NASA wants ideas for how to survive on Mars

The NASA iTech initiative asks outside groups to pitch the future of space exploration technology.

Mike Brown / Reuters

Have you been tossing around a practical, well researched idea that could revolutionize space travel, but just don't know how to pitch it to the folks at NASA? You're in luck -- the space administration just announced the launch of NASA iTech, a program calling for ideas from the public, government sectors, academia and the aerospace industry that could shape the future of space travel and help in a potential mission to Mars. Specifically, NASA wants 5-page white paper proposals for technologies in radiation protection, life support systems, astronaut health, in-space propulsion and high-resolution greenhouse gas measurement tools.

NASA does it's own research into new technology, of course -- but the organization hopes that seeking innovation from non-traditional sources could present it with new, different ideas. Unfortnatly, the window for submission is pretty short: NASA iTech is accepting white papers only from now until October 17th. Over the next few months ten finalists will be selected to be presented at NASA headquarters in December -- and the top three will be given resources and mentoring for development.