Photo Credit: DARPA

NASA's New Millennium Program, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has selected 13 technology organizations to study advanced technologies that may fly in 2004 and 2005 as part of the Space Technology 7 project.

Space Technology 7 will test and validate advanced technologies that may become part of future NASA space missions. The newly-contracted studies will be completed by November. The technology concepts and providers are:

-- Aero-Entry/Capture/Maneuver -- technologies that allow a spacecraft to be captured into orbit via sophisticated controlled entry into atmospheres of planets (provided by the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.; NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.; Lockheed Martin Astronautics Operations Space Systems, Denver, Colo.)

-- Autonomy and On-board Processing -- software and hardware for an autonomously operated mission with a rapid sense-decide-act loop that integrates on-board science processing, activity planning and subsystem decision conflict resolution (provided by NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.; JPL; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.; the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.; BAE Systems, Information and Electronics Systems Integration Inc., Manassas, Va.)

-- Disturbance Reduction System -- sensor and thrust-producing technologies to control a space vehicle's trajectory so that its payload responds only to gravitational forces (provided by Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.; Busek Co. Inc., Natick, Mass.)

-- Solar Sail System -- technologies to deploy, control and operate a solar sail (provided by JPL; Swales Aerospace, Beltsville, Md.; Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.; AEC-Able Engineering Company, Inc., Goleta, Calif.)

"The Space Technology 7 integrated system flight validation concepts are very challenging advanced technologies," said Dr. Chris Stevens, Program Manager of the New Millennium Program at JPL. "I am very pleased by the number and quality of the responses to the solicitation and look forward to the results of the ST7 Concept Study Reports."

In December 2001, an independent review board at NASA will evaluate the reports and select which technology will fly.

The New Millennium Program was created in 1994 to identify, develop and flight-validate advanced technologies that can lower costs and enable critical performance of science missions in the 21st century. The program is managed by JPL for NASA's Office of Earth Science and Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

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