NASA funds IT research

NASA has awarded funding — $19.4 million over three years — for the research and development of new information technologies.

The space agency selected 20 proposals from more than 200 submissions, focusing on such IT areas as on-board processing, space-based communications networks, mission automation and high-end computing technologies for modeling.

Investigators include Jacqueline LeMoigne from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for "A Reconfigurable Computing Environment for On-Board Data Compression and Cloud Reduction" and Brian Schott from the University of Southern California for "Reconfigurable Hardware in Orbit."

The awards were made through the agency's Advanced Information Systems Technology program, which focuses on creating technologies, leading to smaller flight systems that can be built quickly and less expensively.

In February, the Bush administration asked Congress for $2.152 billion — a slight decrease from the 2003 request — for IT for NASA in fiscal 2004. A month earlier, the agency had placed a moratorium on those IT expenditures not considered mission-critical.

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