• NASA Space Launch System (SLS)

NASA Space Launch System (SLS) (Photo : Reuters )

Dr. George Hitt, an assistant professor at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, has just won a NASA competition. His ideas on how the agency can protect astronauts from high-energy radiation whilst on their way to Mars caught the attention of the bosses and commended him for his work of genius.

“I have never really received recognition on this level for work that I have done in the past,” said Hitt, according to The National.

Like Us on Facebook

Hitt’s proposal was centered on a reusable shield that spacecrafts can easily link up after exiting the Earth’s orbit and entering further into outer space. This machine will be uncoupled before the spacecraft enters the atmosphere of the Red Planet and will only be picked up when the expedition team finally returns.

As a prize for winning the contest that was hosted by NASA, Hitt won $5,000. He also saw that his proposal – and his win – was advertised on the Scientific American magazine.

Galactic cosmic rays, or GCRs, are a huge problem for future outer space travelers that need to venture beyond the low Earth orbit. These are charged particles that can permeate through anything, and anyone who travels outside of the Earth is inevitably exposed to them – until Hitt’s idea came along.

“We are very impressed with the enthusiasm and sheer number of people from the public who showed interest in solving this very difficult problem for human space exploration,” stated Steve Rader, the deputy manager of the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation, according to PR News Wire.

“We look forward to seeing what people will come up with in this next challenge to find the optimal configuration for these different protection approaches,” he added.