NASA is investing in the development of technologies that will allow long duration mission crews to manufacture the products of their need and for this reason NASA has selected the proposal for the development of two multipurpose, multi disciplinary university that led to a research institutes and will focus on the development of technologies critical to extending human presence deeper into our solar system , US space agency said.
The new space Technology Research Institute STRIs created under this proposal will bring research from various disciplines together and collaborate the organization on advancement of cutting edge technologies in bio manufacturing and space infrastructure. NASA is ready to create its first ever institute with a goal of creating and maximizing Earth independent, self sustaining exploration mission capabilities.
Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington said that NASA is establishing STRIs for exploiting various cutting edge technology advances and research with the potential for revolutionary impact on future aerospace capabilities. These institutes led to multi disciplinary research programmes within five years to promote the engineering , synthesis of science and technology and other disciplines that help to achieve specific research objectives with expected outcomes.
He said , at the same time , with the help of these institutes will expand the US talent base in areas of research and development with broader applications beyond aerospace,”
For the development of new STRI each will be provided with USD 15 million within the time period of five year for its performance. The first ever two selected new institutes by NASA are Centre for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space and Institute for Ultra Strong Composites by Computational Design .
As this agency is investing for the development of technologies that will allow long term product as per the need rather than relying on current practice of resupply mission from Earth now it’s main focus is shifted from low earth orbit to deep space mission.
The Centre for the Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space institute will help in the advancement of research and integrated multi function, multi organism and biological systems to produce fuel, materials, pharmaceuticals and food. While the main research goals of the CUBES institute are to benefit deep space planetary exploration, these goals also lend themselves to practical Earth based applications.
For example they emphasis on using carbon dioxide as the basis component used for material manufacturing and has its relevance to carbon dioxide management on Earth. NASA said, affordable deep space exploration products will manufactured with transformative materials for next generation transit vehicles, habitats, power systems and other exploration systems.
The team at CUBES institute is led by Adam Arkin, principal investigator at the University of California at Berkeley, in partnership with Utah State University, the University of California, Davis, Stanford University, and industrial partners Autodesk and Physical Sciences, Inc.
While Ultra Strong Composites by Computational Design institute aims to develop and deploy a carbon nanotubes based technology, ultra high strength, lightweight aerospace structural material within five year because the building materials that are currently being used need to be lighter and strong even in the most advanced system as success will mean a critical change in the design patterns for space structures
Result of this research will have a broader impact on society and on rapid development and deployment of advance material as well could able to support the earthly applications and benefits US manufacturing sector. In US CMOP a team of 22 faculty member work under the leadership of Gregory Odegard, principal investigator at the Michigan Technological University, in partnership with Florida State University, University of Utah, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Florida A&M University, Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota, Pennsylvania State University, University of Colorado and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Industrial partners Nanocomp Technologies and Solvay, with the US Air Force Research Lab are in collaboration with them.
Although this collaboration with industry partners, anticipated that advances in laboratories could quickly translate to advances in manufacturing facilities and that will able to yield sufficient amounts of advanced materials for use in NASA missions.