NASA Announces Recipients of Innovative Advanced Concepts Study Awardees; Pam Melroy Commented

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NASA has awarded 17 researchers $5.1 million in grants to study concepts for future aeronautics and space missions as part of the agency’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program.

Pam Melroy, deputy administrator at NASA, said in a statement Saturday the awards will explore innovative ideas and futuristic concepts that could help the U.S. accomplish new milestones.

A dozen projects each won $175,000 to conduct a nine-month Phase I study on researchers’ proposals such as a new crewed spacecraft design, a silently electric airplane, a solar-propelled spacecraft and an orbiting starshade.

Meanwhile, Phase II researchers secured $600,000 to continue research on Martian climbing robots, a nuclear power source for space, 3D-printed ocean-exploring micro-robots and other topics for two years.

 The Phase I awardees are:

  • Darmindra Arumugam, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Steven Barrett, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
  • Jason Benkoski, Johns Hopkins University
  • Elena D’Onghia, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Bonnie Dunbar, Texas A&M University
  • Ivan Ermanoski, Arizona State University
  • Philip Lubin, University of California
  • John Mather, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Marcin Pilinski, University of Colorado
  • Jonathan Sauder, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Sara Seager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Mahmooda Sultana, NASA Goddard

The Phase II award recipients are:

  • Javid Bayandor, State University of New York
  • Zac Manchester, Carnegie Mellon University
  • E. Joseph Nemanick, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Marco Pavone, Stanford University
  • Ethan Schaler, NASA JPL
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