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NASA needs your help on how to develop a mini-Moon Rover

Send NASA your mini-Moon Payload Designs for a chance win

By Angela Garrity, Guest blogger

If you’ve got an imagination bigger than the world, NASA could use your help with lending your ideas to help develop a mini-Moon rover. The space organization is interested in designs to use that would tie into its Artemis program.

An illustration of a mini rover on the surface of the Moon
Photo: NASA

NASA has a problem and your design could hold the answer. The organization is looking for the tiniest of rovers to help advance space exploration. 

Existing payloads are often big, heavy and require a lot of power. The miniature payload designs sought for this challenge are required to be similar in size to that of a bar of soap — a maximum of 3.9 inches by 3.9 inches by 1.9 inches, and weighs no more than 0.8 pounds.

According to a recent NASA report posted earlier this month, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California is running a public prize competition to design "miniaturized payloads" for future Moon missions.

The “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload” challenge is seeking "instrument designs that could help support a sustained human lunar presence, demonstrate and advance the use of resources found on the Moon, and enable new science," according to NASA.

The competition is intended to generate a pipeline of amazing ideas for next-generation instruments, sensors, technologies and experiments for near-term lunar exploration, according to NASA.

Participants will have an opportunity to win a share of $160,000 in prizes across several categories. JPL is working with the NASA Tournament Lab to execute the challenge on the heroX crowdsourcing platform.

Submissions will be accepted through June 1, 2020.

It’s go time.

Related: Take a look at the NASA Artemis logo

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