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 national nonprofit corporation that operates a federally funded research and development center and has approximately 4,000 employees nationwide. With major locations in El Segundo, Calif.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Washington, D.C., Aerospace addresses complex problems with agility, innovation, and objective technical leadership across the space enterprise and other areas of national significance. For more information, visit www.aerospace.org. Follow us on Twitter: @AerospaceCorp.