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NASA Seeks Sensor Tech for Safe Lunar Landing on Dark Areas; John Kelly Quoted

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A challenge under the NASA TechLeap Prize seeks proposals for sensor technologies designed to detect surface hazards from high altitudes and help spacecraft land safely on dark areas of the Moon.

Nighttime Precision Landing Challenge No. 1 calls for technologies that can sense hazards from a 250-meter altitude or greater, NASA said Wednesday.

The technologies must also process the gathered data in real time to support landing safety.

The space agency plans to award a maximum of $650,000 each to three winners, which would use the funds to build proposed payloads. Winners may also receive the opportunity to test their payloads aboard a suborbital flight.

“This is an exciting opportunity for industry to offer solutions that address one of NASA’s critical goals for space exploration and scientific discovery,” said John Kelly, program manager for NASA’s Flight Opportunities program.

Interested parties may register for the challenge through May 5 and will have up to May 19 to complete applications.