NASA engages in a variety of technology development activities to enable NASA missions by broadening knowledge of and capabilities in aeronautics, science, and space. To manage and communicate this extensive and diverse technology portfolio, NASA uses a technology taxonomy. This taxonomy identifies, organizes, and communicates technology areas relevant to advancing the agency’s mission.
The 2020 NASA Technology Taxonomy provides a structure for articulating the technology development disciplines needed to enable future space missions and support commercial air travel. The 2020 revision is comprised of 17 distinct technical discipline based Taxonomies (TX) that provide a breakdown structure for each technology area. The taxonomy uses a three-level hierarchy for grouping and organizing technology types. Level 1 represents the technology area, which is the title of that area (e.g. TX01: Propulsion Systems). Level 2 is a list of the subareas (e.g. TX01.1 Chemical Space Propulsion). Level 3 categorizes the types of technologies within the subareas (e.g. TX1.1.1 Integrated Systems and Ancillary Technologies).
Also included is an example technologies section that provides a non-exhaustive sample of relevant technologies.
The taxonomy is a foundational element of NASA’s technology management process. NASA’s mission directorates reference the taxonomy to solicit proposals and to inform decisions on NASA’s technology policy, prioritization, and strategic investments. These investments are tracked in TechPort, a website that serves as NASA’s integrated technology data source and decision support tool. TechPort uses the taxonomy to organize the numerous, varied technology projects that NASA supports.