Ever since NASA’s establishment in 1958, it has been more than a space research organization. From artificial limbs to freeze dried food, NASA has added a number of remarkable inventions to its kitty. In fact, some of the coolest technologies which we are using in our day to day lives are all courtesy NASA.
Let us take for instance the spacecraft Juno that NASA launched to Jupiter, that too, entirely on solar power. Juno is the first spacecraft that has gone this far from the sun while being completely on solar power. Of course, there have been spacecrafts that have gone farther, but they were all nuclear-powered.
When it comes to inventing latest technologies, NASA never fails to surprise us. I mean, who could have said that we would reach Jupiter on a spacecraft completely solar-powered. By inventing the best of technologies, NASA has been able to make a lot of impossibles possible.
Currently as well, as you and me are doing our work, NASA would be busy thinking of some great invention. As of now, there are a few technologies that NASA has in the pipeline and are the coolest of them all.
- Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System
NASA’s mission to Mars is one of the most talked about in today’s time. There are a number of projects that NASA must succeed in before it can take humans to the ‘red planet’. One of the most important out of all those is the Space Launch System which is the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA. The Space Launch System would be the launch vehicle for Orion spacecraft which is being designed to transport astronauts farther away from the Earth to a planet never traveled before.
Both systems are currently under development and have gone through a number of tests in the past years. The systems are scheduled to be tested (crew-less) in November 2018 before they can be a part of one of the greatest missions of history.
- Deep Space Habitats
The astronauts scheduled to go to Mars would be staying there for 3-4 years as they explore and understand the planet. If we expect them to go there and get back in one piece, stuffing them in a human-sized capsule doesn’t sound like a wise idea. As per NASA, there should be a deep space habitat attached to the Orion capsule to provide more living and bathing space to those on board. Besides the very basic amenities like living space, the deep space habitat would also include fire prevention, life support, radiation protection and provide room for other major day-to-day activities.
- Flexible Spacesuits
As mentioned before, NASA astronauts would spend a LOT of time on a planet so far away from us. During their stay on the Red Planet, they would be moving around excessively to collect and explore data. However, the atmosphere on Mars isn’t as good as it is on Earth and astronauts would need special suits to sustain it.
For protecting themselves from the damaging radiation, unpredictable atmosphere and other conditions, astronauts would require special and flexible suits. Unlike today’s spacesuits which make it extremely hard to move around, NASA is designing outfits that make moving around much easier. With features like augmented reality, self-healing material, and interwoven bio-monitors, these would be the next-generation spacesuits.
- Asteroid Redirect Mission
The Asteroid Redirect Mission aims at rerouting an asteroid to orbit around the moon. The motive behind this mission is exploring the surface of the moon and also training astronauts for their final journey to Mars.
NASA plans to land an unmanned spacecraft on an asteroid near the Earth. After collecting tons of data from the surface, the asteroid would be redirected to a stable orbit around the moon and then return to Earth. Sounds like a plan doesn’t it?
But what is the point of redirecting an asteroid at all if it has to eventually come back to the earth? NASA aims at training astronauts on landing and exploring an asteroid. This would assist in testing their capabilities before they successfully navigate to Mars.
- Laser Beams
Mars is far away from the earth, to be precise, 33.9 million miles away. If NASA is planning to send its astronauts so far away, they have to find a way to stay connected. Moreover, to navigate to and land on Mars, a strong internet connection is needed. But how can we make the internet connection stronger? The answer to this is lasers beams. NASA is developing a laser communication to assist in the process. These laser beams would ensure that the astronauts who are travelling all the way to Mars are heading in the right direction and are well connected all the way.
NASA can Make it Happen!
It wouldn’t be an easy task to develop these high-end technologies. It would take lots of years, billions of dollars and hard work for these technologies to start functioning. But, it’s NASA and we are sure they WILL make it happen.
As per reports by NASA, it is their goal to have humans on Mars by 2030s. Through their worthy and unimaginable inventions, NASA has also motivated us to DREAM. Otherwise, who would have thought of stepping on Mars, let alone living there.