This article discusses that a wealth of technological breakthroughs is likely to come from mimicking the interactions of biological systems and their response to the environment. The following next few decades will witness thinking, learning, evolvable aerospace systems. It will also see systems-on-a-chip, in which miniaturization allows all electronic systems of an aerospace vehicle (computer, memory, guidance, navigation, communications, power, and sensors) to fit on a tiny chip. Such aerospace systems cannot be realized with present technologies. The synergistic coupling of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and information technology with other leading edge aerospace technologies can produce breakthroughs in vehicle concepts and exploration missions, enable new science, and reshape our frame of reference for the future. The potential benefits of these technologies are pervasive and extend to several non-aerospace fields, such as high-performance computing and communications, land and sea transportation systems, health care, and advanced energy conversion and storage.

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