Space

NASA seeks proposals for deep space missions

NASA seeks proposals for deep ...
The proposals are designed to support NASA's deep space missions, such as that which Orion will carry out
The proposals are designed to support NASA's deep space missions, such as that which Orion will carry out
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The proposals are designed to support NASA's deep space missions, such as that which Orion will carry out
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The proposals are designed to support NASA's deep space missions, such as that which Orion will carry out

NASA is preparing to launch its Orion spacecraft in December and its Space Launch System (SLS) is scheduled to fly by 2018. However, impressive as this is, more is needed if buyer's regret isn't to set in. To avoid this, the space agency is asking for proposals to develop new technologies to send astronauts to the asteroids and Mars using "sustainable, evolvable, multi-use space capabilities."

The Broad Area Announcement (BAA) isn't for fully-devoted technologies, but offers funds for studies aimed at the development of three areas of advanced propulsion systems, space habitats, and nanosatellites.

Propulsion

NASA has had success with ion engines, but the space agency say it needs engines that jump from the current 5 kW to 40 kW, if it can be used for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), and is looking for proposals for systems that can reach 50 to 300 kW.

Habitats

Another area of interest is space habitats. The Orion capsule may be capable of carrying of astronauts into deep space, but any mission beyond three weeks duration will require a habitat to provide more living space. To help achieve this, NASA is soliciting proposals for studies into the transportation, operation, and environmental capabilities of habitats.

Nanosatellites

These will be carried as piggyback payloads on the SLS beginning with Exploration Mission-1. NASA is looking for more general proposals for the design and employment of nanosats.NASA is accepting proposals electronically from US companies, nonprofits and international institutions until December 12.

Source: NASA

5 comments
zevulon
i've always thought the obvious candidate for a mission was earth's 'second moon' cruithne , she does a horseshoe type orbit with respect to earth (trails and then leads the earth in her orbit with respect to the sun)
she is HUGE and very stable relative to other targets. plus, for a good portion of the year, she is facing the 'dark side' of the sun relative to earth, and a telescope orbiting her or bolted onto her surface would help provide stereoscopic vision of the sun on an almost real time basis via relay transmissions off other sattelites. and if not, stored information could be transmitted later.
SuperFool
Why don't we use charged solar particles for a power source? if they can short out satellites, they have a usable charge. As I understand it, sometimes the charge is positive and sometimes negative, and the strength varies, but if it can be detected (and obviously it can) the collectors can be designed to accommodate the charge.
Tommo
Cruithne is not earth's second moon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3753_Cruithne
Kristianna Thomas
I believe that one of the technologies that needs to be developed in order to get human presence into the other planets, would be the development of artificial gravity. When we are traversing outside of our Mother Earth, we take with us all the necessitates to make life sustainable; air, water food, but we don't take gravity with us. Why?
Gianfranco Fronzi
How about an incomplete ship , which starts as a small living space but is assembled by the astronauts as they move to rendezvous ? Doesn't a continues firing of rockets amplify speed ? Also the trip for the " Rosetta Stone ", involved using the energies of other gravity's , couldn't this be also used ?