National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

About the R&T Directorate


The Research and Technology (R&T) Directorate is responsible for developing, directing and maintaining the core research and technology capabilities at the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center. It executes research and technology development activities to advance the state-of-the art technologies in support of NASA’s missions: Aeronautics Research, Exploration Systems, Science, and Space Operations.

Current research and development activities are conducted using in-house facilities and in partnership with industry, universities, other NASA Centers and other government agencies.

In support of NASA’s Strategic Goals, R&T personnel are fully engaged in the implementation of projects in all four missions.

Current activities in Aeronautics Research involve numerous tasks generating knowledge to address the goals of three research programs: Fundamental Aeronautics, Aviation Safety, and Airspace Systems.

In Exploration Systems, the Center is pursuing many tasks in the Advanced Capabilities Project ranging from the advancement of propulsion and cryogenic systems to the realization of human-rated, long-life energy storage devices for launch and lunar missions.

Within the Science Mission, researchers are developing new technologies for the nuclear power radioisotope system as well as in-space propulsion systems.

The Center had a very active role in Return to Flight activities in Space Operations, and continues to support the Space Shuttle program with technology issues when they arise.

In addition, R&T is involved with the Space Station electrical power system and leading space communication and navigation technology development.

Technical competencies in the R&T Directorate are managed in the following divisions:

Research and Technology Excellence Statements

Organizational: An organization that is recognized for technical expertise that demonstrates agility and adaptability to meet technology needs for NASA Missions

Leadership: Leadership excellence is characterized by the ability at all levels to make tough decisions, delivering results through execution, articulation of vision, and an ongoing commitment to the development of human capital.

R&T Quality: GRC is recognized by external stakeholders as the place for producing the highest degree of innovation and originality in research, excelling in meeting the mission requests, addressing and solving technology barriers, producing high quality output/publications of lasting value, and achieving customer satisfaction.

Meet Commitments: Based on our recognized technical and management excellence, we will meet or exceed all our commitments to the NASA programs and our external partners within budget and on schedule. Our results/deliverables will reflect our status as a global technology leader.

Development and Mission Support: The technology produced and expertise of the R&T Directorate are valued and are indispensable for mission planning, design, and development throughout the universe (i.e. at least NASA, Other Government Agencies, industry, and academia).