Not ones that I’m working on, though I would be thrilled to be involved in many of them. No, I’m referring to the selectees for NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program. Each of these projects receives $175,000.00 in grants for phase one work – you can read more about the program here, where you will also find links to detailed descriptions of each of the projects.
- Fluidic telescope
- Photophoretic propulsion
- Lattice confinement fusion fast fission
- Bend-forming large, electrostatically actuated space structures
- Lunar oxygen pipeline
- Pellet-beam propulsion
- Bimodal thermal/electric propulsion
- Biomineralization-enabled self-growing building blocks
- Long wavelength observatory
- Leading-edge liquid collection
- Lunar characterization with intense passive x- and gamma ray source
- Diffractive interfero coronograph exoplanet resolver
- Radioisotope thermoradiative cell power generator
- Aerogel core fission fragment rocket engine
Each of these is a fascinating concept, and I hope that you head over to the NASA page and read more about them. Personally, I’m especially interested in 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 13, and 14, although 1, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, and 12 are all strong contenders. Hm, I don’t think that ranking helped anyone do more than understand that I get excited about cool new technology.
If that wasn’t enough excitement for one post, you can also head over to this NASA article and learn how you can contribute to citizen science in the ongoing search for more exoplanets.