NASA is Looking for Ideas for Cheaper Mars Vehicles
It's no secret that the price for space exploration is astrological most of the time. And in order to at least save for the upcoming Journey to Mars, NASA is crowdsourcing for cheaper Mars vehicle concepts.
The space agency is calling out private commercial industries to propose new technologies that might help in making more affordable Martian vehicles. This was done through a Request for Information (RFI) issued by NASA.
The objective is not only to look for cheaper Martian vehicles but also for sustainability and efficiency of the agency's Exploration Systems Development (ESD) and its programs. The next technology should be at par with the Space Launch System (SLS) and, at the same time, won't cost too much money to build and maintain. The RFI encourages everyone to share their ideas about rocket science and spacecraft.
NASA's Space Launch System is currently being developed by Boeing. The SLS, once built, is expected to become the most powerful rocket on Earth. Lockheed Martin, on the other hand, is building the Orion spacecraft that will help transport humans to the red planet in NASA's Journey to Mars.
NASA was reportedly granted with $19.3 billion budget for its space exploration program and a huge part of it, $3 billion of which, was this year's budget. The remaining might be used for alleged annual flights for the journey to Mars. On an average, a trip to the International Space Station using a rocket costs around $450, according to The Verge.
Based on the request, NASA states that it is also open not just for ideas for cheaper Mars vehicles but for more affordable materials as well. Some business analysts say that NASA's move to save money and spend frugally is good since the agency will have to go through the change in command under the new Trump administration.
But despite the callout, NASA is not lacking any modes of transportation in case the agency needs it. Elon Musk's SpaceX might be successful in its 2018 Mars landing attempt using an innovative spacecraft that is also a good alternative for NASA's SLS, according to Inverse.