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Space Transportation


Achieving space flight remains a challenging enterprise. It is an undertaking of great complexity, requiring numerous technological and engineering disciplines and a high level of organizational skill. Human Exploration requires advances in operations, testing, and propulsion for transport to the earth orbit, the moon, Mars, and beyond. NASA is interested in making space transportation systems more capable and less expensive. NASA is interested in technologies for advanced in-space propulsion systems to support exploration, reduce travel time, reduce acquisition costs, and reduce operational costs. The goal is a breakthrough in cost and reliability for a wide range of payload sizes and types (including passenger transportation) supporting future orbital flight vehicles. Lower cost and reliable space access will provide significant benefits to civil space (human and robotic exploration beyond Earth as well as Earth science), to commercial industry, to educational institutions, for support to the International Space Station National Laboratory, and to national security. While other strategies can support frequent, low-cost and reliable space access, this topic focuses on the technologies that dramatically alter acquisition, reusability, reliability, and operability of space transportation systems.
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