Science-enabling Technology

Achieving the Science Mission Directorate’s groundbreaking science goals often requires significant technological innovation—e.g., new instruments or cutting-edge capabilities. Each SMD science division—Astrophysics, Biological and Physical Sciences, Earth Science, Heliophysics, and Planetary Science—develops new technologies targeted to enable SMD science. Often, these efforts are accomplished via division-sponsored technology development or mission programs. The directorate also sponsors collaborative workshops where stakeholders examine how innovative technologies can enable Agency missions. In addition, SMD coordinates with other NASA directorates, government agencies, industry, and academia to ensure its research programs and missions have the technology they need to accomplish revolutionary science.

Technology Highlights

Unlocking the Sun’s X-rays

X-ray spectroscopy provides unique capabilities for answering fundamental questions in solar physics and for predicting the onset of energetic events like solar flares or coronal mass ejections, which can impact life on Earth. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and its partners are developing new instrumentation to make observing the Sun’s X-rays a reality.

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