WASHINGTON, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program is seeking proposals to continue promising studies for which it has supported the first phase. These cutting-edge concepts have the potential to transform future exploration missions, enable new capabilities, or significantly alter current approaches to launching, building, and operating aerospace systems.
"These transformative concepts have the potential to mature into the new capabilities NASA needs for the challenging space missions in its future," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
NIAC projects are chosen based on their character as innovative and visionary, technically substantiated, and very early in development -- 10 years or more from use in a mission. NIAC's current diverse portfolio represents multiple technology areas, including power, propulsion, structures, and avionics.
"We are thrilled to be launching Phase II, so the 2012 NIAC portfolio can feature the most exciting combination of new ideas and continued development," said Jay Falker, NIAC program executive at NASA Headquarters.
The call for proposals follows last summer's inaugural selection of Phase I concepts, which are now under study. NIAC will be accepting proposals of no more than 20 pages until June 6.
NASA expects to fund between five and nine Phase II studies this year. The number of awards will depend on the strength of proposals and availability of appropriated funds. Awardees will receive up to $500,000 over two years to further analyze and develop their innovative concepts and help create new avenues for future NASA missions.
Selection announcements are expected in August. This limited solicitation is only for continuing NIAC Phase I concepts. Phase II proposals are eligible based on any current Phase I studies, or any prior Phase I studies from the original NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts that did not complete Phase II.
NASA's early investment and partnership with creative scientists, engineers and citizen inventors from across the nation will pay huge technological dividends and help maintain America's leadership in the global technology economy. NIAC is part of NASA's Space Technology Program, managed by the Office of the Chief Technologist. To view this research announcement and for more information about NIAC and NASA's Space Technology Program, visit: