Future plans for the exploration of outer space in the American space agency NASA is sometimes intertwined with a very bizarre fantasies. Nevertheless, they are always backed up by a particular science. Almost all we wrote, but why not brush up on the ten most bizarre projects, which are prepared in NASA?


You’ve all seen footage of spacewalks – when astronauts awkwardly clinging aboard the International Space Station, and supersonic debris already travels to knock them. Specifically, this danger is to eliminate the curious robot from NASA: Dextre, mechanical handyman. Dexterous manipulator (dextre – this is the “trickster”) will always remain on board the ISS, carrying out maintenance and covering people.

Originally developed by the Canadian Space Agency, Dextre is pretty big. He is 3.5 meters tall, equipped with almost as long grasping hands and weighs about 1700 pounds. However, this should not seriously affect the space station, which itself weighs 450 tons. The robot can be controlled remotely by the astronauts on board the space station, but the current protocol assumes control Dextre forces of earth scientists.

While Dextre performs its duties, the astronauts do not have to risk their lives to bring back a lost valve or replace worn wire. Plus they will have more time to practice space science.

Supersonic bi-directional flying wing

Supersonic Bidirectional Flying Wing, as it sounds in the original language, it’s funny airplane that can turn your whole idea of ​​the flying vehicle. It is the creation Gachenga For Professor at the University of Miami. Interest NASA concept for referring that can develop unprecedented speed and spin on an unprecedented range of heights.

Referring to Aeronautics in general, the initial phase of flight requires a large surface area to effect recovery. That’s why large aircraft wings. But as soon as the vehicle goes into the air, a large area produces additional resistance, thereby slowing the transport. This dichotomy aerodynamic efficiency never fully satisfied, but NASA plans to get around this issue bidirectional design, promising $ 100 000 for further implementation of the insane concept.

This giant wing truly universal. His wide body makes it easy to take to the air. It can gain a supersonic speed, reach greater heights and rotate by 90 degrees.

Vegetables in space

Feed astronauts is not a serious problem, as it is quite easy to replenish reserves powder “vkusnyashek” through regular visits to the ISS. But this is a question of refueling if we continue space exploration . Why not start a vegetable garden space?

It is this and trying to figure out NASA, so the first astroovoschi were delivered to the ISS in April 2014. Array LED bulbs will incubate salad, and while red romaine is the only dish on the menu. Device garden salad contains six packs (pillow) with seeds, fertilizers and clay.

Mature plants will quickly frozen and sent back to Earth aboard the capsule Dragon. If they are deemed safe to eat after a series of tests, the culture of all species will be grown in microgravity, seriously expanding the list of food on board the ISS.

Super Ball Bot
Super Ball Pot

“Tensegrity” may seem to someone called a rock band from the 80s, but in reality it means “connection by stress.” Using this concept, NASA has developed a flexible, durable, segmented ball called Super Ball Bot.

Design goals provides mobility and damping qualities as uniformly transmit power across the structure as the human body. He is so strong, that NASA plans to reset these balls straight to the moon of Saturn, Titan, without a parachute. His firmness soften landing, removing the need for landing gear.

Ball looks like a messy jumble tent rods. But in reality, this is a complicated thing remains stable and can serve as a transport on Titan – as a kind of metal tumbleweed. NASA will use it as a container for transportation of robots and future landers. Move the ball much easier than all these things with wheels and can roll over rocks, sand and other unfriendly terrain.

Drill Europe

Being the main destination in the search for extraterrestrial life, salty oceans of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, astronomers have long forced to let salivating uncontrollably. Nevertheless, it is well protected by a 30-kilometer ice shell. Sensing at this depth – an unprecedented challenge for earthlings.

However, this problem may be more feasible than it seems. Not so long ago, NASA has received $ 15 million for research in Europe, and this historic mission could begin as early as 2022. NASA has developed a fundamentally new drilling technology, made to order, which will be able to break through the icy crust of Europe – a nuclear ice gun.

Testing technology is carried out in the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska. “Valkyrie” is ready for use anywhere throughout the solar system. Conventional drilling tools have never been able to break through the thick ice crust, and the support of a giant drill would be a monstrous task. “Valkyrie” will use nuclear energy for the production of jets of boiling water, which will be able to break through the ice.

Tiny satellites

The latest generation of NASA satellites to be materially different from the current models. Clumsy machines to which we are accustomed, will be gradually replaced by smaller devices, some of which will fit loosely in your hand.

One of these nano-satellites – a CubeSat. As you can guess from the name, it’s just a small cube with edge of 10 cm and a weight of 1.3 kilograms. Such satellites are easy to set up and carry, so now NASA even allows students and schools to develop their own projects. Featured cubes go into space. They are so small that they can easily take on board other missions as a payload.

Soon they will be even less. A series of satellites the size of the brand was launched into space aboard the space shuttle “Endeavour” in 2011. They are completely invisible, a little more than the nail on your finger. If testing goes well, NASA will launch these tiny brand in droves. Once the space is filled with chips, which will drift like a speck of dust, expensive and time consuming production of satellites will end.


To study the effects of prolonged exposure to microgravity, NASA sent into space rodents. How are they called Elon Musk, “myshstronavty” have an average lifespan of about two years, which makes them ideal for the study of animals on board the International Space Station.

Hold the mouse on the ISS for six months, which is equivalent to a quarter of their life or 20 years of life. NASA will oversee the mice at different stages of life, noting the differences between mice grown in space and their terrestrial counterparts. Previously, the mouse has repeatedly flew into space, but specifically, the mission will be the longest for their species.

Mice will live in “modules” artificial habitats mouse. All the necessities of life will be complete, and in each module will fit the order of 10 mice or 6 rats. Physiologically we mammals are very similar, so this experiment will reveal a lot about how people react to long-term microgravity .

Traveling without fuel

The newly developed engine space was taken to the NASA for one simple reason: it can create a craving in the absence of motive fuel in the opposite direction. This engine seems to be a flagrant violator of the laws of motion and Newton’s principle of conservation of momentum, but it seems to work .

Cannae Drive uses a special cone in combination with microwave radiation to propel themselves in space. Instead of using the fuel, its microwave cone produces pressure on themselves, creating a tiny rod. A similar engine is called EmDrive was produced in the UK.

While the generated energy is measured in mikronyutonah, it is comparable with sneezing butterflies. But the fact of its possible existence means that NASA can eventually develop a whole new generation of engines that significantly reduce fuel costs and make travel into deep space in the long term a more viable option.


Program NASA «New Horizons” – is one of the best programs of missions planned in our solar system. The mission of “Juno” will provide a new look at Jupiter. “New Horizons” will give us the first real images of Pluto. OSIRIS-REx can be more ambitious, but this program will come to Earth the first samples of asteroids.

The goal – a primitive and relatively close asteroid Bennu. Samples that return to Earth, may shed new light on the formation of the solar system. This ancient stone is a vestige of the debris, which has teamed up billions of years ago to form the planets and the Sun. It floats untouched about four billion years.

OSIRIS-REx will be launched in 2016 and in votknetsya Bennu rod. This is quite a feat when you consider that the diameter of the asteroid is just the length of four football fields, and get into it through the solar system – like a cannon to the moon. Bennu has a very good chance to visit Earth in the 22nd century, so that the mission can be important to collect data on an asteroid. Suddenly, it will need to blow up.

Air traffic control for commercial drones

NASA launched a joint effort to develop a control system for the thousands of drones that will inhabit our cities.

The earliest drones will take the observation of cultures and pipelines in rural areas, but in the future their use will be virtually limitless. The first commercial drones in the United States were approved in June 2014, and the control system NASA will open the door for a number of similar devices. Initial tests, of course, will be held away from the centers of civilization, to the cities of accidentally fell waste debris from the sky.

In the future, the device will be worn over our heads at a height of 120-150 meters, but we do not worry about it: the people it does not frighten . In any case, sooner than five years, such a future is not yet come.


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