Large Lakes of Liquid Water Could Be Near the Surface of Europa

Jupiter’s moon Europa has a liquid water ocean under ice and that ice has many mysterious double ridge formations. A double ridge formation was found and analyzed in Northwest Greenland. The Greenland formation has the same gravity-scaled geometry as those found on Europa. Using surface elevation and radar sounding data, researchers show that this double …

Read more

Megapixel Exoplanet Imaging in Weeks not Years via Gravitational Lens Missions

Slava G. Turyshev and his team are on their phase III NASA NIAC project to develop a solar gravitational lens telescope. At optical or near-optical wavelengths, the amplification of light is on the order of 200 billion times and with equally impressive angular resolution. If we can reach this region beginning at 550 AU from …

Read more

Combining Heat Shield and Propulsion for a Fast Solar Slingshot

NASA Advanced Innovations Concepts has funded research to combine a heat shield and solar thermal propulsion system to perform a solar Oberth maneuver in order to achieve the highest possible escape velocity from the solar system. This will enable missions ten to hundreds of times further than Pluto out to the Kuiper Belt Objects or …

Read more

PI Planetary Asteroid Defense

Philip Lubin has been funded by NASA NIAC to study a practical and effective method of planetary asteroid defense that allows for extremely short mitigation time scales if required. The method involves an array of small hypervelocity kinetic penetrators that pulverize and disassemble an asteroid or small comet. This effectively mitigates the threat using the …

Read more

Space Based Starshades Will Make Large Ground Telescopes the Most Powerful Exoplanet Finders

Hybrid observatories will combine a 100 meter diameter starshade in space with a telescope on the ground. The Hybrid Observatory for Earth-like Exoplanets (HOEE) would convert the largest ground-based telescopes now under construction (Giant Magellan Telescope, Thirty Meter Telescope, and Extremely Large Telescope) into the most powerful planet finders yet designed. No other proposed equipment …

Read more