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Space & Astronomy

NASA invests in eight new sci-fi technologies

By T.K. Randall
May 16, 2016 · Comment icon 10 comments

Can NASA turn science fiction into reality ? Image Credit: NASA / Mark Rademaker
The US space agency will be attempting to turn several more futuristic technology concepts into reality.
Each year, NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program (NIAC) picks a selection of projects that it hopes will help to revolutionize aeronautics and space travel in the future.

This year's choices include the development of a deep sleep chamber for long space missions and a robotic space habitat that can literally build itself on another world before astronauts arrive there.
Each of the winning projects will receive $500,000 to carry out a further two years of study.

"The NIAC program is one of the ways NASA engages the US scientific and engineering communities, including agency civil servants, by challenging them to come up with some of the most visionary aerospace concepts," said Steve Jurczyk of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate. "This year's Phase II fellows have clearly met this challenge."

Other winning concepts this year include an experimental demonstration of 'Plasmonic Force Propulsion', a new type of atmospheric satellite and a large reflective telescope called Aperture.

Source: Vice.com | Comments (10)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by BeastieRunner 8 years ago
Plasma 'chute!? For real? AWESOME!
Comment icon #2 Posted by Summerin1905 8 years ago
And if you could please make a time machine preferably Tardis Please.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Infernal Gnu 8 years ago
NO WAY am I going into a deep sleep chamber like the ones shown in the Interstellar movie, where it looks like you have to breathe some sort of oxygenated fluid inside a plastic sleeve inside a sealed vault. And if you sleep for years in one of those things and you are going to wake up with such atrophied muscles you might not be able to move.
Comment icon #4 Posted by pallidin 8 years ago
NO WAY am I going into a deep sleep chamber like the ones shown in the Interstellar movie, where it looks like you have to breathe some sort of oxygenated fluid inside a plastic sleeve inside a sealed vault. And if you sleep for years in one of those things and you are going to wake up with such atrophied muscles you might not be able to move. I recently recovered from a bad leg break. My left leg from thigh to toe was immobilized for 1 month. Only one month. Yet muscular atrophy set-up in it, and I was barely, seriously barely able to put any weight at all through my left leg. It has taken MO... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
And if you sleep for years in one of those things and you are going to wake up with such atrophied muscles you might not be able to move. Long exposure to micro-gravity causes muscle atrophy anyway (amongst other things such as bone wasting) hence the reason astronauts on long duration missions must exercise for several hours every day. The point of placing humans into a hibernation like state is that it would hugely reduce metabolic rate and so actually reduce the speed at which muscle atrophy occurred.
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer 8 years ago
I recently recovered from a bad leg break. My left leg from thigh to toe was immobilized for 1 month. Only one month. Yet muscular atrophy set-up in it, and I was barely, seriously barely able to put any weight at all through my left leg. It has taken MONTHS, through physical therapy to regain my leg strength. I did a similar thing by ripping my quad and MCL from my kneecap and tearing mu ACL and PCL. I had surgery in November and I'm still not all the way back, if I'll ever be. I can't imagine years of sleeping, though there are ways to stimulate the muscles, ligaments, etc using electric imp... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by GreenmansGod 8 years ago
Makes me wish I was seven and could watch some of it come into being. Maybe be part of it.
Comment icon #8 Posted by danielost 8 years ago
Long exposure to micro-gravity causes muscle atrophy anyway (amongst other things such as bone wasting) hence the reason astronauts on long duration missions must exercise for several hours every day. The point of placing humans into a hibernation like state is that it would hugely reduce metabolic rate and so actually reduce the speed at which muscle atrophy occurred. +proof
Comment icon #9 Posted by seeder 8 years ago
+ proof Just think of people in coma's
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
proof Coming from someone that never does any research and never backs up a single statement they make with evidence I find that response hypocritical in the extreme. However, ignoring that, the following quotes are from a BBC article titled "Human Hibernation: Secrets of the Big Sleep": Lowering your body temperature slows your metabolic activity, about 5-7% for every degree dropped. This in turn reduces the rate at which you consume essential nutrients such as oxygen. Tissues that might become starved of oxygen due to blood loss or cardiac arrest are thus protected. In theory, if we were to ... [More]


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