Modular and multifunctional systems in the new millennium program

Joel C. Sercel, Brantley Hanks, William Boynton, Costa Cassapakis, Edward Crawley, Michael Curcio, Alok Das, William Hayden, David King, Lee Peterson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


NASA's vision for science exploration in the next century is based on frequent, affordable missions enabled by small, low-cost autonomous spacecraft. Through the New Millennium Program (NMP), NASA is establishing a new and highly integrated approach to developing and flight-validating technologies that meet these goals. Enabling the mission scenarios envisioned and the overarching goal of reducing life-cycle costs presents significant challenges across all aspects of spacecraft design, implementation, and operation. The NMP has identified Modular and Multifunctional Systems (MAMS) technologies as addressing key capability needs for the new millennium. MAMS technologies fall into four general categories: i) materials and structures, ii) power and propulsion, iii) planetary surface interface systems, and iv) Process Millennia, our term for advanced computer-aided engineering design tools, development methods, and environments. The MAMS team has developed specific technology road maps and plans for each of these four technology areas. This paper describes these technologies and outlines our plans for their flight validation. Our technologies help to fulfill NASA's 21st century mission needs in different but synergistically supportive ways. For example, propulsion and power systems that deliver high specific energy and high specific power at low cost will provide NASA with rapid access throughout the solar system. Advanced materials and structures that deliver low mass, low cost, and low launch volume will allow microspacecraft to deploy large-diameter apertures with good surface precision improving power collection, thermal control, communications, and science instruments thereby reducing the cost and mass of new millennium spacecraft Advanced in situ science and sample return missions will be made affordable by planetary surface interface systems that provide low cost approaches to sample acquisition and retrieval and low cost carriers for the new generation of in situ science instruments. Finally, Process Millennia will enable the New Millennium vision of fleets of highly capable spacecraft affordably revolutionizing NASA's space science program by tying together all the technologies of tire New Millennium to reduce development cycle time and cost while increasing system performance and reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 1996
Event34th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 1996 - Reno, United States
Duration: Jan 15 1996Jan 18 1996


Other34th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, 1996
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


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