Within NASA and With Our Partners

Internal Synergy
External Partnerships

The Strategic Enterprises comprise an integrated national aeronautics and space program. A synergy of broad purposes, technology requirements, workforce skills, facilities, and many other dimensions was the basis for amalgamating these activities in NASA through the Space Act. The benefits of this synergy remain strong today.

Internal Synergy

The Space Science Enterprise works in partnership with the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) Enterprise to provide information essential to further human exploration and development of the solar system. This includes scientific information about likely human destinations such as the Moon and Mars, surveys and characterizations of space resources, and an evaluation of space radiation hazards. The partnership with HEDS also involves using Space Science Enterprise missions to test human exploration technologies in space and planetary environments. HEDS, in turn, provides Space Science with opportunities to conduct research. For example, Space Science flies payloads on the Space Shuttle, such as telescopes to study the ultraviolet universe, instruments to study the solar corona and the origin of the solar wind, and cosmic dust collection experiments. The International Space Station will provide further opportunities for these and other types of investigations. Ultimately, some of the most important and complex science goals, such as answering the question "Did life ever arise on Mars?," may need to be addressed by human explorers. Indeed, answering questions of this magnitude may well prove to be a significant part of the rationale for human exploration. Therefore, the synergy between these two Enterprises is strong--and certainly essential to the long-range success of both.

The Aeronautics and Space Transportation Technology (ASTT) Enterprise makes important contributions to the Space Science, Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE), and HEDS Enterprises. For example, Space Science and MTPE have long taken advantage of the ASTT Enterprise's expertise to design and build atmospheric entry probes for solar system exploration missions and Earth observation systems. Aero-acoustics and aerodynamics expertise has also been vital in preparing for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) program. Another example, ASTT's High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) program, provides the space science community with access to the most advanced computational technology, which furthers both research and the sharing of results with educators and the public. MTPE, in turn, provides ASTT with assessments of the atmospheric effects of aircraft emissions. The HEDS Enterprise will take advantage of the new launch technologies to be provided by the ASTT Enterprise.

The Space Science Enterprise enriches the MTPE Enterprise through studies of the Sun, the near-Earth space environment, Earth's middle and upper atmosphere, and other planets. For example, variations in solar radiation and particle emission cause variations in Earth's atmosphere, providing us with a better understanding of our terrestrial environment. The study of other planets, particularly Venus and Mars, provide an important context for understanding why Earth is capable of sustaining life and how some of the processes involved in global change behave in other planetary settings. Ultimately, this better understanding of our home environment sought by MTPE may help us create environments that can sustain humans on other worlds.

Synergies also exist among our Crosscutting Processes. For example, the Manage Strategically process provides information to the other processes regarding the requirements and mandates of NASA's external customers and stakeholders. This information is used to determine what knowledge to generate, what aerospace products and services are needed to meet national goals in science and technology, and what knowledge must be communicated to whom. The Generate Knowledge process provides scientific results and discoveries to the Communicate Knowledge process, which disseminates this information widely in a format that is understandable by a broad audience.

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External Partnerships and Cooperation

To encourage improved efficiencies for our human and capital resources, we are also developing synergies between the programs of the Enterprises and the capabilities of other partners in Govern-ment, industry, academia, and other nations.

MTPE is NASA's contribution to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, in which our research and observational priorities are coordinated with 11 other Federal agencies. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are building an integrated program of research on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon. NASA, NOAA, and the Department of Defense (DoD) have formed the Integrated Program Office for the development of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS)—the next-generation U.S. weather satellites in polar orbit. NASA, NOAA, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are collaborating on the Landsat 7 program, and NASA, DoD, and USGS are planning a Shuttle-based synthetic aperture radar mission to meet all three agencies' requirements for a digital terrain model of Earth's surface. NASA and the Department of Agriculture are cooperating on land-cover and land-use change research. We are also collaborating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to conduct natural hazards research and applications.

The Space Science Enterprise vigorously pursues opportunities to collaborate with other Government agencies about the origin, evolution, and destiny of the cosmos and life. Chief among these are the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy (DOE), and DoD. Among other activities, the National Science Foundation and NASA collaborate with the Smithsonian Institution in the search, collection, distribution, and curation of Antarctic meteorites. DOE and NASA have partnered in the provision of radioisotope thermoelectric generators for the Galileo and Cassini spacecraft. Through its Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, DOE has also contributed greatly to the development of instruments and sensors needed for several space science missions. DoD has been a major developer of high-sensitivity, large-area infrared detector arrays. In addition, recently declassified critical technology for large-area deployable optical systems will be of vital importance for future large telescopes in space. The Space Science Enterprise, in turn, contributes to some DoD objectives—for example, research on solar flares, coronal mass ejections, solar energetic particles, and the terrestrial middle/upper atmosphere and magnetosphere is important for DoD command, control, and communications systems.

The primary partner agencies and departments are the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense (including work specific to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Office, the United States Air Force, the Office of Naval Research, and other DoD organizations), and the Department of Energy.

HEDS has established over 20 cooperative agreements with the National Institutes of Health, including 18 memoranda of understanding. Cooperation with the NIH includes joint workshops on scientific topics of mutual interest, jointly funded projects, a highly successful effort in technology transfer of advanced cell culturing technology, and cooperative flight experiments. The National Science Foundation is a partner in Neurolab, an upcoming Space Shuttle/Spacelab mission dedicated to research on the nervous system. HEDS and the National Science Foundation have held cooperative discussions on nanotechnology, as well as biomedical technology and bioengineering.

Areas of cooperation with the Department of Energy include the use of ground-based facilities for simulating and studying the effects of space radiation, cooperation on studies on the biological effects of radiation, and cooperation on a fundamental physics experiment facility for the International Space Station.

Under a Memorandum of Agreement between NASA and DoD, an Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board oversees coordination on such HEDS activities as Multi-Service Launch System use for NASA near-term missions; Titan II use for NASA near-term missions; DoD use of the Shuttle as a primary dedicated DoD launch system; combined program office/single procurement for expendable launch vehicles; NASA use of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) when operational; ability of the TDRSS constellation to support DoD and NOAA satellites for the near and mid-terms; and transition of NASA satellite control operations to DoD. HEDS and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute cooperate on radiation biology studies of mutual interest.

ASTT works in alliance with its aeronautics and space transportation customers in industry, in the university community, and through several bilateral and trilateral relationships with DoD and the FAA. For example, the NASA-FAA Coordinating Committee provides for cooperative national programs in aviation safety, airspace operations, and environmental compatibility. The NASA-DoD Aeronautics and Astronautics Coordinating Board has fostered interagency planning for programs such as rotocraft and human factors research. The Board also is addressing cooperative activities for the National Aeronautics Testing Alliance. Another example of interagency planning is the Integrated Plan for Air Traffic Management Research and Technology Development produced by a NASA-FAA integrated product team.

Each interagency program includes regular consultations among the participating agencies to identify shared goals and objectives, collaborations, and interdependencies. As part of this process, we are working to identify common metrics and success criteria for each major milestone of the interagency programs.

NASA has also developed extensive alliances with its partners in other Government agencies to improve efficiencies for our human and capital resources, leverage unique capabilities, and reduce potential functional duplications. As a member of the National Science and Technology Council, which was established by the President in 1993, NASA participates in the planning of the diverse research and development initiatives of the Federal Government and the coordination of strategies for achieving shared goals and objectives. We have also worked closely with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, as well as agencies supporting space research and development to implement the President's National Space Policy and Goals for a National Partnership in Aeronautics Research and Technology. NASA obtains substantial procurement and contract administration services from DoD rather than duplicating these capabilities. We also cooperate with DoD and the General Services Administration in developing and maintaining the uniform Federal regulation governing acquisition. In addition, NASA relies on the Department of Treasury for processing payments to contractors, and the Agency utilizes and supports the Justice Department in criminal investigations.

International cooperation is a key element of the strategies for all four Strategic Enterprises. NASA seeks cooperation of mutual benefit with its foreign partners. Through this cooperation, global issues are addressed on a global basis. International cooperation helps meet NASA's goals and objectives by adding unique capabilities or expertise, increasing mission flight opportunities, providing access to locations outside the United States, and enhancing the scientific return. It also allows nations to share the cost of implementing space and aeronautics programs. NASA has extensive cooperation with Canada, Europe, Japan, and Russia. NASA also has expanding cooperation with developing spacefaring nations. NASA is working with other nations to identify new opportunities for cooperation consistent with the goals of the Agency.

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