Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > NASA must reinvest in nanotechnology research, according to new Rice University paper - Matthews, Evans, Moloney and Carey: Nanotechnology will be critical to future missions

Abstract:
The United States may lose its leadership role in space to other countries unless it makes research and development funding and processes — especially in nanotechnology — a renewed and urgent priority, according to a new paper from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

NASA must reinvest in nanotechnology research, according to new Rice University paper - Matthews, Evans, Moloney and Carey: Nanotechnology will be critical to future missions

Houston, TX | Posted on October 24th, 2012

The paper, "NASA's Relationship with Nanotechnology: Past, Present and Future Challenges," investigates how NASA has both guided and defunded cutting-edge nanotechnology development since 1996 at its own research facilities and in its collaborations with university scientists and laboratories. The research was conducted by a team at Rice that included Baker Institute science and technology policy fellow Kirstin Matthews, current Rice graduate student Kenneth Evans and former graduate students Padraig Moloney and Brent Carey. The paper sheds light on a broad field that holds tremendous potential for improving space flight by reducing the weight of spacecraft and developing smaller and more accurate sensors.

This area of research, however, saw a dramatic cutback from 2004 to 2007, when NASA reduced annual nanotechnology R&D expenditures from $47 million to $20 million. NASA is the only U.S. federal agency to scale back investment in this area, the authors found, and it's part of an overall funding trend at NASA. From 2003 to 2010, while the total federal science research budget remained steady between $60 billion and $65 billion (in constant 2012 dollars), NASA's research appropriations decreased more than 75 percent, from $6.62 billion to $1.55 billion.

The authors argue that the agency should restructure, refocus and strengthen its R&D programs.

"The United States currently lacks a national space policy that ensures the continuity of research and programs that build on existing capabilities to explore space, and that has defined steps for human and robotic exploration of low-Earth orbit, the moon and Mars," Matthews said. "With Congress and the president wrestling over the budget each year, it is vital that NASA present a clear plan for science and technology R&D that is linked to all aspects of the agency. This includes connecting R&D, with nanotechnology as a lead area, to applications related to the agency's missions."

The authors said that to effectively engage in new technology R&D, NASA should strengthen its research capacity and expertise by encouraging high-risk, high-reward projects to help support and shape the future of U.S. space exploration

"Failure to make these changes, especially in a political climate of flat or reduced funding, poses substantial risk that the United States will lose its leadership role in space to other countries — most notably China, Germany, France, Japan and Israel — that make more effective use of their R&D investments," Matthews said.

####

About Rice University
Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth
713-348-6327


Jeff Falk
713-348-6775

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

“NASA’s Relationship with Nanotechnology: Past, Present and Future Challenges” paper:

Kirstin Matthews bio:

Related News Press

News and information

Traffic jam in empty space: New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum January 22nd, 2017

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

Explaining how 2-D materials break at the atomic level January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Traffic jam in empty space: New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum January 22nd, 2017

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Announcements

Traffic jam in empty space: New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum January 22nd, 2017

A big nano boost for solar cells: Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies January 21st, 2017

A toolkit for transformable materials: How to design materials with reprogrammable shape and function January 20th, 2017

New research helps to meet the challenges of nanotechnology: Research helps to make the most of nanoscale catalytic effects for nanotechnology January 20th, 2017

Aerospace/Space

National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Falcon 9's Return to Flight January 19th, 2017

Eric Berger Wins the National Space Society's 2017 Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media January 19th, 2017

Infrared instrumentation leader secures exclusive use of Vantablack coating December 5th, 2016

New records set up with 'Screws of Light' November 20th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project