NASA Funds Visionary Smörgåsbord of Advanced Concepts

So, I bet you are just dying to know where the $3 million that NASA is spending on advanced technology research is going.

Well, the answer is: lot of places. Thirty in all. The $100,000 apiece research grants will fund the study of everything from fusion vehicle architecture and lunar lava tubes to printable spacecraft and something called “ghost imaging of space objects.”

And no, that last one is not going to Shaggy, Scooby and the rest of the gang at Mystery, Inc. Although that would have generated a helluva lot more publicity than boring old JPL. Yet another lost opportunity to get America’s youth and an entire generation of slackers interested in space. When will NASA ever learn??!!

But, I digress.

Check out the table after the break for full details on these visionary research project.

Principal InvestigatorProposal TitleOrganizationState
Duda, KevinVariable Vector Countermeasure Suit (V2Suit) for Space Habitation and ExplorationThe Charles Stark Draper LaboratoryMA
Ferguson, ScottEnabling All-Access Mobility for Planetary Exploration Vehicles via Transformative ReconfigurationNorth Carolina State UniversityNC
Gilland, JamesThe Potential for Ambient Plasma Wave PropulsionOhio Aerospace InstituteOH
Gregory, DanielSpace Debris Elimination (SpaDE)Raytheon BBN TechnologiesVA
Hogue, MichaelRegolith Derived Heat Shield for a Planetary Body Entry and Descent System with In-Situ FabricationNASA Kennedy Space CenterFL
Hohman, KurtAtmospheric Breathing Electric Thruster for Planetary ExplorationBusek Co. Inc.MA
Howe, StevenEconomical Radioisotope PowerUniversities Space Research AssociationID
Khoshnevis, BehrokhContour Crafting Simulation Plan for Lunar Settlement Infrastructure Build-UpUniversity of Southern CaliforniaCA
Kwiat, PaulEntanglement-assisted Communication System for NASA’s Deep-Space Missions: Feasibility Test and Conceptual DesignUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignIL
Mankins, JohnSPS-ALPHA: The First Practical Solar Power Satellite via Arbitrarily Large PHased ArrayArtemis Innovation Management SolutionsCA
Miller, DavidHigh-temperature superconductors as electromagnetic deployment and support structures in spacecraftMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyMA
Paul, MichaelNon-Radioisotope Power Systems For Sunless Solar System Exploration MissionsPennsylvania State UniversityPA
Pavone, MarcoSpacecraft/Rover Hybrids for the Exploration of Small Solar System BodiesNASA Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCA
Ritter, JoeUltra-Light “Photonic Muscle” Space StructuresUniversity of HawaiiHI
Scott, GregoryLow Power Microrobotics Utilizing Biologically Inspired Energy GenerationNaval Research LaboratoryDC
Short, KendraPrintable SpacecraftNASA Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCA
Sibille, LaurentIn-Space Propulsion Engine Architecture based on Sublimation of Planetary Resources: from exploration robots to NEO mitigationNASA Kennedy Space CenterFL
Silvera, IsaacMetallic Hydrogen: A Game Changing Rocket PropellantHarvard UniversityMA
Slough, JohnNuclear Propulsion through Direct Conversion of Fusion EnergyMSNW LLCWA
Staehle, RobertInterplanetary CubeSats: Opening the Solar System to a Broad Community at Lower CostNASA Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCA
Strekalov, DmitryGhost Imaging of Space ObjectsNASA Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCA
Stysley, PaulLaser-Based Optical Trap for Remote Sampling of Interplanetary and Atmospheric Particulate MatterNASA Goddard Space Flight CenterMD
Swartzlander, GroverSteering of Solar Sails Using Optical Lift ForceRochester Institute of TechnologyNY
Tarditi, AlfonsoAneutronic Fusion Spacecraft ArchitectureUniversity of Houston at Clear LakeTX
Thibeault, SheilaRadiation Shielding Materials Containing Hydrogen, Boron, and Nitrogen: Systematic Computational and Experimental StudyNASA Langley Research CenterVA
Tripathi, RamMeeting the Grand Challenge of Protecting Astronaut’s Health: Electrostatic Active Space Radiation Shielding for Deep Space MissionsNASA Langley Research CenterVA
Werka, RobertProposal for a Concept Assessment of a Fission Fragment Rocket Engine (FFRE) Propelled SpacecraftNASA Marshall Space Flight CenterAL
Westover, ShayneRadiation Protection and Architecture Utilizing High Temperature Superconducting MagnetsNASA Johnson Space CenterTX
Whittaker, WilliamTechnologies Enabling Exploration of Skylights, Lava Tubes and CavesAstrobotic Technology Inc.PA
Wie, BongOptimal Dispersion of Near-Earth ObjectsIowa State UniversityIA