Concept space station

Concept space station

NASA recently announced four proposals for advanced energy storage technologies that may be used to power the agency's future space missions.

As it turns out, NASA is looking in a similar direction as automotive industry, seeing the future in silicon-anode Li-ion and Li-S batteries. Noteworthy is that one of the suppliers is Amprius.

Managed by the Game Changing Development Program within NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, the four selected technology proposals are:

-- Silicon Anode Based Cells for High Specific Energy Systems, submitted by Amprius, Inc, in Sunnyvale, California -- High Energy Density and Long-Life Li-S Batteries for Aerospace Applications, submitted by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena -- Advanced High Energy Rechargeable Lithium-Sulfur Batteries, submitted by Indiana University in Bloomington

-- Garnet Electrolyte Based Safe, Lithium-Sulfur Energy Storage, submitted by the University of Maryland, College Park

Developments are divided into three stages:

"Phase I awards are approximately $250,000 and provide funding to conduct an eight-month component test and analysis phase. Phase II is an engineering development unit hardware phase that provides as much as $1 million per award for one year, while Phase III consists of the prototype hardware development, as much as $2 million per award for 18 months."

Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington stated:

"NASA's advanced space technology development doesn't stop with hardware and instruments for spacecraft. New energy storage technology will be critical to our future exploration of deep space -- whether missions to an asteroid, Mars or beyond. That's why we're investing in this critical mission technology area."