By Committee to Review NASA 's Exploration Technology Development Program, National Research Council

In January 2004, President George W. Bush introduced the imaginative and prescient for area Exploration (VSE), which recommended NASA to 'Extend human presence around the sunlight process, beginning with a human go back to the Moon by means of the 12 months 2020, in guidance for human exploration of Mars and different destinations,' between different pursuits. As stated within the VSE, major expertise improvement may be essential to accomplish the pursuits it articulates.NASA's Exploration know-how improvement software (ETDP) is designed to help, enhance, and eventually give you the worthy applied sciences to satisfy the objectives of the VSE. This booklet, a evaluate of the ETDP, is greatly supportive of the cause and ambitions of the VSE, and unearths the ETDP is making development in the direction of the acknowledged targets of expertise improvement. despite the fact that, the ETDP is working inside major constraints which restrict its skill to effectively accomplish these targets - the nonetheless dynamic nature of the Constellation application standards, the restrictions imposed via a restricted finances, the competitive time scale of early know-how deliverables, and the will to totally hire the NASA group.

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The potential application of lean manufacturing and rapid prototyping technologies needs to be fully explored in the current ETDP. Experience has shown that these technologies can have a significant impact on cost and schedule. Ratings Quality: Yellow Flag Some team members appear to have little or no expertise in their project area. A lack of experience combined with limited interaction with industry can have a serious adverse impact on the quality of work. The lack of interaction with industry has resulted in situations in which NASA work has not yet reached the TRL level of similar projects in industry that are currently at TRLs of 6 or 7.

This approach does not represent the current state of the art and could lead to either an over- or underprediction of the bond-line temperatures late in the entry. While industry has been involved in producing candidate TPS material, there is no significant involvement of the national laboratories. However, organizations such as Sandia National Laboratories as well as other Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Defense (DOD) laboratories could contribute to this effort. Effectiveness in Developing and Transitioning: Yellow Flag Even though 40 years have elapsed since the Apollo 4 flight test and the state of the art in heat shield design has advanced significantly during that time, the ability to simulate a lunar-return Earth entry in ground-based facilities still does not exist.

Alternative designs are also being considered. The PCAD team and the LLPO are working closely to feed each other the results from their studies. For the descent engine, the team is carrying only one contractor, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, owing to cost constraints, which means that only one design is being considered. However, in terms of transition, the team is well positioned because the contractor has been involved from the beginning and has the experience to complete the full cycle of design, development, testing, and production.

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A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review by Committee to Review NASA 's Exploration Technology
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