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SA eyes 'growable habitats' to get humans to Mars

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Washington, May 16: In a bid to develop “magnetoshells” to “growable interplanetary habitats to take humans to Mars”, the US space agency has selected eight technology proposals that can transform future aerospace missions by building efficient aerospace systems.

Awards under phase II of the SA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) programme can be worth as much as $500,000 for a two-year study.

It will allow proposers to further develop concepts funded by SA for Phase I studies that successfully demonstrated initial feasibility and benefit.

“The NIAC programme is one of the ways SA engages the US scientific and engineering communities by challenging them to come up with some of the most visiory aerospace concepts,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of SA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, DC.

This year’s phase II portfolio addresses a range of leading-edge concepts, including an interplanetary habitat configured to induce deep sleep for astrouts on long-duration missions.

It also has plans for a highly efficient dual aircraft platform that may be able to stay aloft for weeks or even months at a time.

Phase II includes a method to produce “solar white” coatings for scattering sunlight and cooling fuel tanks in space down to 148 degree Celsius below zero with no energy input needed.

SA selected eight projects through a peer-review process that evaluated innovativeness and technical viability. “Phase II decisions are always challenging, but we were especially challenged this year with so many successful Phase I studies applying to move forward with their cutting-edge technologies,” added Jason Derleth, the NIAC program executive at SA headquarters. (IANS)

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