NASA is funding nuclear probes for icy moons and other faraway tech ideas
NASA has funded a new set of conceptual concepts for space exploration that could one day be beneficial — perhaps even transformative.
NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program provides funding for early-stage studies in technologies that could support future missions. NIAC grants Earlier this month, the agency announced that $175,000 each would be awarded to 14 researchers investigating the limits of what is possible to allow NASA to evaluate potential new technologies.
This year’s NIAC Phase 1 selections include ideas for space telescopes, such as a new type of observatory consisting of thousands of small, identical satellites using an interferometry concept, and another that uses fluid formation in Microgravity to create a 164-foot (50-meter) wide undivided mirror for a new generation of space telescopes. Another telescope concept seeks to be able to resolve Earth-like planets orbiting Sun-like stars within 10 parsecs (32.6). light years) from Earth.
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Concepts of pellet beam propulsion and nuclear actuators for potential application to space transportation will be investigated. Flying boat to explore the huge moon of Saturn Titan and a fast-fission hybrid nuclear reactor to reach icy ocean-dwelling moons like Jupiter Europa It is also among the newly funded concepts.
“NASA dares to make the impossible possible. And that can only be made possible by the innovators, thinkers, and doers who help us imagine and prepare for the future of space exploration,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. statment (Opens in a new tab) Released by the agency on January 9.
“The NIAC program helps provide these forward-thinking scientists and engineers with the tools and support they need to catalyze the technology that will enable future NASA missions,” Nelson said.
the full list (Opens in a new tab) Ideas and Principal Investigators shortlisted for NIAC Phase 1 Scholarships 2023 are below:
- Fluidic Telescope: Enabling the Next Generation of Large Space Observatories (Opens in a new tab) (Edward Balaban, NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California)
- Photothrust allows exploration of the mesosphere (Opens in a new tab) (Igor Bargatyn, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia)
- Reach the oceans of the icy world using rapid fission retinal fission (Opens in a new tab) (Teresa Pineo, NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland)
- Bending forming of electrostatically driven large space structures (Opens in a new tab) (Zachary Cordero, MIT)
- An oxygen pipeline at the lunar south pole (Opens in a new tab) (Peter Currie, Lunar Resources, Inc. in Houston)
- Drive a pellet beam to detect space penetration (Opens in a new tab) (Artur Davoyan, University of California, Los Angeles)
- A new class of dual-modal thermonuclear/electric propulsion with an upward spinning wave cycle that enables rapid transit to Mars (Opens in a new tab) (Ryan Goss, University of Florida, Gainesville)
- The self-growth, biomineralization-enabled building blocks to equip habitats on Mars (Opens in a new tab) (Congrui Jin, University of Nebraska, Lincoln)
- The Great Longwave Observatory (Opens in a new tab) (Mary Knapp, MIT)
- TitanAir: a groundbreaking liquid suite to enable cutting-edge science (Opens in a new tab) (Quinn Morley, Planet Enterprises in Gig Harbor, Washington)
- EmberCore Flashlight: Long-distance lunar characterization with an intense negative gamma and X-ray source (Opens in a new tab) (Christopher Morrison, Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation – Space, in Seattle)
- Exoplanet Analyzer Interfero Coronagraph Astronomical Split: Detection and Characterization of All Earth-like Exoplanets orbiting Sun-like Stars within 10 Parsecs (Opens in a new tab) (Heidi Newberg, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY)
- Radioisotope thermal radiation cell power generator (Opens in a new tab) (Stephen Polley, Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY)
- Airgel Core Fission Fragment Rocket Engine (Opens in a new tab) (Ryan Wade, Positron Dynamics in Seattle)
The NIAC program began in 2011 and is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.
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