NASA Calls on Public to Help Envision the Future of Flight

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Imagine the future of aviation. Will we travel in personal hovercraft? How about transoceanic flights that take just a couple of hours? As NASA explores the future of the skies, it also seeks to increase innovation in aviation. To best serve this effort, the agency must conduct the right research, do the right development, and form the right partnerships. That’s why NASA is calling on the public to help envision the future of flight.

The Future-Scaping our Skies challenge aims to anticipate how societal, technological, regulatory, environmental, economic, and political changes over the next 30 years might impact aviation, and vice versa.

“We’re calling on the public to give us their visions of the future connected to aviation, as well as related needs,” said Keith Wichman, lead of the Convergent Aeronautics Solutions project at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. “The input we receive from this challenge will help us build a better understanding of possible future state scenarios and make better decisions about technology developments today.”

NASA is asking participants to build a timeline of at least 30 years that envisions a possible future scenario in aviation, describing key events, trends, dependencies, risks, and potential impacts on society. Submitters may also use multimedia to illustrate their ideas.

“The diverse range of responses could help inform NASA’s aviation-related efforts,” Wichman said. “We are excited to see what the public can envisage.”

NASA will award the top nine ideas. The submission deadline is May 31, 2021. Please note that this challenge is only open to participants from the United States. For more information about this challenge and how to enter, please visit:

NASA’s Convergent Aeronautics Solutions project is conducting this challenge. This effort invests in high-risk, high-payoff ideas aimed to help solve the challenges that aviation faces, including impacts to safety and the environment, and global growth in air traffic. The project is part of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

The NASA Tournament Lab, part of the Prizes, Challenges, and Crowdsourcing program in the Space Technology Mission Directorate, manages the challenge. The program supports public competitions and crowdsourcing as tools to advance NASA research and development and other mission needs.

Learn more about opportunities to participate in your space program via NASA prizes and challenges:

NASA Calls on Public to Help Envision the Future of Flight