Game Changing Development Program

Game Changing Development Office Group Photo

T he Game Changing Development Program is a part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. The Program advances space technologies that may lead to entirely new approaches for the Agency’s future space missions and provide solutions to significant national needs.  The program focuses efforts in the mid Technology Readiness Level (TRL) range of 3 to 5/6, generally taking technologies from proof of concept through component or breadboard testing in a relevant environment. The program employs a balanced approach of guided technology development efforts and competitively selected efforts from across academia, industry, NASA, and other government agencies. The program strives to develop the best ideas and capabilities irrespective of source.

GCD seeks to identify and rapidly mature innovative/high impact capabilities and technologies that may lead to entirely new approaches for the Agency’s future space missions. The Program will investigate novel ideas and approaches that have the potential to revolutionize future space missions. The most promising ideas will be advanced through significant ground-based testing and or laboratory experimentation typically by multiple performing teams using varied approaches. While advances in discipline and core knowledge are by-products of the GCD Program, the objective is to mature transformational innovations for system-level flight demonstration.

The GCD Program investment in innovative space technologies directly supports NASA’s mission to “Drive advances in science, technology, and exploration to enhance knowledge, education, innovation, economic vitality, and stewardship of Earth.”  GCD is a primary avenue to achieve the Agency’s 2011 strategic goal to “Create the innovative new space technologies for our exploration, science, and economic future.”  GCD’s focus on transformative space technologies will lead to advances in terrestrial capabilities as well and serve as a stimulus to the US economy while providing inspiration and opportunity to our nation’s youth.

See the NASA 360 video about the GCD Program by clicking here.

GCD projects and elements span the Space Technology Mission Directorate’s eight key technology thrust areas, providing emerging, radically different ideas or approaches that inspire new and different missions and mission architectures to accomplish long-term strategic goals.


Space Technology Mission Directorate Thrust Areas graphic