posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 05:54 PM
NASA has unveiled a new strategy for aeronautics research. They are working on six thrusts in the aviation industry.
Demand for mobility from the Chinese and Indian middle classes, energy and climate issues challenging the affordability and sustainability of
aviation; and technology advances in information, communication and automation that already are transforming other sectors more agile than
The reset is based on the assumption that US leadership in civil aviation will be at risk in as little as 20 years. The plan was inspired by the
story of Kodak, which became complacent, and lost its domination of the industry.
In 1998 NASA spent $1.7B on aerospace research. In 2013 NASA will spend $560M.
When the sector you serve is doing very nicely, thank you, it is hard to sound an alarm about the future. And when lawmakers see bulging order
books stretching years-out for commercial aircraft and engine manufacturers, it is hard to make the case for government funding of research that will
not produce results for a decade or more.
So NASA’s unveiling of a new strategy for aeronautics research is a bold and welcome move from a bureaucratic agency that often seems to have lost
its sense of direction (see page 21). The aeronautics reset is based on the fundamental assumption that U.S. leadership in civil aviation will be at
risk in as little as 20 years unless the nation acts to keep the pipeline of new technologies flowing. The revitalization plan—spearheaded by the
associate administrator for aeronautics, Jaiwon Shin—was inspired by the story of Kodak, which through complacency and lack of vision saw its
domination of the photographic film and camera market wiped out by digital imaging and smartphones.
Based on a comprehensive analysis, NASA is refocusing its aeronautics research on six thrusts shaped to help industry respond to three global
mega-drivers: demand for mobility from the growing middle classes of China and India; energy and climate issues challenging the affordability and
sustainability of aviation; and technology advances in information, communication and automation that already are transforming other sectors more
agile than aerospace.
This is hardly new. These same factors have underpinned Airbus’s and Boeing’s bullish forecasts for aircraft demand over the next 20 years, and
the international airline community’s drive to limit emissions and their costs. But those factors are also seen by nations that have made
development of an aviation industry a national priority. Unlike the U.S., those countries do not have skeptical lawmakers looking to cut government
R&D spending. Nor do they have the burden of a massive and aging infrastructure that must be modernized.
edit on 8/31/2013 by Zaphod58 because:
(no reason given)