Crowdsourcing works for just about everything else these days, so why not space travel?
NASA has announced a new program called NASA iTech, which is essentially an open call for ideas that can expand the frontiers of knowledge, capability and opportunity in space. By opening up a submission portal to everyone from academics to the general public, the space agency hopes to find innovative solutions to the challenges of future space exploration.
Put simply: NASA is looking for five-page white paper proposals on technology or ideas that could serve as life support systems, provide in-space propulsion, protect astronauts from radiation, and any other problems humanity might encounter as we push further out into the solar system. Basically, NASA wants to start thinking even further outside the box, in hopes of spotting a breakthrough they might've missed.
But if you have an idea for how to revolutionize space travel, act fast — the open submission period for white papers closes on Oct. 17. A panel of experts will look at every idea, and the top 25 options will be announced in November. From there a top 10 will be chosen to participate in a NASA conference, and they’ll receive funding for additional research.
So get to brainstorming, armchair astronauts.