Technology Stories

Artist’s rendition of a starshade blocking starlight from a nearby planetary system
Universe, Exoplanets
Feb 4, 2019
This blog post originated in the 2017 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (33 MB PDF).
Oct 31, 2018
Relic radiation from the Big Bang—the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)—provides a Rosetta stone for deciphering the content, structure, and evolution of the early universe. Current theoretical understanding suggests that the universe underwent a rapid exponential expansion, called “inflation,” in... Read More
Photo of CLASS telescope
Sep 18, 2018
NASA is developing a new type of detector that will provide insight into the formation and structure of the universe. Many of the radiative and mechanical interactions that shape the interstellar medium of galaxies and drive galactic evolution (e.g., shock waves from stellar winds and jets,... Read More
The figure above shows: (a) an array of 3rd-order DFB lasers gold wire bonded to an electronic chip, (b) a photo of a fabricated array of DFB triplets, (c) scanning electron microscope image of a DFB device showing three periods, and (d) a schematic of a triplet with the corresponding radiation profile.
Universe, Exoplanets
Jul 16, 2018
A team of NASA optics experts has built a picometer spatial metrology system that may enable a major Agency initiative—to locate and image Earth-like planets beyond the solar system and scrutinize their atmospheres for signs of life. Researchers at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), in conjunction... Read More
Artist rendition of an exoplanet
May 14, 2018
In 2016, NASA delivered three types of detectors developed for Ultraviolet (UV), Near UV (NUV), and Near Infrared (NIR) applications to several different projects involving on-sky observations. Development of these charge-coupled devices (CCDs) required several new processes formulated by NASA.... Read More
2-D doped EMCCD sensor
Apr 2, 2018
An X-ray telescope is characterized by four parameters: angular resolution, effective area, mass, and production cost. Researchers at NASA GSFC have developed a new X-ray mirror technology that is expected to improve one or more of these parameters by at least an order of magnitude, compared to the... Read More
Photo of mirror reflecting NASA logo
Feb 12, 2018
NASA is part of an international team developing a cutting edge microcalorimeter X-ray camera that will provide extraordinarily detailed information about energetic cosmic phenomena.
Photo of hybrid array
Jan 8, 2018
X-ray-optics technology has progressed such that future astrophysics X-ray observatories will have orders-of magnitude better performance than existing observatories such as NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Photo of large-area CAT grating size compared to US quarter coin
Universe, Stars
Oct 10, 2017
This blog post originated in the 2016 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (20 MB PDF).
Close-up of a Schottky diode, showing the air-bridge that connects the anode
Universe, Stars
Aug 28, 2017
This blog post originated in the 2015 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (2 MB PDF).
Photo of dust accelerator setup in laboratory
Jul 11, 2017
This blog post originated in the 2015 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (2 MB PDF).
illustrated diagram
Apr 6, 2017
This blog post originated in the 2015 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (2 MB PDF).
Artist illustration of LISA pathfinder spacecraft in orbit around earth
Feb 3, 2017
Technology Development: The NASA Glenn Research Center is developing the next generation of Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRGs) to power deep space science missions. One potential technology gap is the waste heat rejection approach for higher power Stirling convertors. The previous 140W... Read More
Photo of radial core heat spreader
Nov 9, 2016
Technology Development: The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is the highest-ranked recommendation for a large space mission in the NRC 2010 decadal survey, New Worlds, New Horizons (NWNH) in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The WFIRST coronagraph instrument (CGI) will be the first high-... Read More
coronagraph imaging