NASA just invested in 10 new visionary space technologies

Revolutionary space technology that'll take us into the future.

NASA just invested in 10 new visionary space technologies
Photo by NASA on Unsplash
  • NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program invests in new space technology concepts every year.
  • This year's technologies range from smart space suits to Venus aircraft.
  • These concepts will be put to the test to see if they are viable.

Nuclear propulsion and lunar mining conjure up wild visions of a new space age. Our best minds are currently working on making these speculative space inventions a reality. Those are just two of the technologies that NASA has selected to research and invest in as part of their NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program for 2019.

The program is funding a total of 18 studies of which they'll determine the feasibility of early-stage technologies that could contribute greatly to the advancement of space exploration.

From space debris cleanup to interstellar fly-bys, the technologies have the potential to usher in great innovative feats in outer space.

Here is a selection of 10 of the most exciting new NASA space tech investments.

Exoplanet mini-probe flyby 

NASA Glenn Research Center

Power for Interstellar Fly-by

Geoffrey Landis of NASA Glenn Research Center is leading the team behind the interstellar fly-by. They'd like to launch ultra-miniature probes to fly past an exoplanet of a nearby star. They'd be propelled by laser pushed sails.

The project is part of a larger NASA initiative called the "Breakthrough Starshot," which has a pool of $100 million to utilize for research. Landis is also on the Breakthrough Starshot Advisory council. They intend on launching a potential mission by around 2036.

An interstellar probe like this has never been seen before as the mass would be in the range of a few milligrams, far less than anything we've ever sent out. The team proposes "harvesting power from the motion of the spacecraft as it passes through the target system's ambient environment."

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