Two far-off NASA concepts could quickly survey lunar craters for astronauts and help identify mining resources on nearby asteroids.
The projects come courtesy of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program, which pursues theoretical ideas that could take many years to come to fruition. Each project is at the most advanced stage of development NIAC has offered to date, Phase III, and will receive up to $2 million to outline the mission concept, according to a NASA statement released on Tuesday (June 11).
“This is the first year NASA offered a NIAC Phase III opportunity, and there were many strong proposals,” Jason Derleth, NIAC program executive, said in the statement. “We selected two proposals because we think both of the technologies could positively impact the industry. We are excited that these technology concepts could help humanity explore space in new ways.”