A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program
ebook ∣ A Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program
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In January 2004, President George W. Bush announced the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), which instructed NASA to "Extend human presence across the solar system, starting with a human return to the Moon by the year 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and other destinations," among other objectives. As acknowledged in the VSE, significant technology development will be necessary to accomplish the goals it articulates. NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) is designed to support, develop, and ultimately provide the necessary technologies to meet the goals of the VSE. This book, a review of the ETDP, is broadly supportive of the intent and goals of the VSE, and finds the ETDP is making progress towards the stated goals of technology development. However, the ETDP is operating within significant constraints which limit its ability to successfully accomplish those goals-the still dynamic nature of the Constellation Program requirements, the constraints imposed by a limited budget, the aggressive time scale of early technology deliverables, and the desire to fully employ the NASA workforce.