NASA selects futuristic space technology concepts for early study
The concepts selected include 12 new projects for Phase I study, as well as five Phase II grants that will allow researchers to continue their previous work on innovative concepts. The projects are still in the early stages of development and are not considered official NASA missions. Phase I fellows will each receive $175,000 for nine-month study, and Phase II fellows will receive $600,000 each for study over a two-year period.
“NASA’s mission to explore the universe requires new technologies and new ways of doing things,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Missions Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters. agency in Washington. “The study of these creative ideas is the first step in turning science fiction into scientific reality.”
New Phase I projects include a new design for a crewed spacecraft that offers more radiation protection on long journeys than conventional crew pods, a concept for a completely silent electric aircraft, and an idea for a starship. space that could harness the sun’s heat to propel out of the solar system at unprecedented speeds.
John Mather, a Nobel laureate and astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, offers a concept that could help humanity study distant Earth-like exoplanets. A starry star the size of a football field in space would line up with ground-based telescopes, blocking light from distant stars and allowing astronomers to search for signs of life in the atmospheres of planets in other star systems .
A concept proposed by Sara Seager of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology would help scientists study a planet much closer to home: Venus. A probe would parachute into the planet’s atmosphere to capture a sample of gas and clouds. The sample would be brought to Earth, where scientists could search for signs of life in Venus’ atmosphere – one of the few potential places it could survive on the otherwise hot, high-pressure planet.