In 2014 MSNW LLC of Redmond Washington suggested that a magnetic field around ionized gas could be used to slow a spacecraft down sufficiently to eliminate the need for a thermal protection system, or as it’s more commonly known, a heat shield.
On an infinitely smaller scale MSNW was proposing to create the same sort of magnetic field around a spacecraft that exists around the Earth as a result of its rotating core of iron and nickel.
Continue reading “A big MAC may be the answer to landing on Mars and orbiting Neptune”
Over fifty years ago John Kennedy articulated one of the most important reasons for exploring space:
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills. . . “
NASA has a program which seeks out the things which are not easy, which are hard and which organize and measure the bet of our energies and skills: NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concept program (NIAC).
Earlier this month NIAC awarded a Phase I grants to several projects, giving each $100,000 and nine months to prove the feasibility of some aspect of the proposal.
One of the Phase I awardees was a project submitted by Dr. Masahiro Ono, a research technologist at JPL. Dr. Ono proposes exploring the oceans of Enceladus and Europa using a lander with three separate modules.
Continue reading “NIAC: Exploring subsurface oceans – “Doing the hard thing””