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SEATTLE - When a presidential commission analyzed NASA's goals for space exploration, it said the space agency should create an "incubator for cutting-edge technologies and concepts," playing a role similar to that of the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Fortunately, space planners already have the nucleus for such an effort, known as the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts, or NIAC. Lunar researcher Paul Spudis, a member of the presidential commission, made sure he got in a plug for the little-known organization.
“There was a discussion about DARPA as a way to get crazy ideas into technical currency, and people said we need to have a ‘NARPA,’ a NASA Advanced Research Projects Agency,” Spudis recalled. “I said, ‘Well, NASA already has one, something called NIAC, which basically funds crazy ideas, and hopefully some of those crazy ideas will eventually emerge in some future technical implementation.’ ... It was thought that that was an important activity.”
You don't hear about the 6-year-old Atlanta-based institute as much as you do about space shuttles or Mars probes. But across the country, NIAC's research fellows are churning away on crazy ideas that could become positively ho-hum in decades to come.
This week, NIAC's leaders and research fellows met in Seattle to review some of those crazy ideas: skin-tight spray-on spacesuits for a trip to Mars ... static-electricity fields that would protect future lunar bases from space radiation ... even a lunar lab that could develop microbes for terraforming Mars.
Originally posted by Kidfinger
Spray on latex? Thats pretty cool I could think of some uses for that Aside from being perverted, there are a lot of areas that this application could be out to good use.
static-electricity fields that would protect future lunar bases from space radiation.