NASA Phase II Grant Award For Brane Craft Proposal

El SEGUNDO, Calif. (April 10, 2017) – NASA awarded Dr. Siegfried Janson of The Aerospace Corporation (Aerospace) with the 2017 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Phase II grant award for his Brane Craft flat spacecraft proposal for space debris removal.

The NIAC Phase II grant award, worth approximately $500,000, was given to 22 technical proposals that will hopefully transform the future of exploration missions, introduce new exploration missions and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems. “It’s great news that Dr. Siegfried Janson’s Brane Craft proposal has been selected to receive NASA’s Phase II award,” said Steve Isakowitz, Aerospace president and CEO. “Innovation is embedded in the DNA of our employees. I’m thrilled that our company will play a major role in revolutionizing and shaping the future of small satellites and addressing the challenges of Space Situational Awareness.”

The Brane Craft concept is a flat 3-foot x 3-foot spacecraft that is less than half the thickness of human hair. Exceptionally light, maneuverable, and fuel-efficient, the funding for this concept will support the next steps to develop an extremely thin spacecraft that would serve as a large piece of high-tech plastic that would wrap around debris and remove it from the Earth’s orbit. The concept can best be compared to an automated spot cleaner in space, whose mission is limited only by its fuel payload.

In 2016, the Brane Craft proposal was among 13 concepts that were awarded with the NIAC portfolio of Phase I awards with an overall value of $100,000 for nine months of initial definition and analysis of all proposals. The NIAC brings in researchers and innovators in the scientific and engineering communities, including civil servants.

About The Aerospace Corporation

The Aerospace Corporation is a nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for the United States Air Force. With expertise that encompasses the entire space domain, as well as non-space areas, Aerospace responds with agility to challenges posed by complex, technology-based projects and delivers innovative solutions that assure mission success. The Aerospace Corporation is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., with multiple locations across the United States.

For more information, visit www.aerospace.org. Follow us on Twitter: @AerospaceCorp.

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