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NASA Seeks Lunar Payload Ideas Through University Student Challenge

1 min read

Jeff Brody

NASA has unveiled a new competition to encourage university student teams to propose technology concepts, systems or demonstrations to help the space agency explore the moon’s permanently shadowed areas.

Students and faculty advisers can submit proposals for sample payloads to support exploration of dark lunar regions through the 2020 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing Idea Challenge, NASA said Thursday. The BIG Idea Challenge also calls for technological ideas to utilize materials found in lunar polar regions.

According to NASA, it will select as many as 10 teams to receive funds ranging from $50,000 to $180,000. Universities affiliated with an agency-backed Space Grant Consortium may form groups with as many as 20 members to join the competition. Finalists will conduct tests and demonstrate working proof of concepts.

“This year’s challenge is a unique opportunity for NASA to strengthen relationships with space grant universities and develop a future workforce with experience developing new and exciting concepts that align directly with current space technology focus areas and capability needs,” said Erica Alston, deputy director at NASA’s National Space Grant Consortium.