Earlier today, NASA announced funding for 22 projects as part of its Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. From a planet hopping laser-driven sail and a solar powered Venusian weather balloon to an autonomous rover on Pluto, the future of space exploration looks incredibly bright.
NASA has chosen its next batch of proposals under its advanced concepts program, including the use of soft-robotic rovers for exploring gas-giant moons, and autonomous robots capable of crawling, hopping, and rolling around the surface of the Moon.
NASA is currently accepting ideas for a mission to Europa — the moon voted most likely to harbour alien life. But thanks to recent budget cuts, it can only consider the most affordable solutions. The fine minds at Draper Labs may have just come up with the answer.
NASA has approved funding for 12 futuristic projects, including a submarine to explore the methane lakes of Titan, an aerial drone for Mars, and a probe to analyze the surface of Europa. You can learn about each individual project here.
Foreign Policy has published an extremely cool overview of highly advanced military technologies currently under development — technologies that will soon be at the disposal of the U.S. military. It's written with tongue firmly in cheek, but there's still a hint of seriousness to the article as the FP reviewers…