NASA Commits To A $65 Million Budget On Developing Deep Space Habitats; Will Be Shared Between Six Companies [VIDEO]By Ron S., UniversityHerald Reporter
NASA approves a $65 million budget to be spent on developing deep-space habitats, which are expected to be used on the mission to Mars.
The budget will be spread over two years between 6 participating companies; which indicates the level of priority NASA have set onto the project as the mission to Mars would likely see transit in the coming few years, according to NASA website.
NASA had already handpicked its team of companies to develop deep-space-ready habitats, which likely includes building prototypes, sharing and comparing notes and concepts between these companies.
The chosen companies are all based in the U.S., which include Bigelow Aerospace, which is based in Las Vegas; Lockheed Martin, which is from Denver; Boeing, which is based in Texas; Orbital ATK of Virginia; Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems, which is based on Colorado; and NanoRacks, which is from Texas, as well.
The research is part of NASA's NEXTStep project, which is an ongoing program under the agency's Advanced Exploration Systems. The aforementioned projects aim to further humankind's knowledge on space exploration, as well as funding private research to develop technologies to be used in such projects, TechCrunch reported.
The recently announced project, along with its budget, is significantly larger than the previous years. The previous contracts have allotted a mere $15 million, which was divided between 10 parties, while the current NASA project have bumped its sum to $65 million, to be split 6 ways, according to NewsLedge.
The selected companies bring with itself a diversity between approaching the problem facing space exploration; sustainability. The companies are quite well known by their unique approach and respective company views, which would likely raise the odds of developing an apt habitat for humans in deep space.
NASA's self-imposed deadline for the Mars Mission is fast approaching, which is on 2020. On a side note, NASA have recently teamed up with Elon Musk's SpaceX, which is adamant that the private company would bring humans to the Red Planet in as early as 2018.