12 Insanely Ambitious Ideas For Improving Space Exploration

NASA has awarded $100,000 to each of these sci-fi projects, which cover everything from suspended animation to Mars kites to 3-D printed food.

NASA has announced the award-winners of its Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program, in which the agency gives funding to projects that are a little more, uh, ambitious than usual. (One previous candidate: satellites that beam energy down to Earth.) This year’s proposals are pretty wild, too (suspended animation! perpetual flight!), and they’re getting a one-year advance of $100,000 to prove the plans have some merit. After that, they’ll be re-considered for Phase II study, which would mean $500,000 for two years. Here’s what they’ve got in mind.