New technologies to improve the Mars mission with specific improvements on transport vehicles and habitats after NASA approved proposals of multi-disciplinary, university research institutes to develop technologies for an uninterrupted human presence on the Red Planet
Carbon Nanotube Material
The new technologies being developed decides to make powerful Mars habitats and lighter vehicles developed using carbon nanotube as the primary material.
Accordingly, the Space Technology Research Institutes (STRIs), which got NASA’s approval, must extract the power of researchers from different organizations to develop cutting-edge technologies in areas like bio-manufacturing and space infrastructure.
The first priority will be to create self-sustained exploration mission capabilities with Earth-independent characteristics.
“NASA is developing STRIs to research and use cutting-edge technology having the potential for revolutionary impact on upcoming aerospace capabilities,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for NASA’s in Washington-based Space Technology Mission Directorate.
NASA Shifts Focus
The preference for STRI mission goes well with NASA’s strategic focus moving to deep space missions by departing from the low-Earth orbit concentration. The space agency will develop technologies that sustain long-drawn missions of crews and help them in manufacturing products than waiting for resupple missions from Earth.
The project is Funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and these pioneering technologies will play a major role in the success of various NASA missions. Each STRI will be given $15 million for their technology missions.
The task of CUBES institute will be to evaluate research into integrated, multi-organism bio-manufacturing system for manufacturing food, fuel, materials, and pharmaceuticals.
Research goals of the CUBES institute need to support deep-space planetary expeditions and will be useful in Earth-based applications.
Martian Soil For Devising Habitats
In the meantime, the University of Central Florida (UCF) is teaming up with NASA in extracting metals from the Martian soil.
Molten Regolith Electrolysis
As per the discussion with NASA, deep research will be carried out on molten regolith electrolysis to know the details about the patterns by which metal ores are refined.
Martian soil called as regolith will be released into a chamber. By heating the chamber up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit will cause an electrolysis that will produce oxygen and molten metals important for the exploration of human space.
Organizations like NASA, SpaceX, Mars One, that are planning for human missions to Mars says that Mars exploration will require more resources within Mars as compared to expensive transportation from Earth. This aspect makes the research more important.