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NASA Selects Futuristic Space Technology Concepts for Early Study
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 28, 2022

NIAC is funded by STMD, which is responsible for developing the new cross-cutting technologies and capabilities needed by the agency to achieve its current and future missions.

An astronaut steps into a body scanner and, hours later, walks on Mars in a custom-made spacesuit, breathing oxygen that was extracted from Mars' carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. On Venus, an inflatable bird-like drone swoops through the sky, studying the planet's atmosphere and weather patterns. Ideas like these are currently science fiction, but they could one day become reality, thanks to a new round of grants awarded by NASA.

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program fosters exploration by funding early-stage studies to evaluate technologies that could support future aeronautics and space missions. A new slate of awards will provide a total of $5.1 million to 17 researchers from nine states.

"As we set our sights on ever more challenging destinations for exploration with humans and robots, innovative ideas and future thinking will be critical to helping us reach new milestones," said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy. "Concepts like those being studied with this new round of NIAC funding are helping us expand the scope of the possible so we can make it reality."

The researchers selected to receive NIAC Phase I grants in 2022, their institutions, and the titles of their proposals are:

+ Darmindra Arumugam, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California: Cryospheric Rydberg Radar
+ Steven Barrett, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge: Silent, Solid-State Propulsion for Advanced Air Mobility Vehicles
+ Jason Benkoski, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore: Combined Heat Shield and Solar Thermal Propulsion System for an Oberth Maneuver
+ Elena D'Onghia, University of Wisconsin-Madison: CREW HaT: Cosmic Radiation Extended Warding using the Halbach Torus
+ Bonnie Dunbar, Texas A and M University in College Station: The Spacesuit Digital Thread: 4.0 Manufacture of Custom High Performance Spacesuits for the Exploration of Mars
+ Ivan Ermanoski, Arizona State University in Tempe: Breathing Mars Air: Stationary and Portable O2 Generation
+ Philip Lubin, University of California, Santa Barbara: Pi - Terminal Defense for Humanity
+ John Mather, NASA Goddard: Hybrid Observatory for Earth-like Exoplanets (HOEE)
+ Marcin Pilinski, University of Colorado, Boulder: In-situ Neutral-Optics Velocity Analyzer for Thermospheric Exploration (INOVATE)
+ Jonathan Sauder, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California: Starburst: A Revolutionary Under-Constrained Adaptable Deployable Structure Architecture
+ Sara Seager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge: Venus Atmosphere and Cloud Particle Sample Return for Astrobiology
+ Mahmooda Sultana, NASA Goddard: SCOPE: ScienceCraft for Outer Planet Exploration

The researchers selected to receive Phase II grants in 2022, their institutions, and the titles of their proposals are:

+ Javid Bayandor, State University of New York at Buffalo: BREEZE: Bioinspired Ray for Extreme Environments and Zonal Exploration
+ Zac Manchester, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Kilometer-Scale Space Structures from a Single Launch
+ E. Joseph Nemanick, The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California: Atomic Planar Power for Lightweight Exploration (APPLE)
+ Marco Pavone, Stanford University in California: ReachBot: Small Robot for Large Mobile Manipulation Tasks in Martian Cave Environments
+ Ethan Schaler, NASA JPL: SWIM: Sensing with Independent Micro-swimmers

Related links of the researchers selected to receive NIAC Phase I grants in 2022, their institutions, and the titles of their proposals is available here

Related Links
NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

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NASA plans mid-March test for SLS moon rocket's first flight
Washington DC (UPI) Feb 24, 2021
NASA officials said Thursday the space agency is making progress toward a crucial test in mid-March of the first moon rocket since the Apollo-era but the agency did not set a new launch date for the first lunar mission. NASA plans the full "wet-dress rehearsal" of the SLS moon rocket on the pad at 6 p.m. ET on March 17. The first such mission to the moon, although uncrewed, may happen in May, NASA's Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development, said i ... read more

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