Updated 10:22 am, Tuesday, April 11, 2017
The path from science fiction to Mars and beyond is paved with wild ideas wrapped in cold hard cash. Sort of like ravioli or inklings incubating under a blanket of gravy.
And, every year NASA cooks up a batch of space ravioli by funding wild-eyed, futuristic, “visionary aerospace” concepts selected by the agency’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program.
“NASA is preparing for a future that could include soft robotic spacecraft with flexible surfaces that can anchor to an asteroid, and an artificial gravity device for long-duration, deep space missions, along with other technologies that so far has been limited to the realm of science fiction,” the agency said announcing this year’s 22 selected projects.
The program bakes projects in two phases. The first phase of finding for 15 projects comes in at about $125,000 for nine months of building up the “initial definition and analysis” of the concepts. Phase two funding for seven projects comes with about $500,000 each to “allow awardees time to refine their designs and explore aspects of implementing the new technology.”
All told, the funding cycle will spend about $5.4 million. And that’s peanuts compared to the agencies current $19.5 billion annual budget.
Check out this year’s funded projects in the gallery above.
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22 wild ideas NASA is incubating with cash by: Elie Abi Younes published: