NASA’s Priorities

Kennedy Space Center Technology Roadmap Areas

ksc priority areas

Appendix A. Strategic Framework for NASA

I. NASA Mission Directorates

NASA’s Mission to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research, draws support from four Mission Directorates, each with a specific responsibility.

  • Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD): Research conducted by ARMD directly benefits today’s air transportation system, the aviation industry, and the passengers and businesses who rely on aviation every day. ARMD scientists, engineers, programmers, test pilots, facilities managers and strategic planners are focused on aviation’s future. They design, develop and test advanced technologies that will make aviation much more environmentally friendly, maintain safety in more crowded skies, and ultimately transform the way we fly. NASA’s aeronautics research is primarily conducted at four NASA centers: Ames Research Center and Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, Glenn Research Center in Ohio, and Langley Research Center in Virginia (https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch)
  • The Science Mission Directorate (SMD) leads the Agency in four areas of research: Earth

      Science, Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics. NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and the nation’s science community use space observatories to conduct scientific studies of the Earth from space to visit and return samples from other bodies in the solar system, and to peer out into our Galaxy and beyond. NASA’s science program seeks answers to profound questions that touch us all:

      How and why are Earth’s climate and the environment changing?

      How and why does the Sun vary and affect Earth and the rest of the solar system?

      How do planets and life originate?

      How does the universe work, and what are its origin and destiny?

      Are we alone?

      (https://science.nasa.gov/)

  • The Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate provides the Agency

with leadership and management of NASA space operations related to human exploration

in and beyond low-Earth orbit. HEO also oversees low-level requirements development,

policy, and programmatic oversight. Exploration activities beyond low-Earth orbit include

the management of Commercial Space Transportation, Exploration Systems Development,

Human Space Flight Capabilities, Advanced Exploration Systems, and Space Life Sciences

Research & Applications. (https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/index.html)

  • Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). STMD rapidly develops, demonstrates, and infuses revolutionary, high-payoff technologies through transparent, collaborative partnerships, expanding the boundaries of the aerospace enterprise. STMD employs a merit-based competition model with a portfolio approach, spanning a range of discipline areas and technology readiness levels. By investing in bold, broadly applicable, disruptive technology that industry cannot tackle today, STMD seeks to mature the technology required for NASA’s future missions in science and exploration while proving the capabilities and lowering the cost for other government agencies and commercial space activities.

     (https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/home/index.html)

Please visit each NASA organization website to find detailed information about current projects and current areas of interest

II. NASA Research Areas of Interest

NASA’s research priorities are defined by the Mission Directorates—Aeronautics Research, Science, Human Exploration and Operations, and Space Technology. Each Mission Directorate covers a major area of the Agency’s research and technology development efforts.

Research priorities for each of the Mission Directorates can be found at the following locations:

Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD)

Researchers responding to the ARMD should propose research that is aligned with one or more

of the ARMD programs. Proposers are directed to the following:

“Solicitations” and then “Open Solicitations”)

Science Mission Directorate (SMD)

Detailed information on SMD research priorities is available at the following URLs:

  • NASA Science Strategy: http://science.nasa.gov/about-us/science-strategy/
  • Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES):

http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/. Select “Solicitations”, “Open Solicitations”, and

then “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) – 2011”.

In addition, proposer can visit the following URL: http://science.nasa.gov/big-questions/ which summarizes the research questions across all four SMD divisions

Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate

For information on HEO programs, please go to http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/home/index.html and click on programs

Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD)

For the Space Technology programs, please go to

https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/about_us/index.html and click on STMD Program

NASA’s Technology Transfer Program

To search the online database of NASA-developed technologies in the public domain, visit: http://technology.nasa.gov/publicdomain

Appendix B: NASA Education Strategic Coordination Framework

I. Overview

As identified in the 2011 NASA Strategic Plan, education is one of the Agency’s cross-cutting management strategies. High achievement in STEM education is essential to theaccomplishment of NASA’s mission. NASA contributes to national efforts for achieving excellence in STEM education through a comprehensive education portfolio implemented bythe Office of Education, the Mission Directorates, and the NASA Centers. NASA will continue the Agency’s tradition of investing in the Nation’s education programs and supporting thecountry’s educators who play a key role in preparing, inspiring, exciting, encouraging, and nurturing the young minds of today that will manage and lead the Nation’s laboratories andresearch centers of tomorrow. http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/516579main_NASA2011StrategicPlan.pdf

The NASA Education Strategic Coordination Framework: A Portfolio Approach describes the alignment of NASA’s education portfolio with the 2011 NASA Strategic Plan and creates anagency-wide strategic planning, implementation and evaluation framework for NASA’s investments in education. This Framework establishes three educational outcomes:

  • Outcome 1 – Higher Education: Contribute to the development of the STEM workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA’s strategic goal through a portfolio ofinvestments.
  • Outcome 2 – Elementary and Secondary Education: Attract and retain students in STEM disciplines through a progression of educational opportunities for students, teachers, and faculty.
  •  Outcome 3 – Informal Education: Build strategic partnerships and linkages between STEM formal and informal education providers that promote STEM literacy and awareness of NASA’s mission.

The plan encompasses all education efforts undertaken by NASA and guides the Agency’s relationships with external education partners. Proposers are strongly encouraged to become familiar with this document. It may be found at http://www.nasa.gov/offices/education/performance/strategic_framework.html

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