August 1, 2013.
The Flight Opportunities Program (FOP) provides access to relevant spaceflight environments to accelerate critical new technologies that will enable affordable access and future exploration of space. These relevant environments include frequent access to spaceflight altitudes, reduced gravity, and the ability for vertical takeoff and landing. The FOP provides access to technology demonstrations in relevant space-like environments by acquiring frequent flights on commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicles. A survey of program activities is being conducted to assess effectiveness of acceleration and maturation of new game-changing technologies. A portfolio of over 100 space-related technologies that have been accepted into the program’s payload pool is being analyzed. The survey includes a review of technology payloads, test objectives, launch vehicle requirements and flight results. Test plans, flight reports and data, and principal investigator feedback are being collected to assess technology advancement and flight environment suitability. The analysis will provide insights to improve overall program performance, reduce future program risk, and eliminate barriers for new technology insertion into future NASA space missions.
NASA Armstrong (Formerly Dryden) Flight Research Center
This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU).