The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program supports pioneering ideas and early-stage technology concept studies that could revolutionize future NASA missions. This program focuses on innovations from diverse sources, aiming to change what’s possible in aerospace by supporting transformative space technology research. In January 2024, NASA announced 13 innovative concepts selected under this program from various U.S. companies and institutions, with each receiving a maximum grant of $175,000. These concepts range from fixed-wing flight on Mars and a swarm of tiny spacecraft traveling to Proxima Centauri, to a spacecraft designed to survive Venus’ harsh environment and return a sample from its surface. The program, funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, has been instrumental in inspiring successful past missions and continues to push the boundaries of space exploration.