NASA Funding New Tech For Space Exploration

In an effort to help advance our understanding of all things space, the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is funding six forward looking projects that involve next-generation technology to help us probe the universe.

"As NASA begins a new chapter in exploration, we're investing in these seed-corn advanced concepts of next-generation technologies that will truly transform how we investigate and learn about our universe," Michael Gazarik, NASA's associate administrator for space technology in Washington, D.C., said in a statement.

Here is a list of the six projects that were selected to move into Phase 2 of NASA's Innovative Advanced Concept (NIAC) program.

  • Propellant-less Spacecraft Formation-Flying and Maneuvering with Photonic Laser Thrusters (Young Bae, Y.K. Bae Corporation, Tustin, Calif.)
  • SpiderFab: Architecture for On-Orbit Construction of Kilometer-Scale Apertures (Robert Hoyt, Tethers Unlimited, Inc., Bothell, Wash.)
  • A Gravitational WaveDetector Based on an Atom Interferometer (Babak Saif, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.)
  • Super Ball Bot: Structures for Planetary Landing and Exploration (Vytas SunSpiral, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.)
  • Nomadic Exploration: Following Routes of Solar Sustenance and Temperate Climate (David Wettergreen, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Sample Return Systems for Extreme Environments: Phase II (Robert Winglee, University of Washington, Seattle)

Just a little reminder that there is a lot more interesting tech going on in the world than just mobile devices and the other gadgets we see on a daily basis. Very cool stuff.