycle, the budget cycle, and the news cycle. Their effects on the presidency, the Congress, and the bureaucracy are examined using examples from recent history and current practices. The emphasis is on the need to change the incentive structure to promote long-term thinking since big technology projects have multi-decade life cycles and are aimed at problems that are national and global in scope. This shift in thinking leads to a revised rationale for spaceflight for the coming decades that is more directly tied to societal needs and ambitions. Space development will require more resources than NASA—or even all of the world’s civilian space agencies combined—can devote to the effort. Partnership with the commercial sector will be essential. Will space commerce be the stimulus for moving out into the solar system? If so, will it contribute to improvement of life back on Earth at the same time? Space commerce is growing fast, but is still small compared to other major global industries. Possibilities and pitfalls are discussed, along with examples of the checkered history of public and private sector attempts to promote space commerce. Making wise choices that have implications lasting decades is a daunting challenge, even when there’s broad agreement on a course of action. The book includes a chapter that warns: be careful what you wish for. Real-world examples (including the space shuttle and space station) demonstrate the difficulties of long-term strategic planning, and two futuristic thought experiments provide further illustration. The chapter concludes by demonstrating the long-term repercussions of poor choices, citing a current problem that has proven hard to fix despite widespread recognition that it needs fixing: export control for space technologies. If 21st century reality is driving us toward a course of action different from that of the Apollo/Cold War era, what should it look like, and what rationale should drive it? Voices of authority and advocacy for space ex

Mobile Satellite Communications Handbook

Mobile Satellite Communications Handbook

With a Preface by noted satellite scientist Dr. Ahmad Ghais, theSecond Edition reflects the expanded user base for this technologyby updating information on historic, current, and plannedcommercial and military satellite systems and by expanding sectionsthat explain the technology for non-technical professionals. The book begins with an introduction to satellite communicationsand goes on to provide an overview of the technologies involved inmobile satellite communications, providing basic introductions toRF Issues, power Issues, link issues and system issues. Itdescribes early commercial mobile satellite communications systems,such as Marisat and Marecs and their military counterparts. The book then discusses the full range of Inmarsat and othercurrent and planned geostationary, low earth orbiting and hybridmobile satellite systems from over a dozen countries andcompanies. It is an essential guide for anyone seeking acomprehensive understanding of this industry and militarytool. • Revised edition will serve both technical andnon-technical professionals who rely every day on mobile satellitecommunications • Describes and explains historic, current, and plannedcivil, commercial, and military mobile satellite communicationsystems. • First Edition charts and tables updated and expandedwith current material for today’s mobile satellite technology