NASA Accepting Proposals for 2018 Mars Mission

<a href=" "> "Budget Woes Force NASA to Redraw Plans to Mars,"</a> Alicia Chang, AP News

In response to budget difficulties, NASA has issued an open call for proposals from professional scientists and the general public about how to execute a 2018 mission to Mars to return soil and rock samples. The <a href=" "> call for proposals</a> is an attempt to find cheap, innovative ideas for this mission that will also contribute to NASA's longer-term goal of sending humans to Mars by 2030.

What do we think about this idea? Is it realistic? Is NASA being specific enough about what kinds of ideas they need? Is this effort to crowdsource space innovation a promising development?