NASA announced investment rounds in more than a dozen Projects that could speed up space travel, The Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program selected 14 proposals that would solve a range of problems ranging from space exploration to obtaining resources on the Moon or Jupiter. The projects come from researchers at several universities and incubators in the United States and are in the concept stage.
According to a press release, NASA will invest $175,000 in the development of technology that will enable the space agency’s future missions. These projects include Innovative Manufacturing Technologies, Power Systems, Sensors and Vehicles, Examples include a low-cost seaplane to explore the skies of Titan, a pipeline to transport oxygen to the Moon, or a nuclear fission block rocket engine.
the space agency believes that while Many look like something out of a science fiction movie, some will lay the foundation for the development of progress in space exploration. NIAC aims to determine their feasibility, so researchers will study the physics of the concepts and map out a path to create the technology needed to bring them to life.
Interplanetary travel, a gas pipeline to the Moon and more
One of the most notable projects of NIAC is bullet beama system that will transform deep space travel. The spacecraft will be propelled by a beam of microscopic particles which travels at more than 120 km/s, speeding missions to distant destinations. The beam is capable of propagating objects up to one ton and will allow Reach the Outer Planets in Less Than a Year, For longer distances, its builders ensure that a ship travels 100 AU (15,000 million km) in about 3 years. For context, it took Voyager 1.35 years to reach the heliopause (123 AU).
NASA has also given the green signal TitanAir, a low-cost seaplane that will fly above Titan’s atmosphere to study it. The spacecraft could collect methane and other organic material from Jupiter’s moons through its wings. Planet Enterprises scientists propose a porous feather that traps chemical compounds and collects them in capillary elements. TitanAir would take advantage of Titan’s low gravity and have a natural transition system for landing on lakes.
NASA projects are in the concept phase
another project involved Construction of a gas pipeline to the Moon’s south pole To guarantee the oxygen supply of space missions. Developed by the company Lunar Resources, 5 km pipeline Will transport oxygen from extraction source to liquefaction and storage plant, This resource will be used not only in life support systems, but also as an oxidant for launching rockets from the Moon.
For her part, Mary Knapp of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) proposes a space observatory made up of thousands of satellites, By positioning themselves in deep space, the satellites will help identify exoplanets through their magnetic fields. The Large Long Wavelength Observatory uses interferometry to combine signals from satellites to create a large virtual telescope.
NASA announced that all projects will receive resources from next month to begin the test phase. Although it’s still too early to get excited, the idea of one or more coming soon will drive space exploration for decades to come.