The National Aeronautics and Space Administration commonly known as NASA is not just keeping up with the times, but ahead of it. The agency split a multi-million dollar budget among 25 innovative technologies submitted through a competition by scientists from various research centres and universities. The research teams received $125,000 and $500,000 depending on the project. All the proposed technologies will be needed to continue the study of space, the nearest planets and the solar system as a whole. Ground-based programs also receive funding, but the US president saw fit to abandon several important climate-oriented programs.
The technologies that received financial support are mostly prototypes and concepts, which will take about 10 years to be implemented. But their creators will have to prove the viability of their offspring in the following years. What technologies are of particular interest? In the following article, we will have a closer look at this topic.
The ubiquitous shape-shifting explorer robot is designed to move on any surface. It can fly, ride on the road, explore caves, glide across the water surface and swim underwater. The robot changes its shape depending on the type of movement. It can roll like a ball, and then straighten the propellers and fly.
We have all seen a famous movie featuring Autobots and Decepticons. Also, the movie focuses on a completely different aspect, the time is not far when we will see fully-fledged robots. Robots are popular in pop culture and casinos like Bet22 even have a lot of games based on the following topic.
Biobot is a means to facilitate the movement of astronauts on an alien planet. One of the problems in studying the surface of other planets for a person can be the heaviness of a space suit because you need to wear both equipment and a life support system. In this case, the biobot will come to the rescue, which is attached to the astronaut’s suit and constantly accompanying him.
The astronaut assistant is still in the trial period, meaning that additional details still need to be considered. If everything goes well, it will assist a lot of astronauts.
LEAVES (Lofted Environmental and Atmospheric Venus Sensors), are high-altitude sensors for studying the environment and atmosphere of Venus (small ultra-light aircraft that can withstand the harsh Venusian atmosphere). In fact, they hover, which eliminates the need for an engine, which greatly reduces the cost of the mission.
It is a system for the study of asteroids. Asteroids are a good source of minerals, some of them even have water. In order to detect and extract metals and other minerals, such a system is needed. The inventors suggest building a “factory” in Earth orbit or sending mini-factories to asteroids to process fossils.
SPARROW is a jumping robot for the exploration of planets with subglacial oceans. This robot will be powered by steam-powered by melting ice. The robot will take soil and ice samples and “jump” back to base. The jumps will be gigantic as SPARROW will be assisted by a steam engine.
The development of a jumping robot is likely to take several years until it is fully functional. In the meantime, NASA will also work on other inventions.
Super mushrooms for “growing” a convenient surface on any planet are in consideration. Not all soils are suitable for building space bases. Therefore, scientists have come up with a “living” material that can be seeded with the right part of the planet in order to create a suitable structure for the needs of astronauts. This is a material with a fungal nature, self-reproducing, not dying when dried, frozen and exposed to radiation. It can be used to create flat surfaces, buildings and furniture as it is strong and ductile. This material can cover homes and spaceships to protect against radiation.
It is a space debris detector. Cubic contraptions are equipped with sensors to detect the debris’s plasma signature. Small fragments of stations, satellites, etc. are currently undetectable and pose a danger to spacecraft. In addition, the proposed technology will help detect space dust near other planets that prevent a safe landing.
A lot of people are working on the following detector and it will be practically applicable in a few years.
Other technologies that have received funding include: “Martian bees” – a swarm of miniature flying robots that collect information on Mars. The PROCSIMA project, which makes it possible to significantly accelerate the movement of a small probe to distant stars; an aerial platform for movement on the complex surface of other planets; solar “sails” to increase the power of telescopes and other incredible inventions.
NASA is constantly working on producing new inventions that will make major breakthroughs. The list mentioned in the following article is only the tip of the iceberg and more developments are underway.