NASA Invests On Innovative Concepts: 2D Spacecraft, Microorganisms, E-Glider, Brane Craft & More

First Posted: May 05, 2016 06:40 AM EDT

NASA has chosen 13 novel ideas and proposals through NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC). This is a program that spends in transformative distributions through the growth of pioneering technologies. It emboldens groundbreaking research for the use of NASA's future missions.

The researchers who have been selected in the first round of grants from NIAC receive $100,000 and nine months to demonstrate the feasibility of their concepts through definitions and analysis. If they will pass the feasibility tests, they can apply for Phase 2 funding, in which they can receive an extra $500,000 and two more years to enhance and develop their ideas.

Steve Jurczyk, NASA's associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington said that the chosen NIAC proposals include a number of concepts for planetary and robotic exploration. He further said that NASA continues to value early stage concept studies for their future missions.

The 2D spacecraft, which is one of the selected concepts, would be sent to space to cover space debris and pull it out of orbit. On the other hand, the reprogrammable microorganisms would use the Martian resources into working electronics.

Among the selected novel concepts for NIAC 22016 are the following:

  •  Brane Craft
  •  Automaton Rover for Extreme Environments
  •  Fusion-Enabled Pluto Orbiter and Lander
  •  Mars Molniya Orbit Atmospheric Resource Mining
  •  Project RAMA: Reconstituting Asteroids into Mechanical Automatic
  •  NIMPH- Nano Icy Moons Propellant Harvester
  •  Molecular Composition Analysis of Distant Targets, Stellar Echo Imaging of Exoplanets
  •  strong>Journey to the Center of Icy Moons
  •  Venus Interior Probe Using In-situ Power and Propulsion(VIP-INSPR)
  •  Light Weight Multifunctional Planetary Probe for Extreme Environment Exploration and Locomotion
  •  2D Spacecraft
  •  Reprogrammable Microorganism
  •  Urban Bio-mining Meets Printable Electronics

Jason Derleth, NIAC program executive said that the NIAC 2016 Phase I competition was aggressive, as usual. He further said that all of the final candidates were outstanding, and limiting the choice to what fit in their budget was difficult. "We hope each new study will push boundaries and explore new approaches - that's what makes NIAC unique."


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