NASA has selected the 12 best plans for its Phase I Advanced Innovation Concept (NIAC) program. We will not list everything, we will limit ourselves to the most interesting ones. Selected proposals include a wide range of creative concepts: 3D printing of biomaterials such as cell arrays; the use of galactic rays for mapping the interiors of asteroids, as well as the platform of "eternal flight", which can hover in the Earth's atmosphere with all the ensuing consequences ….
NASA has selected the 12 best plans for its Phase I Advanced Innovation Concepts (NIAC) program. We will not list everything, we will limit ourselves to the most interesting ones. Selected proposals include a wide range of creative concepts: 3D printing of biomaterials such as cell arrays; the use of galactic rays to map the interiors of asteroids; and the platform of "eternal flight", which can hover in the Earth's atmosphere with all the ensuing consequences.
Pulse fission fusion (PuFF) propulsion system (in the drawing above)
Building on the knowledge gained from the development of physical weapons, the Z-Pinch device can be used to trigger a thermonuclear reaction inside deuterium. The fusion of neutrons triggers a fission reaction in the surrounding uranium or thorium, releasing enough energy to overcome the next frontier: heating a thermonuclear plasma. All of the energy is then directed into a magnetic nozzle to generate useful thrust. This type of concept can provide efficient open circuit jet propulsion in a relatively small size and with a relatively uncomplicated structure. It will allow us to explore the solar system faster.
Reduced weight and drag for eternal flight
The new concept offers unlimited range high-altitude flight for civil geosynchronous atmospheric satellites. A detailed analysis of existing approaches will reduce the weight of the standard structure by 50%, as well as reduce drag by 50% by combining various factors, such as building new wings.
Adaptable tensegrity structures: to save space
A new approach to the creation and design of an economically viable development technology in space is proposed: the deployment of a light tensegrity structure in the Earth-Moon L2 orbit, where onboard robots can use space materials to supply water, irrigate and maintain life, the ecosystem and the region as a whole. Such a habitat can become a tourist destination, an economic center and a center for research.
Smart carpets for passive rovers
A new approach to landing can significantly reduce development time, risk and cost of any type of landing mission. The concept is a two-dimensional carpet-like object with low mass and good aerodynamics that will assist any landing device by creating an acceptable landing and stable surface. The flat nature and low weight will allow the prefabricated structure to be transported in dozens of copies. Moreover, such "carpets" should be able to sit down passively, which will save on missiles, control systems, radars and other related structures.