NASA is funding “beam energy” for interstellar travel, suspended animation and other mind-blowing projects – 8 to be more precise – through the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program, Phase II.
Intending to send humans to Mars by 2030, NASA needs all the best ideas and developments by its side.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration agency has already awarded a $500,000 fund to MSNW, a Redmond, WA company that develops space propulsion technologies.
The fund was granted for a project that uses magnetic fields to transport spacecraft into orbit with more ease. The project is called the Magnetoshell Aerocapture for Manned Missions and Planetary Deep Space Orbiters.
The other seven astonishing project selected include such ideas like habitats for human stasis or suspended animation on Mars, cryogenic surfaces, an interstellar study, “Plasmonic Force Propulsion”, a “Novel Atmospheric Satellite Concept”, an “extremely large” new telescope and a 1g “Growable Habitat”.
We cannot get into detailing each and every one of these project ideas, but as NASA explains, they are all “challenging.” After completing the Phase I projects, these new eight projects are very promising even if some might take even up to 10 years to develop before getting to use them on a NASA mission.
The interstellar travel won’t be done with humans on board, but according to Philip Lubin, a principal physicist at the University of California, the technology developed will be able to send starships into the next neighbor solar system and have them arrive about 20 years later.
It sounds like a lifetime to us, but it’s an incredible speed giving the infinite light years distances between objects in space.
Another attention-grabbing new program is the deep sleep program or the Torpor Inducing Transfer Habitat For Human Stasis To Mars, from Atlanta’s Space Works, Inc.
The program wants to create the well-known sleep conditions presented in almost all space traveling sci-fi movies and put space explorers into a hypothermic, low metabolic, intravenously feeding state during the time it takes to reach the long distance destination.
The “growable habitat” idea is described by its creator (Robert Skelton) as a flexible spider-like structure that can change shape through string tension. This “tensegrity” structure could modify the way unknown future planets will be explored.
After sleeping for so long in “the stasis habitat” throughout the enormously distant interstellar travel, humans might one day just jump into one of these habitats and tumble around a new planet.
Image source: Wikimedia