JPL Strategic Technologies 2019 Document Released

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Strategic Technologies slides

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is a world leader in planetary exploration, Earth science, and space-based astronomy. JPL leverages investments in innovative technology development that supports the next generation of NASA missions.  The recently released Strategic Technologies document presents strategic technologies that will enable 2030-2035 science missions in pursuit of the JPL Quests and Strategic Implementation Plan. As JPL Director Dr. Michael Watkins notes, “These missions become possible with JPL’s long-term investment in the technology areas that Strategic Technologies describes.”

The 2019 document highlights nine priority areas for JPL to lead technology development over the next 20 years. The first six of these areas are “disruptive,” meaning JPL will need to develop this expertise, whereas as the final three are “core competencies” that JPL already leads and must continue to lead in order to ensure the success of its ambitious future missions. This document expresses an intent to preferentially invest in the development of these strategic technology areas.

Mars rovers and Earth visualization tools
Top:  Teams of robots working together to complete complex missions can accomplish more science with specialized capabilities. This is an artist’s impression of a team of robots exploring Mars. Bottom:  Virtual reality is allowing scientists to gain new perspectives on a rapidly changing planet. Here, Eric Larour explores Alaska’s Columbia Glacier from his office at JPL.

Strategic Technologies was developed with broad participation of the JPL science and technology community, and is dedicated to the JPL innovators whose skill, vision, creativity, leadership, and resolve make these achievements possible.

“Collectively, the technologies we describe in Strategic Technologies not only enable us to answer our guiding Quests,” says Dr. Fred Hadaegh, JPL Chief Technologist, “but also challenge JPL to change our approach to system design, engineering, and operation to remain at the forefront of scientific discovery.”

Get more information on and download a copy of the 2019 JPL Strategic Technologies document.