You Can Help NASA Get to Mars

NASA – the National Aeronautics and Space Administration – would like to send astronauts to Mars, and for this they need your help. Especially if you have a new solution to the problem of waste disposal in space.

NASA’s Tournament Lab and the recently launched HeroX “Waste to Base” challenge are looking for suggestions on how to “recycle, repurpose, or recycle” waste – specifically trash, fecal waste, foam packaging material, and carbon dioxide – within two to three days. summer mission to the red planet. Ideally, space debris would be converted into a base material such as fuel or 3D printing feedstock.

“The challenge is to find your ideas on how to convert various waste streams into fuels and into useful materials, which can then be turned into useful things and recycled many times over. While a perfectly efficient cycle is unlikely, ideal solutions will result in virtually no waste,” according to the NASA/SpaceX website.

How to enter the NASA and SpaceX Waste to Base competition

Taking part in a call is easy. Just go to the Waste to Base Materials Challenge: Sustainable Reprocessing in Space page , log in and show these rocket scientists who the real genius is. The challenge is open to any individual or team in the world, as long as all participants are over 18 years of age and live in a jurisdiction not subject to U.S. federal sanctions.

This is not a win-win project. NASA is looking for (vaguely) practical ideas, so make sure your blue space trash can design is no bigger than a refrigerator and can work in zero gravity. Visit the recommendations page for more information and a look at the problems that waste creates during a long space mission.

What will I gain by helping some astronauts recycle space waste?

If potential help on humanity’s first interplanetary mission responsibly dealing with nasty astronaut problems isn’t enough, NASA and SpaceX are giving away $24,000 in prize money, with individual prizes up to $1,000. Between two and fourteen prizes will be awarded across the five categories, with winning ideas potentially appearing in a NASA white paper that will serve as a “roadmap for future technology development work.”

When will we send humans to Mars?

We send people to Mars when we’re good as hell and ready. NASA doesn’t have a set date for a Mars mission – it’s more of a hope at the moment – but they’re running a Mars simulation on Earth (and looking for qualified people to join) and suggest we could be ready by 2037.

The space agency is working on sending people to the moon first. This mission, Project Artemis , is more specific and aims to send the first woman and first person of color to the moon in 2025. Don’t be surprised if that date gets pushed back – sending people to the moon is hard. However, the first launch of the Artemis unmanned vehicle could take place as early as this summer.

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