NASA selects innovative concept awardees for 2024News
January 05, 2024
WASHINGTON. NASA chose its Phase 1 awardees in the 2024 NIAC [NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts] program, an endeavor that funds ideas NASA thinks could innovate for the greater good and transform future agency missions.
The 13 concepts chosen by NASA for 2024 -- granted with a maximum of $175,000 to evaluate technologies that could enable tomorrow’s space missions -- align with NASA's mission to foster pioneering ideas by funding early-stage technology concept studies for future consideration and potential commercialization.
NASA Associate Administrator Jim Free stated: "The daring missions NASA undertakes for the benefit of humanity all begin as just an idea, and NIAC is responsible for inspiring many of those ideas,” citing projects like the Ingenuity helicopter flying on Mars and instruments on the MarCO deep space CubeSats as projects that can trace their lineage back to NIAC. "... while not all these concepts will fly," Free asserted, "NASA and our partners worldwide can learn from fresh approaches and may eventually use technologies advanced by NIAC.”
The 2024 projects include such topics as autonomous tritium-powered sensors, sample return from the surface of Venus, fixed-wing flight on Mars, and a swarm of probes traveling across interstellar space. NIAC projects are in the early stages of conceptual development and are not considered official NASA missions.
Visit the NASA website for the full list of NIAC awardees.