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OCT/Technology Demonstration Mission Projects - Bridging the gap. That's the mission of NASA's Technology Demonstration Missions: to bridge the gap between need and means, between scientific and engineering challenges and the technological innovations needed to overcome them, between laboratory development and demonstration in space.

Charged with proving revolutionary, crosscutting technologies -- ones that could radically advance NASA's mission in space and reap untold benefits for science and industry here on Earth -- the Technology Demonstration Missions program seeks to mature laboratory-proven technologies to flight-ready status.

Once a technology is proven in the laboratory environment, the program becomes its bridge from ground to flight testing. System-level technology solutions are given the opportunity to operate in the actual space environment -- where they gain operational heritage, reduce risks to future missions by eliminating the need to fly unproven hardware and continue NASA's long history as a technological innovator. These cutting-edge technologies will allow future NASA missions to pursue bolder and more sophisticated science, enable safe and rewarding human missions beyond low-Earth orbit and enable entirely new approaches to U.S. space operations.

 

OCT/Game Changing Development Projects - The Game Changing Development (GCD) program investigates novel ideas and approaches that have the potential to revolutionize future space missions and provide solutions to significant national needs.

GCD will identify and rapidly mature innovative, high-impact capabilities and technologies and complement them with "new start" and competitively-selected projects by using a balanced approach of guided technology development efforts and competitively-selected efforts from across NASA, academia, industry and other government agencies.

The program will focus on taking technologies from proof of concept through component testing by investing in specific technology areas through component and subsystem testing. GCD work is done primarily in the laboratory with ground testing instead of space work. Successful technologies will transition to other program such as Technology Demonstration Missions or directly to flight missions.

 

HEOMD/Advanced Exploration Systems Projects - NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) program is pioneering new approaches for rapidly developing prototype systems, demonstrating key capabilities, and validating operational concepts for future human missions beyond Earth orbit. AES activities are uniquely related to crew safety and mission operations in deep space, and are strongly coupled to future vehicle development.

The AES program consists of about 20 small projects that target high-priority capabilities needed for human exploration such as advanced life support, deep space habitation, crew mobility, and extra-vehicular activity (EVA) systems. Early integration and testing of prototype systems will reduce risk and improve affordability of exploration mission elements. The prototype systems developed in the AES program will be demonstrated in ground-based test beds, field tests, underwater tests, and flight experiments on the International Space Station (ISS). In addition to developing building blocks for future missions, the AES program is exploring innovative ways to drive a rapid pace of progress, streamline project management, and use limited resources and the NASA workforce more effectively.

 

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