What were, in the 1960's, dreams of going to the moon and planets beyond, are no longer just dreams. This planet can no longer support the explosive growth of population and sustain that populace with the resources we have available. Sooner rather than later, we shall have to look to other planets, both for resources and eventually, for colonization.
But to do this we must start thinking now of new ways to accomplish these feats, employing a new way of thinking. The old ways of appropriating existing applications and reducing the size and power usage is not going to function for deep space travel. A new technology must be developed and here is where The Center has stepped in.
The Center’s Aerospace Program Office is bringing together researchers, developers and systems engineers with the capability and desire of establishing a new way of looking at space travel. Of one thing we’re certain, we will not accomplish our goals of travel and colonization of other planets utilizing the current technology. We must reduced power usage and payload in order to make deep space travel even possible. To this end we must look to a new science - nanotechnology, for our answers. By building smaller, (from the molecular, or atomic level upwards), instead of trying to reduce the size of existing technology, we will be turning science on it’s ear , but we will be moving father and faster.
The Aerospace Program Office of The Center has already set the standards, and is now in the process of implementing, research, development and systems engineering through all phases of selection and design validation through to the full scale maturation, manufacturing, testing, launch, orbital testing and on-orbit operations. The Center continues on through the major responsibilities of verifying performance readiness of launch vehicles, satellites, special payloads and ground systems.
The Center is working in cooperation with NASA; NRO, FAA and other civilian agencies, and international space organizations, as well as commercial entities, in the application of space related technologies to critical programs. In this way The Center is in best position to advise clients, and protect resources by ensuring the integrity of the research, and communicating the overlapping of research projects.
The science of nanotechnology is so new and so different that a new paradigm is required for its exploitation. The Center has developed that new paradigm by creating a center, which has experience from concept to application implementation. The Center has significant systems engineering, system integration, as well as research and development experience. Of equal importance is The Center’s low overhead and accountability important to research programs.
The charter of the Center's Aerospace Research Office is to provide proof of concept of emerging technologies and risk mitigation in support of Scientific Research and Development. This is accomplished through technology investigations, demonstrations and prototyping, as well as through coordination and integration activities, in support of technology transition or insertion into operational efforts. The Center's efforts are related to requirements and/or needs generated by Special Program Offices (SPO). The Center's efforts require integration with the Systems Requirements studies, the systems development efforts and the system engineering efforts of the SPO’s in order to accomplish the primary objectives of The Center.
The Center's Aerospace Program Office shall consist of 37 staff employees and numerous ad-hoc contractors. Organizationally, the Office shall consist of the Director and five Program Divisions. These division are:
Aviation Research Division
Exploration Research Division
Ground Systems Division
Space Research Division
Systems Analysis Division
The make-up of the staff is as follows: