NASA Calls on College Students to Aid in Lunar Excavation Ideas

Registration is now open for teams of undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the nation to participate in NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition: Lunabotics 2021.

The competition is a part of the Artemis Student Challenges, designed to engage and retain students in STEM fields by expanding opportunities for student research and design in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. The project provides a competitive environment to foster innovative ideas and solutions that potentially could be used on future NASA missions to the Moon or even Mars.

This year’s competition features a new “Design It, Build It, Dig It Challenge” format in which teams can compete in the “Design It” phase of the competition only, or compete in all three portions, through to the actual build and dig portion event. Teams selected to compete in the live events will demonstrate their excavator robots next spring at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

During the live competition, the teams’ robots will go head-to-head to determine which machine can collect and move the most regolith within a specified amount of time.

Registration will close Wednesday, Sept. 16, at noon EDT.

For more competition information, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-calls-on-college-students-to-aid-in-lunar-excavation-ideas/

2021 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice and Prospecting Challenge

Audience: Full-time Undergraduate and Graduate Students
Notice of Intent Deadline: Oct. 1
Project Plan Submission Deadline: Nov. 24
Contact: rascal@nianet.org

The 2021 RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice and Prospecting Challenge is an engineering design and technology demonstration contest for eligible college students. Teams have the opportunity to design and build prototype systems that can extract water and assess subsurface density profiles from a simulated off-world test bed. Up to 10 teams will be selected to receive $10,000 to build and demonstrate their systems’ capabilities in June 2021 at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.*

*As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace will closely monitor and follow guidelines from federal, state and community officials regarding the onsite competition at NASA Langley next summer. Protecting the health and safety of team members, staff and judges is our primary priority.

2021 BIG Idea Challenge: Dust Mitigation Technologies for Lunar Applications

Audience: Full-time Undergraduate and Graduate Students and Faculty
Notice of Intent Deadline: Sept. 25
Entry Deadline: Dec. 13
Contact: BigIdea@nianet.org

NASA’s 2021 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge is an engineering design competition open to teams of five to 25 students from Space Grant-affiliated colleges/universities. Teams are challenged to submit robust proposals for near-term dust mitigation (or dust tolerant) technologies that could be used for lunar applications near or in the Moon’s South Pole. Selected teams will receive awards from $50,000-$180,000 to bring their ideas to life!

The challenge is sponsored by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement. It is managed by the National Institute of Aerospace.

For more information click here.

Lunar Loo Challenge

Audience: Innovators of All Ages
Deadline: Aug. 17

As NASA prepares to send the first woman and next man to the Moon, engineers and scientists are busy working on the logistics and infrastructure needed to support astronauts for the trip, including a new toilet design.

The space toilet used on the International Space Station is designed to work for long-duration missions in microgravity. NASA’s Human Landing System Program is looking for ideas for a next-generation device for Artemis astronauts that is smaller, lighter, more efficient, and capable of working in both microgravity and lunar gravity.

Winning entries in the Technical Category are eligible for a portion of the $35,000 prize pool. A Junior Category is open to designers under 18 years of age.

For more information click here

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Seeks Ideas From Entrepreneurs

Audience: U.S. Citizens Ages 18+
Application Deadline: June 26

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is seeking novel ideas to support the development of new science instruments and related technologies to advance the agency’s science exploration goals in three broadly defined science technology focus areas. Through a three-stage process, SMD will award up to $100,000 in prize funding to each finalist, along with education opportunities provided by NASA’s Small Business Innovative Research program.

For more information Click Here