NIAC Archive

nasaGiant one kilometer Space Bubble telescopes

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Devin Crowe gave an update on the NASA NIAC study on one-kilometer space bubble telescopes. The plan is bring liquid and gas and blow a large spherical bubble and then shine a wavelength to solify the material. They would spray …

mach effectMach Effect Propulsion at 60 millinewtons per kilowatt which is matches Hall ion thruster

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Refinement of the Mach Effect Propulsion using brass separation from the reaction mass has improved the thrust by about 65 times up to 60 millinewtons per kilowatt. This would be competitive with the best Hall ion thrusters if there is …

futureTurbolift could reduce health problems of weightlessness or low gravity

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A new artificial gravity concept could help astronauts endure long-duration missions in the near-weightless environment of space. NASA 360 takes a look at the NASA Innovative Advanced Concept (NIAC) known as Turbolift, a new approach to artificial gravity. This system …

MarsBeginner orbital tether for Phobos

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A sensor package that “floats” just above the surface of Phobos, suspended by a tether from a small spacecraft operating at the Mars/Phobos Lagrange 1 (L1) Point would offer exciting opportunities for science (SMD), for human exploration (HEOMD) and for …

futureSolar Surfing with coating that will reflect up to 99.9 % of solar radiance

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Robert Youngquist, NASA Kennedy Space Center, proposes to develop a novel high temperature coating that will reflect up to 99.9 % of the Sun’s total irradiance, roughly a factor of 80 times better than the current state-of-the-art. This will be …

energyContinuous Electrode Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion

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NASA recognizes within its roadmaps (specifically TA 3.1.6) that development of aneutronic fusion (such as p-11B) reactors with direct energy conversion (over 80%) would be an enabling technology to achieve low specific mass (kg / kW) through the elimination of …

asteroidsMicrowave-Sintered heat shields for low cost capture into earth orbit asteroids

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The two fundamental prerequisites for large-scale economic use of space resources are: 1. in-space manufacture of propellants from nonterrestrial bodies, and 2. in-space manufacture of heat shields for low-cost capture of materials into Earth orbit. The former has been the …

nasaImploding Liner Fusion Propulsion System

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NASA advanced innovative concepts has funded Michael LaPointe, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to develop a fusion propulsion system. It is an innovative modification to magneto-inertial fusion is proposed in which the pulsed, high current magnetic field coil and stationary …

futureVacuum airship would work in thin atmosphere of Mars

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Researchers propose to overcome some of the limitations of current technologies for Mars exploration and even extend current operational capabilities by introducing the concept of a vacuum airship. This concept is similar to a standard balloon, whereas a balloon uses …

energyFusion-Enabled Pluto Orbiter and Lander

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The Direct Fusion Drive (DFD) concept provides game-changing propulsion and power capabilities that would revolutionize interplanetary travel. DFD is based on the Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration (PFRC) fusion reactor under development at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. The mission context we …