NIAC

energyParachute Power for Exploring Moons and Planets with Atmospheres

Descent probe or lander power is a key resource for planetary exploration, and is a particular challenge where solar power is difficult to utilize efficiently and alternative power sources are expensive, risky, or complex. Short duration, battery-powered probes have successfully …

constructionDeveloping Low-Cost Giant Space Telescopes Adapted to Zero-G

By altering the very premise upon which all prior telescopes rely, The High Étendue Multiple Object Spectrographic Telescope (THE MOST) overcomes all of these problems: aperture, collection area, field-of-view, spectrographic performance, and compact size. Startling, THE MOST does it at …

artificial intelligenceFast Autonomous Microrovers for Rapid Exploration

There is a NASA NIAC study to develop improved exploration autonomy, in-situ 3D modeling, fast, far micro-roving and the aggregate means to achieve mission-in-a-week. The exploration autonomy includes planning of destinations and viewpoints for autonomous observations. Insitu processing computes high-fidelity …

nasaUltra-Light Inexpensive Nuclear Electric Space Probes

The Swarm-Probe Enabling ATEG Reactor, or SPEAR, is a nuclear electric propulsion spacecraft that uses a new, lightweight reactor moderator and advanced thermoelectric generators (ATEGs) to greatly reduce overall core mass. This will subsequently require a reduction in operating temperatures …