General improvements in technology for use in space

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Unformatted text preview: or product is a stream of suggested projects, based on the identification of needs and the discovery of opportunities that are potentially consistent with NASA's mission. capabilities, priorities, and resources. In the NASA environment, demands for new systems derive from several sources. A major one is the opportunity to solve terrestrial problems that may be addressed by putting instruments and other devices into space. Two examples are weather prediction and communications by satellite. General improvements in technology for use in space will continue to open new possibilities. Such opportunities are rapidly perceived as needs once the magnitude of their value is understood. Technological progress makes possible missions that were previously impossible. Manned trips to the moon and the taking of high resolution pictures of planets and other objects in the universe illustrate past responses to this kind of opportunity. New opportunities will continue to become available as our technological capabilities grow. Scientific progress also generates needs for NASA systems. As our understanding of the universe around us continues to grow, we are able to ask new and more precise questions. The ability to answer these questions often depends upon the changing state of technology. Advanced studies may extend for several years, and may be a sequence of papers that are only loosely connected. These studies typically focus on establishing mission goals and formulating top-level system requirements and operations concepts. Conceptual designs are often offered to demonstrate feasibility and support programmatic estimates. The emphasis is on establishing feasibility and desirability rather than optimality. Analyses and designs are accordingly limited in both depth and number of options. 3.2 Phase A—Preliminary Analysis The purpose of this phase is to further examine the feasibility and desirability of a suggested new major system before seeking significant funding. According to NHB 7120.5, the major products of this phase are a formal Mission Needs Statement (MNS) and one or more credible, feasible designs and operations concepts. John Hodge describes this phase as "a structured version of the previous phase." Phase A—Preliminary Analysis Purpose: To determine the feasibility and desirability of a suggested new major system and its compatibility with NASA's strategic plans. Major Activities and their Products: Prepare Mission Needs Statement Develop top-l...
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