NASA Wants to Hear Your Space-Technology Pitch

The agency is looking for fresh thinking about space exploration.

NASA Space Exploration
NASA recently issued a call to private U.S. citizens soliciting ideas for sending vehicles into space.NASA

Space-exploration geeks with an idea to help NASA someday send vehicles to Mars and beyond are being sought by the space agency. NASA recently issued a call to U.S. citizens in private industry, academia and other government agencies for white papers that address a number of future space exploration challenges.

Called the iTech Initiative, NASA's yearlong effort hopes to discover fresh thinking about protecting humans from radiation exposure; life support systems in space; astronaut crew health; in-space propulsion; and the ability to achieve very high-resolution measurements of key greenhouse gases. Kira Blackwell, Innovation program executive in NASA's Washington, D.C., Office of the Chief Technologist, said, "NASA has programs to address the agency's current exploration goals, but we want to also include non-traditional innovators we haven't heard from before."

A panel of subject matter experts will review entries and select the 10 best based on their relevance and potential impact in any of the five focus areas. The top 10 finalists will present their solutions at the NASA iTech Forum at NASA Headquarters in Washington from December 5-8. As part of the forum, top innovators will also have an opportunity to discuss their ideas and explore developmental partnerships with industry participants. NASA's call for papers closes Oct. 17.