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NASA funding sleep-inducing, growable habitats

Monday, May 16, 2016,13:53 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Washington | NASA has selected eight technology proposals for investment, including interplanetary habitats that can induce deep sleep for astronauts on long-duration missions, and growable habitats that can be robotically assembled in space.

The selected proposals have the potential to transform future aerospace missions, introduce new capabilities and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems, NASA said.

The selected concepts include an interplanetary habitat proposed by Space Works Inc in US, configured to induce deep sleep for astronauts on long-duration missions. A novel coating called Solar White developed by Kennedy Space Centre is predicted to reflect more than 99.9 per cent of the Sun’s energy.

According to the researchers a sphere covered with a 10 mm thick coating of Solar White and located far from the Earth can achieve temperature below minus 223 degrees Celsius, the freezing point of oxygen. This method can cool fuel tanks in space down to minus 184 degrees Celsius, with no energy input needed.

Another concept proposed by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in US demonstrates low-cost atmospheric satellite which is powered by a combination of wind and solar energy and may be able to stay aloft for weeks or even months at a time.

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