Since humans landed on the moon back in July 1969, we have sent an array of rovers and robots to analyse the celestial body to find out if we can set up our base there or not. NASA has been on the mission to capture the Moon for a long time. The space research organisation already has plans to launch a rover, the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER), in 2022. Now, in addition to the VIPER, NASA wants to send tiny rovers to the moon for future projects. And you can help them achieve this by designing a miniature payload design for these tiny rovers.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA in California is organising a public competition, the “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload”, in which participants are expected to come up with the best miniature payload designs for future missions to capture the Moon. These miniature payloads will deliver tiny rovers to the Moon to collect key information and help with NASA’s upcoming Artemis Project.
According to NASA, the payloads that exist are quite heavy and big. So, they require a lot of power. However, NASA is seeking a payload design that will be similar to the size of a bar of soap. The dimensions of the required payload should be maximum of 3.9″ x 3.9″x 1.9″ (100mm x 100mm x 50mm). It should also be lightweight for less power consumption and should not weigh more than 0.4KG (0.8 lbs).
Now, there are a lot of categories in the competition. The participants who top each of the categories will get $160,000 for the prize. The organisation is planning to launch the competition on the crowdsourcing platform, heroX. NASA will be accepting submissions from June 1, 2020. You can check out here to get more info on the challenges and on how to participate in the competition.
So, do you think you have got the skill and talent to make a soap-sized payload? Then feel free to participate in this challenge and help NASA achieve their feat.