NASA’s Science Mission Directorate encourages using of innovative new technologies to to increase science returns on future missions dramatically. NASA sponsored the Technology Showcase – focused this year on planetary science – to foster discussions about new technologies that may substantially improve future missions identified by the science community.
The Showcase’s science organizing committee solicited abstracts from the planetary science community describing missions expected to be proposed to future planetary science solicitations. These included New Frontiers, Discovery, SIMPLEx Announcement of Opportunities, or directed Flagship and medium-class concepts identified by the National Academy of Sciences’ “Origins, Worlds, and Life: A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023–2032.”
Technology developers with relevant technology for those missions applied to showcase those technologies. Scientists, mission managers, and other interested parties were also invited to attend. The Showcase’s structure fostered direct discussions between technologists and scientists, and mission managers about the technologies’ potential application to specific future missions. The Showcase participants included 275 technologists, scientists, mission coordinators and NASA administrators.
Some comments from attendees:
“This was maybe the most useful event I’ve attended as a scientist/technologist/mission formulator.”
“We made a lot of connections with potential companies that could help us solve problems with mission design, architecture, etc.”
“Networking!!! Integration between science and engineering has been amazing.”
“I had a LOT of valuable conversations with people I had not met before with really interesting ideas and tech.”
“Thank you so much for an amazing Tech Showcase. We loved every second of it.”
“Terrific meeting, great concept, please do annually.”
“Terrific meeting, great“I really *really* liked the concept for this event, and I really hope you’ll hold it again and for other divisions (helio, astro, Earth). The idea of a “marketplace” where science/mission teams and technologists can mutually “shop” for each other is *excellent* and much needed. I especially liked having a whole day devoted to that networking rather than having to choose between attending talks and networking as you have to do at big meetings like AGU/AAS. I had a lot of fun with this, and I think others did too.” concept, please do annually.”