HomeGamingVenus Drones, Sun-Powered Ships and More: NASA Announces Funding for Sci-Fi Like...

Venus Drones, Sun-Powered Ships and More: NASA Announces Funding for Sci-Fi Like Projects



NASA has announced funding for research into 17 science fiction-esque projects aimed to advance the possibilities of space exploration, including drones to explore Venus, asteroid destroying technology, and more.

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) programme is funding 12 brand new and five ongoing projects.

The 12 new projects that have received funding are below:

These 12 projects are all in Phase 1 of funding, meaning they’re brand new ideas being researched over the next nine months, with $175,000 awarded. Five projects have also been funded for Phase 2, research which is further along in development and has been given $600,000 for a two-year period.

The five ongoing projects that have received funding are below:

Jim Reuter, an associate administrator at NASA, said: “NASA’s mission to explore the universe requires new technologies and new ways of doing things. Studying these creative ideas is the first step to turn science fiction into science fact.”

NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy added: “As we set our sights on ever more challenging destinations for exploration with humans and robots, innovative ideas and future thinking will be critical to helping us reach new milestones.

“Concepts like those being studied with this new round of NIAC funding are helping us expand the scope of the possible so we can make it reality.”

The various Venus projects will contribute nicely to NASA’s returning interest to Venus, as it announced last year new missions to study the planet for the first time in 30 years that will take place sometime this decade. Soon after, by 2031, NASA plans to crash the International Space Station into the ocean as it’s replaced by commercial space stations.


Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale.



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