Washington: The US space agency announced
funding for 30 new space projects, including ways to
protect astronauts from deep-space radiation, eliminate space
debris and improve spacesuit technology.
Each of the proposals will get USD 100,000 in funding for
a one-year period as part of NASA`s Innovative Advanced
Concepts (NIAC), the agency said in a statement.
"These innovative concepts have the potential to mature
into the transformative capabilities NASA needs to improve our
current space mission operations, seeding the technology
breakthroughs needed for the challenging space missions in
NASA`s future," said NASA chief technologist Bobby Braun.
Other projects on the list include using
three-dimensional printing technology to create a planetary
outpost, and various ways to fuel future exploration missions,
including the use of solar and nuclear power.
NIAC, originally known as the NASA Institute for Advanced
Concepts, operated from 1998 to 2007 as an independent forum
"to complement the advanced concepts activities conducted
within NASA," the space agency said.
It was halted for review in 2008 and re-established for
fiscal year 2011 "to investigate visionary, far-reaching
advanced concepts as part of the agency`s mission."