Artist's concept of ST5's micro-sats.|
The New Millennium Program (NMP) was created to identify, develop, build, and test innovative technologies and concepts for infusion into future missions. To determine the future capabilities needed, NMP is guided by NASA's Earth and space science "roadmaps." These roadmaps lay out the path of future scientific enquiry. They serve not only as a vital guide for NMP's selection of technologies, but are used to conceive and design the Program's test missions as well.
NMP's Space Technology 5 (ST5) is part of the Sun-Earth Connection roadmap,
a long-term strategic plan for understanding the Sun and its influence on the Earth and other Solar System bodies. ST5 will flight-test miniaturized satellites in the Earth's magnetosphere, to pave the way for future science endeavors.
NMP's technologists attempt to match the technical requirements outlined in the roadmaps with technologies emerging from the private sector, academia, non-profit organizations, and other government and NASA centers. ST5, managed by Goddard Space Flight Center, is being built in partnership with universities, designated small businesses (through NASA's Small Business programs), and other commercial technology providers. NASA and designated centers of education, along with other educational programs, will bring information about the mission and its results to the public.
Partnering accomplishes NMP's objective of reducing costs while space testing new technologies and concepts.