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NIAC

A proposal for building using lunar soil to make concrete for outposts was among the winne...

A submarine glider to explore the ocean of Europa, a solid-state air purification system and a way of making concrete out of lunar soil for Moon colonies - these are a few of the 28 proposals that NASA has selected for study and development under its NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program. Part of the larger Space Technology program, NIAC is the space agency’s way of kick-starting innovation that has the potential to improve future missions, aerospace systems and other capabilities.  Read More

A CubeSat with solar sails could be sent on a mission to the Martian moon Phobos (Image: N...

NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts Program provides funding to study a small number of highly advanced spaceflight concepts, with the goal of understanding the technological possibilities which will guide the development of future space missions. Under this program, a JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) researcher has proposed the use of a pair of CubeSats for an autonomous mission to retrieve samples from Phobos, Mars' larger moon.  Read More

Artist's concept of a NASA Mars Exploration Rover on the surface of Mars collecting sample...

NASA is looking to turn another staple of science fiction to practical use by studying ways to make “tractor beams” a reality. While none of the technologies under the microscope will be able to transport anything the size of a modified YT-1300 Corellian freighter – at least in the short term – the researchers will examine if it is possible to trap and move planetary or atmospheric particles using laser light so they can be delivered to a robotic rover or orbiting spacecraft for analysis.  Read More

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