NASA has already gone where a man has never been before, but the space agency is still pushing boundaries and has 18 radically new projects in the series.
From self-healing spacesuits to spacecraft destined for Venus, the following are four of Nasa's real plans for the future that sound more like science fiction.
Self-healing space suit
Astronauts may get superpowers as NASA has provided funding to Texas A & M University for researchers to work on their SmartSuit invention.
This high tech space suit is designed to enhance the movement and dexterity of astronauts.
The space suit will also include soft-robotics, sensors, and a self-healing skin that astronauts could protect when they're on the move.
Lunar Removal Outpost
Nasa also supports TransAstra Corporation with its Polar Natural Gas Outpost (LGMO), which could make exploration and industrialization of humans much more cost-effective by tapping into polar polar iceberg mining.
Moon conveyors believe that mining could become a source of water for people on the moon.
The production of rocket fuel from Mondeis could also drastically reduce the cost of moon missions.
The LGMO seems to focus primarily on creating a power source and providing the architecture that supports it.
Spinning balloons have inspired the Nasa-funded project of West Virginia University, which aims to throw thousands of tiny probes into the atmosphere of different planets on future missions.
Ballooning is a process that some spiders use to move through the air using threads from their tracks to create a kite-like structure that can be carried in the wind.
The use of these spider-like probes in space could help researchers capture a large amount of data over a wide range and thus gain a more complete picture of a planet.
The probes weigh about 50 mg, but do not look like spiders.
Instead, the researchers plan to look like small pods attached to a circular loop.
Although unmanned spacecraft were previously on Venus, they really only scratched the surface.
Nasa has provided funding to the California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory to investigate a new approach to supporting long-lasting Venus surface missions.
The Venus-Lander concept involves a proposed hovering spacecraft that can collect energy from the atmosphere on Venus and then send that energy to a lander on the surface.
This could extend the missions on the Venusian surface by providing a constant source of energy in an area that is notoriously hostile to earthly visitors.
NASA is currently working with Russia on a mission that could lead to a clear map of the Venus surface in the late 2020s.
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What's your favorite upcoming NASA project? Let us know in the comments …
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