RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) _ The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology has been awarded a $750,000 grant from NASA to develop materials to be used in future exploration of other planets.

The funding comes from the space agency’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ESPCoR).

The school will use the money to development printable spacecraft materials and electronic and electromagnetic devices to use in future exploration.

The school says NASA envisions printable spacecraft to be thin, lightweight, flexible sheets embedded with customized sensors and electronics for data gathering, communication and micro-propulsion. When deployed to other planets, the sheets will flutter to the surface like leaves and transit data collected back to a host spacecraft.

The majority of the research will be conducted in the Direct-Write Laboratory at the School of Mines.