Monday, July 15, 2013

NASA's Deep Space Future Is Taking Shape


A couple of interesting, NASA-related things have happened in the last few days, for better and for worse. The good news is that the agency has, in cooperation with he National Space Grant Foundation, selected seven projects from six universities to participate in the 2014 Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge. The bad news is that the House Appropriations Committee approved the smallest NASA budget since 1986. So the agency is tapping into the next generation of innovators to breathe new life into it’s deep space future, if that future survives the deep budget cuts the House committee is proposing (which would also have to be approved by the Senate, a very slim possibility). 

The X-Hab challenge will give undergraduate students a pretty interesting opportunity. Throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, seven teams from six universities will work to design, manufacture, assemble, and test systems and concepts that will help future astronauts living in deep space. 

We can look at the teams and what they’re working on for a sense of what the future in deep space exploration might look like.

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