NASA looking at dozens of advanced technology concepts

Aug 27, 2012 by Andy Tomaswick, Universe Today
The Contour Crafting Simulation Plan for Lunar Settlement Infrastructure Build-Up, a NIAC-supported concept. Rendering courtesy of Behnaz Farahi and Connor Wingfield

All the media focus surrounding the recent landing of NASA'S rover Curiosity has brought increased attention to space technology. Just in time to bask in the limelight, NASA has delivered a tech enthusiast's dream in terms of astounding new concepts that have recently been funded. They range in scope from nanosatellite technology to the exploration under the ice of Europa.

NASA's Innovative and Advanced Concepts program announced on August 1st that it has funded 28 studies for the upcoming year. Eighteen of the studies are considered " 1" projects, while ten are considered "Phase 2."

Phase 1 projects are the new, innovative ideas that NASA received during its call for proposals. Some other conepts include an air purification system with no moving parts, and a system that could use in situ lunar regolith to autonomously build concrete structures on the Moon, as pictured above. Each of the winning proposals, from a pool of hundreds, will receive $100,000 to pursue the idea further. Each team will report back to NIAC at the end of the year with a report on their progress toward the goals of the that were laid out in the proposal.

Phase 2 projects are pulled from the successful proposals from last year that reapplied for another grant. These projects have already made it through their Phase 1 development and will receive $500,000 for continuing research into the concept. These projects include such technologies as fusion-driven rockets and printable space-craft, and could move on to commercial or mission development if they successfully complete their Phase 2 goals. Other parts of NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist will help support those goals, as the NIAC only supports project up through the completion of Phase 2.

The NIAC ties nicely into NASA's new focus on the commercial side of space flight. Many of the concepts funded by the program could serve as the basis for viable commercial businesses, such as asteroid mining and robotic construction. But most importantly, NASA is still funding the risky, game-changing projects that could drastically transform the way people live their every-day lives. Tech enthusiasts everywhere should be happy with that concept.

Explore further: Google exec makes record skydive from edge of space

More information: www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/early… seIandII_awards.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA picks 120 research projects

Oct 15, 2007

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration has selected 120 research projects for phase 2 of its Small Business Innovation Research program.

Novel Technique for Imaging Distant Planets

Sep 30, 2004

A NASA institute has selected a new University of Colorado at Boulder proposal for further study that describes how existing technologies can be used to study planets around distant stars with the help of an orbiting "starsha ...

NASA selects 140 small business projects

Oct 06, 2005

NASA officials in Washington announced Wednesday the selection of 140 research proposals in its 2004 Small Business Innovation Research program.

NASA Refines Design For Crew Exploration Vehicle

Jan 13, 2006

NASA's Constellation Program is making progress toward selecting a prime contractor to design, develop and build the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), America's first new human spacecraft in 30 years.

NASA Investigates Revolutionary Space Exploration Concepts

Jun 16, 2005

GREENBELT, Md., June 16 (SPX) -- The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) has selected its 2005 Phase 1 awards. The Phase 1 awards are 12, six-month study proposals beginning in September that could revolutionize space ...

NASA seeks new research proposals

Mar 27, 2007

NASA said it is seeking research proposals for its Next Generation Air Traffic Management Airspace and Subsonic Fixed Wing projects.

Recommended for you

Hinode satellite captures X-ray footage of solar eclipse

11 hours ago

The moon passed between the Earth and the sun on Thursday, Oct. 23. While avid stargazers in North America looked up to watch the spectacle, the best vantage point was several hundred miles above the North ...

Asteroid 2014 SC324 zips by Earth Friday afternoon

20 hours ago

What a roller coaster week it's been. If partial eclipses and giant sunspots aren't your thing, how about a close flyby of an Earth-approaching asteroid?  2014 SC324 was discovered on September 30 this ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Cornelius2008
not rated yet Aug 27, 2012
Mars Prize would be this writ large.

Support Mars Prize write your congressmen or congresswoman, join the Mars Society.