Investing In Technology To Enable The Future: NASA Creates Space Technology Mission Directorate
As part of the Obama Administration’s recognition of the critical role that space technology and innovation will play in enabling both future space missions and bettering life here on Earth, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has announced the creation of the Space Technology Mission Directorate. The directorate will be a catalyst for the creation of technologies and innovation needed to maintain NASA leadership in space while also benefiting America’s economy.
The Space Technology Mission Directorate will develop the cross-cutting, advanced and pioneering new technologies needed for NASA’s current and future missions, many of which also benefit America’s aerospace industries, other government agencies, and address national needs. NASA will focus leadership responsibility for the existing Space Technology Program in the mission directorate, improving communication, management and accountability of critical technology investment activities across the agency.
“A robust technology development program is vital to reaching new heights in space — and sending American astronauts to new destinations like an asteroid and Mars,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “A top priority of NASA is to invest in cross-cutting, transformational technologies. We focus on collaboration with industry and academia that advances our nation’s space exploration and science goals while maintaining America’s competitive edge in the new innovation economy.”
Associate Administrator Michael Gazarik will head the organization. He previously served as the director of the Space Technology Program within the Office of the Chief Technologist. Serving as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs, James Reuther brings years of expertise in technology development, research and project management to oversee the nine programs within the mission directorate. Reuther previously served as deputy director of the Space Technology Program within the Office of the Chief Technologist. Dorothy Rasco, formerly the business manager of the Space Shuttle Program and the manager of the Space Shuttle Program Transition and Retirement, will join the directorate as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Management, assisting with the organizations strategic planning and management.
The Space Technology Mission Directorate will employ a portfolio approach, spanning a range of discipline areas and technology readiness levels. Research and technology development will take place within NASA centers, in academia, and industry, and leverage collaboration with other government and international partners.
NASA’s Chief Technologist Mason Peck serves as the NASA administrator’s principal advisor and advocate on matters concerning agencywide technology policy and programs. Peck’s office will lead NASA’s technology transfer and commercialization efforts, integrating, tracking, and coordinating all of NASA’s technology investments across the agency. The Office of the Chief Technologist also will continue to develop strategic innovative partnerships, manage agency-level competitions and prize activities, as well as document and communicate the societal impacts of the agency’s technology efforts.
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