NASA is always up for researching on new technology and upgrading the ones already existent to improve space missions. On February 26, NASA announced its future plans about a mind-boggling space technology that can turn science to fiction. The American space agency has funded 17 futuristic space technology concepts that have great potential.
In order to conduct further research, these NASA futuristic technologies have received a total of $5.1 million. This funding is part of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program which offers support to studies at an early stage.
The selected concept of NASA funding has two parts – Phase 1 and Phase 2. The Phase 1 includes 12 new projects. The Phase 2 includes 5 studies “that will allow researchers to continue their prior work on innovative concepts”.
As shared by the Deputy Administrator of NASA – Pam Melroy, “Concepts like those being studied with this new round of NIAC funding are helping us to expand the scope of the possible so we can make it reality”.
The Phase 1 of NASA’s futuristic technology project focuses on an innovative design for a crewed spacecraft that can ensure greater protection from sun’s radiation as compared to the existing models. Besides this, the technology includes concepts for “a completely silent electric airplane and an idea for a spacecraft that could harness the Sun’s heat to propel it out of the solar system at unprecedented speeds”
Notably, another concept by MIT’s Sara Seager is looking for a way to drop into nearby planets’ atmosphere to capture a sample of gas and clouds and fly back home to help scientists do more research about its findings.
NASA further stated that the futuristic technologies include “design for small climbing robots that could explore subsurface caves on Mars, a novel way of using nuclear power for spacecraft, and a concept for a swarm of 3D-printed swimming micro-robots that could explore ocean worlds like Enceladus, Europa, and Titan”.
Acting program executive at NIAC program – Michael LaPointe says, “As in years past, our new group of NIAC fellows showcases the creativity and vision of the space community at Large”.