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The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) is a non-profit research and graduate education institute created to conduct leading-edge aerospace and atmospheric research, develop new technologies for the nation and help inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.


Feature Story

NASA Seeks Big Ideas from Students for Inflatable Heat Shield Technology

NASA is giving university and college students an opportunity to be part of the agency’s journey to Mars with the Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge.

NASA’s Game Changing Development Program (GCD), managed by the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) are seeking innovative ideas for generating lift using inflatable spacecraft heat shields or hypersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (HIAD) technology.

For more information about the challenge, and details on how to apply, visit the BIG Idea website at:



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