Watch: NASA needs your help to bring rocks back from Mars


NASA’s decision to scrap its $11 billion, 15-year mission to Mars to bring back samples could create a startup feeding frenzy, TechCrunch reports. Describing its plans as too slow, and too expensive, NASA is going back to the drawing board, with an eye on getting the space industry to help. Sure, you might worry that NASA can’t manage its own mission on a timeline and budget that it deems acceptable, but the chance for a deluge of dollars to engulf the startups working on making space more accessible could prove a massive boon.

Startups are not all social media apps, enterprise software and NFT-based online games. There are a good number focused on the bits-and-atoms side of the technology fence, even if the idea of building advanced hardware without a software element is all but unthinkable. Ergo, hardware startups are really working both sides of the digital divide at the same time.

But space startups are not worried about it. Looking at recent TechCrunch space headlines, we can see that Dark Space is working on a way to clear space debris; True Anomaly’s working on landing on the moon; Varda Space’s work to manufacture drugs in space and bring them back to Earth seems to work, so it raised $90 million more; Orbital Fab wants to refuel satellites; the list goes on and on.

So, the NASA money might have a bunch of startup-sized buckets to drip into, and I am here for it. Yes, I am a gigantic science-fiction dweeb, but I am still nothing short of dizzy with hype for our future as a species in space. To that end, if any startup that works with NASA on the Mars rock mission needs a human to send up there to check on the dials and such, I’m your guy. Hit play, let’s have some fun!

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