The NIAC was formed for the explicit purpose of being an independent
source of revolutionary aeronautical and space concepts that could dramatically
impact how NASA develops and conducts its mission. The Institute is to
provide highly visible, recognized
and high-level entry point for outside thinkers and researchers. The Institute functions as a virtual institute and uses the resources of the internet whenever productive and efficient for communication with grant recipients, NASA and the science and engineering community. NIAC provides an independent, open forum for the external analysis and definition of space and aeronautics advanced concepts to complement the advanced concepts activities conducted within NASA. The NIAC has advanced concepts as its sole focus. It focuses on revolutionary concepts - specifically systems and architectures - that can have a major impact on missions of the NASA Enterprises in the time frame of 10 to 40 years in the future. It generates ideas for how the current NASA Agenda can be done better; it expands our vision of future possibilities.