Bleeding Edge Projects from NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts 2024 Selections

NASA has announced the winners of the 2024 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) grants, “NIAC 2024 Selections”. These Phase I selections are where NASA lets their freak flag fly, making small grants to “out there” concepts which, if they eventually pan out, may make getting out there much faster and less expensive than with current technologies.

Included in this year’s crop are interstellar exploration by swarms of gram mass picospacecraft propelled to relativistic velocity by a 100 gigawatt laser, sample return from the surface of Venus, building a long baseline radio telescope the size of the solar system, propelling a rocket by radioactive decay of a thorium isotope, and inducing hibernation in animals and humans for long-duration space missions.

It Might Just Work!