Futuristic NASA Think Tank to be Shut Down

From New Scientist:

NASA will likely shut down its Institute for Advanced Concepts, which funds research into futuristic – and often far-out – ideas in spaceflight and aeronautics, officials say. The controversial move highlights the budgetary pressures the agency is facing as it struggles to retire the space shuttles by 2010 and develop their replacement.

The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) was established to “give an opportunity for people outside of NASA to develop really revolutionary and creative concepts for future aeronautics and space missions”, says Robert Cassanova, who has served as the institute’s director since its inception in February 1998.

The institute, which operates from an office in Atlanta, Georgia, US, receives about $4 million per year from NASA. Most of that is used to fund research into innovative technologies; recent grants include the conceptual development of spacecraft that could surf the solar system on magnetic fields, motion-sensitive spacesuits that could generate power and tiny, spherical robots that could explore Mars.

[Read more at New Scientist]

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  • Mok

    so, i guess they are going to leave the innovation to the garage inventors….we are moving backwards….

    • dumbsaint

      Look on the bright side, at least you guys can still afford war.

      • 5by5

        Yippie. What is laughingly referred to as “Defense” is already gobbling up 55% of our entire budget (For reference, ALL of Social Security AND Medicare covers less than 6%).

        At some point we have to consider that soon, there won't be anything left BEHIND the lines to defend.

  • Anonymous

    Fair enough. there is no future.

  • sidneee

    Fair enough. there is no future.