Bioelectric space exploration will be studied by Matthew Silver This is work at the intersection of synthetic biology, space systems design, space operations, and electrical engineering. Proteins such as Prestin in the inner ear, or mechanosensitive ion channels found in almost all living organisms, translate nanometer movements into milli-volts of electricity. Scaling such ultra-sensitive piezo-electric mechanisms opens the door to space suits or bases covered in electricity generating Power Skins, charged by the Martian winds or the movement of astronauts through the Martian air. In a different direction, microorganisms such as Rhodoferax have been shown to convert Glucose or waste into electric potential, leading to the possibility for microbial fuel cells. One can imagine modifying such bacteria for integration in Electric Greenhouses that produce electricity and food while treating waste on space vehicles or exploration bases.
Photonic Muscle Telescopes: laser actuated material to control large (20-40m) aperture telescopes like the Terrestrial Planet Imager.
Module spacecraft held in place with superconductors This would blur the distinction between modules and formation flying.
Ponderomotive propulsion using high energy particles generated by lasers It could make high thrust,high ISP propulsion. Here is a description of a previously proposed ponderomotive plasma thruster.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.