An exoplanet telescope, smart spacesuits and solar surfing are among the concepts NASA has chosen to explore further to determine whether they could transform space exploration.
The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program will fund 18 studies in hopes of developing technologies that could revolutionize human and robotic exploration of other worlds, including the moon and Mars.
One researcher will look at power harvesting from ultra-miniature probes to enable interstellar missions, another will study a design for a small satellite heliophysics mission to the outer solar system.
These new NIAC picks include Phase I and Phase II awards. The selected Phase I studies target a broad array of innovations. Each Phase I award is valued at roughly $125,000, helping researchers define and analyze their proposed concepts over nine months. If the initial feasibility studies are successful, awardees can apply for Phase II awards.