Feed the Weird
NASA is not afraid to try its luck. In fact, it has developed a specially designed program called NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC). On Wednesday, the agency announced 18 new bizarre projects receiving funding.
"Our NIAC program is fueling visionary ideas that could transform NASA's future missions by investing in breakthrough technologies," NASA Director Jim Reuter said in a press release. "We are counting on American innovators to help us push the boundaries of space exploration with new technologies."
Sci-Fi at Sci-Fact
The 18 newly funded projects are divided into two groups: Phase I and Phase II.
The 12 Phase I winners will each receive about $ 125,000 to fund nine-month feasibility studies for their concepts. These include a power transmission project through Venus' atmosphere to support long-term missions, a space suit with auto-healing skin, and spider-inspired floating microwaves.
The six Phase II winners will each receive up to $ 500,000 to support two-year studies dedicated to developing their concepts and finding potential solutions for the implementation of these technologies, including: a flexible telescope, a neutrino detector and materials for solar energy surfing.
"NIAC is going beyond science fiction, but it's not over," said Jason Derleth, program manager for NIAC, in a press release. "We support high impact technology concepts that could change the way we explore within the solar system and beyond."
READ MORE: NASA invests in potentially revolutionary technological concepts [Jet Propulsion Laboratory]
More on the bizarre plans of NASA: NASA's new plan for Mars has a moderately terrifying sound, while being awesome: robotics. Bees.