Technology Stories

Photo of scientist looking into vacuum chamber
Universe, Exoplanets
Oct 7, 2019
Earth-like planets orbiting other stars can be 10 billion times dimmer than their host star. To detect these planets and to search for spectroscopic signatures of life in their atmospheres, a space telescope must be used, and the light from the host star must be blocked so the planet comes into... Read More
Universe, Exoplanets
Aug 27, 2019
Future-generation large space telescopes under study at NASA will require very large, high-resolution, high-sensitivity, low-noise sensors capable of measuring ultraviolet through visible wavelengths.
Scientists in lab inspecting a sensor plate
Universe
Jul 29, 2019
Colloid microthrusters enable two exciting new areas of astronomy and astrophysics research.
Artist concept of LISA Pathfinder spacecraft
Universe, Exoplanets
Feb 4, 2019
This blog post originated in the 2017 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (33 MB PDF).
Artist’s rendition of a starshade blocking starlight from a nearby planetary system
Universe
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
Universe
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
Universe
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
Universe
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
Universe
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
Universe
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
Universe
Jul 11, 2017
This blog post originated in the 2015 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (2 MB PDF).
illustrated diagram
Universe
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