The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) is a NASA program nurtures radical, science fiction-like ideas that could transform future space missions. The NIAC External Council is a small group of visionaries, from quantum physicists to science fiction authors, that advise the program. Ariel’s mission with NIAC is to encourage researchers from disciplines outside of space science to apply their existing research to a space mission context. As part of that mission, Ariel independently created niacfellows.org, a simplified guide for how anyone can submit proposals to NIAC.
Concept for an “asteroid wrangler” (credit: Tethers Unlimited)