International Space Station-
This is a place where astronauts can work off the earth for the earth. NASA is learning how to prepare future generations of astronauts to be able to stay for longer missions. In doing so the soon to be projects like round trip to Mars and asteroids will be possible. Most importantly the Space Station is used as a floating laboratory as its function is to give astronauts the resources for their scientific research. The way they keep this running is by sending rockets and other designed spacecrafts with supply to the space station enabling it to function. With the scientific research being done there this gives way to the United States being able to advance on shared goals for space exploration.
Mission to Mars-
One of the highest regarded and viral upcoming missions is being able to send someone to mars. On the journey to Mars they will have to build they most complex and advance rocket of all time. It is planned to carry four astronauts and will be launch from Florida. According to “What’s Next For NASA?” the rocket will be on the SLS or the Space Launch System which is one of a kind and is capable of taking humans ever farther than Earth’s orbit. But before any of this goes on NASA plans on developing the Asteroid Redirect Mission. This in simplistic terms will be the capturing and redirecting an asteroid to orbit the moon. We will then explore this for Data for around a decade.
New 2020 Mars Rover
The Mars 2020 Rover Mission. One of the key pieces of further exploration on Mars, NASA is seeking signs of habitable conditions there. A key difference on the new Rover is that it will have a drill on it which will enable it to collect core samples including rocks and soils. With this data it can look for past life forms. This mission also entails getting NASA the information to help send somewhere there if they can gather oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. This is planned to happen around July or August of 2020 when it is a good time between both planets. This will reduce costs and keep the risk low. Included on the NASA Website website is a full description of the updates and add ons to the new mars over.
The new Satellites
The big clunky designs of satellites are being transformed into compact devices that could fit into your hands. In fact these satellites are so transportable and different from the other versions NASA is allowing students and schools to submit their own designs. They have already designed some satellites to be the size of a stamp and they have been launched. If everything goes well and they get the data NASA needs, the plan is to send them up in masses and allow them to float freely picking up all the data they can.
The Europa Drill
If you are interested in aliens then you should be interested in this project. Jupiter’s moon Europa is make astronomers go crazy because under its oceans there is a 30-kilometer-thick shell of ice. Basically NASA is trying to figure out how they are going to break through the ice, keep in mind it would be hard for them to do that here let alone all the way on Jupiter. The funding for this mission was given by President Obama and could begin as soon as 2022. NASA has already worked out a new technology that will hopefully punch through the ice (its a nuclear powered ice cannon). They are currently testing it on Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier, keep in mind they can’t maintain a giant drill bit so instead they are using a nuclear core to produce scorching jets of watch that will cut the ice.