The US Department of Energy (DoE) has released its ‘Energy for Space’ strategy.
The strategy comprises measures the DoE plans to implement to further its role in powering the next generation of space exploration.
The strategy is based on four goals which the DoE will work towards with its 17 National laboratories;
Powering space exploration
The DOE will develop space-capable energy technologies (both nuclear and non-nuclear) for U.S. space customers, explore energy management systems for their potential application to space missions, and advance innovative energy generation, collection, storage, distribution, employment, dissipation, and thermal management technologies for space systems.
Solving the mysteries of space through innovation in space science research and breakthroughs in space-applicable technology.
The DOE will harness the capabilities and expertise within its laboratory complex and across its broad community of researchers to make scientific discoveries for space and in space, advancing the fundamental understanding of the universe and the ways in which humans can live and work in it safely, securely, productively, and profitably.
The DOE will make use of various implementing mechanisms such as
DOE programme-directed activities and funding, DOE-sponsored cross-discipline S&T initiatives, externally sponsored National Laboratory projects (known as Strategic Partnership Projects or SPPs) funded by NASA
and other agencies, National Laboratory-directed R&D activities, and technology transition and private sector partnership initiatives (e.g., InnovationXLab Summits, Cooperative R&D Agreements or CRADAs, etc.)
Supporting the defense of space-related US national security interests.
The DOE will provide technical capabilities, systems, multi-purpose sensors, and satellite development/deployment support with application to national
security, as well as civil space programmes.
Enabling the safe, secure, productive, and profitable development of the US commercial space industry.
DOE will drive innovation in space science research and achieve breakthroughs in space-applicable technology for future US space missions and grow US space commerce.
The strategy supports President Trump’s recently released National Space Policy and calls for the DOE to be an essential source of the science, technology and engineering solutions that are needed for advancing US leadership in the space domain.
Secretary of Energy, Dan Brouillette, said: “Under the vision outlined in today’s ‘Energy for Space’ plan, DOE’s scientific and engineering capabilities will be applied to overcome the challenges of vast distances, extreme conditions, complex operations, and unfamiliar environments to propel and power exploration, security, and commerce in space.
“In coordination with NASA, the interagency, and private sector partners, we must continue to harness the incredible capabilities throughout the DOE enterprise to expand exploration and utilization of the space domain.”
The US DoE has over the past 60 years played a key role in enhancing US space programmes by providing its National Laboratories’ multidisciplinary science and technology workforce and unique instruments and facilities and by partnering with government research centers, universities and private sector entities.