Washington: As NASA prepares to launch astronauts to the moon by 2024, it is faced with a rather tough problem in the form of space toilets and it needs your help figuring it out. Yes! On Thursday, NASA rolled a challenge for the public, seeking concepts for a toilet design that could be used by astronauts on the Moon. Also Read - Any More Surprises Left For 2020? Neptune-Like Planet Discovered Using Data From NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
For the competition, NASA has partnered with HeroX, the social network for innovation and crowdsourced solutions.
Called the Lunar Loo challenge, this competition is offering up $35,000 in prizes for teams who propose effective designs for toilets that can operate in both microgravity and lunar gravity environments.
Although space toilets are already in use, they are designed for microgravity only. The concept that NASA is seeking should be functional in lunar gravity too, thereby letting astronauts use it while they’re on the Moon.
Announcing the competition, NASA on its website wrote, ”While astronauts are in the cabin and out of their spacesuits, they will need a toilet that has all the same capabilities as ones here on Earth. NASA is calling on the global community for their novel design concepts for compact toilets that can operate in both microgravity and lunar gravity. These designs may be adapted for use in the Artemis lunar landers that take us back to the Moon”.
It further added, ”NASA’s Human Landing System Program is looking for a next-generation device that is smaller, more efficient, and capable of working in both microgravity and lunar gravity. This challenge includes a Technical category and Junior category”.
Submissions to both categories are due no later than 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT on Aug. 17. For the first place, you can be rewarded $20,000, $10,000 for second place, and $5,000 for third.