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NASA Picks 14 Research Concepts for NIAC Funding

Research funding

NASA Picks 14 Research Concepts for NIAC Funding

NASA has selected experimental space technology concepts from 14 researchers to proceed with early-stage studies.

The 14 programs will receive $175,000 grants under the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts, a program that funds initial stage studies to see if proposed technologies could support future missions. Ten of the 14 organizations are first-time NIAC funding recipients.

The projects to be funded include innovative sensors and instruments, manufacturing techniques and power systems, NASA said Tuesday.

One of the researchers to receive funding is Quinn Morley, a NIAC fellow and a principal investigator at Planet Enterprises. Her vision of a seaplane-like vehicle loaded with instruments could allow researchers to study the Saturnian moon Titan by soaring through the moon’s atmosphere and sailing on its lakes.

Mary Knapp, a research scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Haystack Observatory, proposed a space observatory that comprises thousands of small satellites to be positioned in deep space. The observatory could work to detect radio emissions at low frequencies, giving scientists deeper insights into the origins of the universe and the ability to measure the magnetic fields of terrestrial exoplanets.

The other concepts that will be funded include observatory telescopes, propulsion systems, oceanographic research techniques for icy planets, Mars habitation efforts and long-distance lunar characterization.

NIAC is funded by the Space Technology Mission Directorate, an agency that develops new technologies and capabilities that support NASA’s current and future missions.

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Category: Space