NIAC Award — SmartSuit Mobile EVA Spacesuit for Next Generation Exploration Missions

SmartSuit (Credit; Ana Diaz Artiles)

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program
Phase I Award: Up to $125,000 for 9 Months

SmartSuit: A Hybrid, Intelligent, and Highly Mobile EVA Spacesuit for Next Generation Exploration Missions
Ana Diaz Artiles
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

We propose a novel spacesuit intelligent architecture for extravehicular activity (EVA) operations on Mars and other planetary environments that increases human performance by an order of magnitude on several quantifiable fronts for exploration missions. The proposed SmartSuit spacesuit, while gas-pressurized, also incorporates soft-robotics technology that allows astronauts to be highly mobile and better interact with their surroundings.

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NIAC Phase II Award: Self-Guided Beamed Propulsion for Breakthrough Interstellar Missions

Self-guided beamed propulsion (Credit: Chris Limbach)

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program
Phase II Award: Up to $500,000 for 2 Years

Self-Guided Beamed Propulsion for Breakthrough Interstellar Missions
Chris Limbach
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

New and revolutionary propulsion systems are needed to undertake challenging long-distance missions, such as to the Kuiper belt, Oort cloud and nearby stellar systems. We propose an innovative beamed propulsion architecture that would enable interstellar missions to Proxima Centauri b at nearly 10% the speed of light.

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NIAC Phase I Awards for Advanced Propulsion

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program recently awarded 25 grants for the development of visionary new technologies. Here we’re going to take a closer look at three Phase I awards focused on advanced propulsion.

PROCSIMA: Diffractionless Beamed Propulsion for Breakthrough Interstellar Missions
Chris Limbach
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

Advanced Diffractive MetaFilm Sailcraft
Grover Swartzlander
Rochester Institute of Technology

Radioisotope Positron Propulsion
Ryan Weed
Positron Dynamics

Each award is worth up to $125,000 for a nine-month study. Descriptions of the awards are below.
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NASA Invests in Shapeshifters, Biobots & Other Visionary Technology


WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA is investing in technology concepts that include meteoroid impact detection, space telescope swarms, and small orbital debris mapping technologies that may one day be used for future space exploration missions.

The agency selected 25 early-stage technology proposals that have the potential to transform future human and robotic exploration missions, introduce new exploration capabilities, and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems.

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Science Payloads Set for Launch Aboard CRS-12 Mission

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., August 8, 2017 (CASIS PR) The SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle is poised to launch its 12th cargo resupply mission (CRS-12) to the International Space Station (ISS) no earlier than August 13th, 2017 from Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A.

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will carry more than 20 ISS National Laboratory payloads to conduct research across a variety of areas aimed at improving life on Earth, including research on Parkinson’s disease, new anti-bacterial compounds, new approaches to treating blood pressure, and pioneering new advances in the use of stem cells for repairing damage from disease, among many others. Thus far in 2017, the ISS National Lab has sponsored more than 100 separate experiments that have reached the station.

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Lynx Cub Payload Carrier Being Developed at Texas A&M

Artist's conception of Lynx Cub Payload Carrier internal view.  (Credit: Citizens in Space)
Artist’s conception of Lynx Cub Payload Carrier internal view. (Credit: United States Rocket Academy)

College Station, Texas, March 28, 2013 (USRA PR) – A new payload carrier promises to dramatically reduce the cost of access to space for small scientific and education payloads.

The Lynx Cub Payload Carrier was announced today by the United States Rocket Academy.  The Lynx Cub Carrier will fly on the XCOR Lynx spacecraft, now under construction at the Mojave Air and Space Port, and carry up to 12 experiments on each flight.

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