NIAC

cubesatImproved Solar Sail

The conventional means of collecting and redirecting solar sail light uses a metal-coated polyimide film but this is sub-optimal and unstable because the very large and very thin sail must be rapidly slewed away from the sun line for navigational …

asteroidsPrototype Optical Asteroid Mining Technology

Apis™ is a breakthrough mission and flight system architecture designed to revolutionize NASA’s human exploration of deep space and to enable massive space industrialization and human settlement. Apis™ is enabled by Public Private Partnership (PPP) and a series of inventions …

nasaGiant one kilometer Space Bubble telescopes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 …