NASA is investing millions into the effort of creating more eco-friendly airplanes for cleaner air. The project is called N+3 and looks ahead three generations into the future of aircraft design – calling for developments completed by 2030 to 2035. As with most technological innovations these days, less is more. The planes will use 70 percent less fuel, emit 75 percent less nitrous oxide, create less noise pollution and require less space for takeoff and landing. A similar initiative, N+2 also calls for greater fuel efficiency (50 percent less consumption), but looks toward completion in the nearer future – 2020 to 2025.
Airlines are currently attempting to retrofit planes to make them more efficient, which costs less than building new planes from scratch. Plans for a solar powered airplane with zero emissions – the most efficient aircraft possible – are also underway.
This is not NASA’s first effort to be environmentally conscious. Recently, astronauts developed a system that recycles urine for drinking water during space travel.