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NASA Seeks Public Help For Future Space Travel And Mission To Mars Through iTech Program

First Posted: Sep 23, 2016 03:00 AM EDT
NASA has started the iTech Initiative to get ideas for its future space missions especially for its manned Mars mission.
NASA has started the iTech Initiative to get ideas for its future space missions especially for its manned Mars mission.
(NASA/Getty Images)

NASA might have much experience in space missions, but its Mars undertaking would have many risks. NASA plans to have manned missions to Mars and is now asking the public for ideas on how it could undertake them.

NASA has launched the iTech Initiative. The iTech Initiative is a program that calls on the public, government sector and academic circles to provide ideas for future space missions. This will affect much of the missions planned by NASA, especially those that involve manned space missions to Mars. The iTech Initiative would be a yearlong effort, according to the International Business Times.

While the iTech Initiative might be an effort for one year, the window for submitting ideas would be short. Endgadget reports that submission of white papers would be from the time the initiative started on Wednesday until October 17. After that, ten finalists would be selected and presented at NASA headquarters. From the top ten only three would be chosen who would be given resources as well as guidance.

The iTech Initiative is open to all U.S. citizens and organizations. Five key areas would be focused on. These are radiation protection, astronaut crew health, life support systems, in-space propulsion and high-resolution measurements of greenhouse gases. Those who would make it as the top ten finalists would then present their ideas as NASA headquarters from December 5 to 8.

With the iTech Initiative, NASA hopes to work in collaboration with other agencies, universities and industries, as well as others who could provide ideas for its future space programs. This is not the first time that NASA has asked for ideas from the public. Last year it held a contest to design and build a habitat for space exploration.

NASA plans to have manned missions to Mars by 2030. There are some private enterprises that are also hoping to send people to Mars on or before that time. Elon Musk also hopes to send a Mars manned mission. Russia as well plans to send people to Mars by 2030. NASA will have much competition in sending the first people to Mars.

NASA continues to explore Mars with its unmanned missions, and recently, the Curiosity rover was said to have found a snake on Mars, as covered in a previous iTechPost report.

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