An astronaut steps into a body scanner and hours later, walks on Mars in a custom-made spacesuit, breathing oxygen that was extracted from Mars’ carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. On Venus, an inflatable bird-like drone swoops through the sky, studying the planet’s atmosphere and weather patterns. Ideas like these are currently science fiction, but they could one day become reality, thanks to a new round of grants awarded by NASA.
The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program fosters exploration by funding early-stage studies to evaluate technologies that could support future aeronautics and space missions. A new slate of awards will provide a total of $5.1 million to 17 researchers from nine states.
Among the researchers selected to receive NIAC Phase I grants in 2022 are Elena D’Onghia, Associate Professor, Astronomy, UW–Madison: CREW HaT: Cosmic Radiation Extended Warding using the Halbach Torus.
“It is a tremendous opportunity for us to have NASA back up our idea. We thank D2P and our mentor Aimee Arnoldusson for the support and encouragement you have given us.” — Elena D’Onghia