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From fungal architecture to swarms of roboticists, here are the last moonshots of NASA

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NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts program is perhaps the best place to get federal funding for an idea that seems crazy – because program managers think it may be just crazy enough to function.

Researchers doing the "Phase I" cut receive about $ 125,000 over 9 months to develop their idea, be it breathtaking or simply technically difficult. If significant progress is made or if the concept is promising, a second "Phase II" investment of up to $ 500,000 may be made at NASA's discretion.

According to NIAC program director Jason Derleth, "this year has been particularly fierce with more than 230 submissions and only 25 winners." A significant number of Phase II awards have also been awarded (you may recall a little selections from last year).

I've put together most of them with explanations in the simplest language that I've been able to invoke – click to see what NASA thinks the future from space exploration might look like.

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