It seems that NASA's preparations to send man to the moon (once again) with the Artemis mission are going well.
There have been several initiatives promoted by the space agency for the development of technology to facilitate the conditions for making the trip and to provide the astronauts involved with the necessary tools to carry out the tasks assigned and to solve the problems that may arise.
From expandable origami-based habitats to 3D printing to build bases on the Moon, creativity has been at the forefront of the proposals generated around this mission.
The last of these includes a challenge posed by NASA to university students in the United States, inviting them to solve the problem related to moon dust.
Moon dust is an element that adheres to almost everything, with an abrasive property that can cause damage to spacesuits, equipment, habitats and even the spacecraft itself, generating, in addition, failures in the readings made by the instruments, as well as altering the thermal properties of the equipment.
Through the 2021 BIG Idea Challenge, a competition of ideas, NASA hopes to find a solution to this problem, where the person whose idea is selected will receive a funding of 180 thousand dollars to implement their project and demonstrate its effectiveness in solving the problem proposed by NASA.
It should be noted that, to be accepted, each of the projects submitted in the competition must be focused on one of these aspects:
- The prevention and elimination of dust on the moon landing
- The tolerance and elimination of dust in space suits.
- The prevention, tolerance and reduction of external dust
- The tolerance and elimination of powder in the booth
Those who cannot propose an idea for this contest will be able to do so for the Lunar Loo challenge in which a prize of $35,000 will be offered to the team that designs the best and most practical lunar toilet.