Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_2021_annual.thumb.jpg.3fc34f695a81b16210333189a3162ac7.jpg

Lunar lander is NASA's biggest 'challenge'


FLO
 Share

Recommended Posts

NASA will sponsor its largest ever competition – with prizes totalling $2.5 million – to develop rockets capable of landing on the Moon, agency officials announced on Friday.

The "Lunar Lander Challenge" is the latest in the agency's Centennial Challenges programme, which aims to spur technological advances through prize competitions. But the top prizes in previous challenges – which include developing astronaut gloves – have been limited to $250,000.

Now, NASA is upping the ante in a competition to build rockets that can take off from the Moon, reach lunar orbit, and return to the Moon's surface. NASA's own plans call for a multi-stage mission to the Moon, with astronauts in the shuttle's replacement (the Crew Exploration Vehicle) docking with a lunar module and an "Earth departure stage" in Earth orbit.

Then, the entire system is sent to lunar orbit, where the lunar lander will take a crew of four down to the Moon's surface. But the lunar lander is only sketchily designed, says NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries.

Aiming high

The new challenge – which will take place on Earth – is divided into two levels of difficulty. Level 1 requires a rocket to take off from one site, reach an altitude of 50 metres (150 feet), hover in the air for 90 seconds, then land on a pad 100 metres away.

Level 2 calls for even more technological prowess. It requires the same launch altitude and distance between the two sites, but the rocket must hover for twice as long and must land on a rocky site that simulates the lunar surface. Rockets in both levels must also return to their original starting points but are allowed to refuel before doing so.

The top prize for Level 1 is $350,000 and second prize is $150,000. But Level 2 will award three prizes. The first-place winner will take home $1.25 million, the second-place team will receive $500,000 and the third-place winner will pocket $250,000.

Source: New Scientist

http://tinyurl.com/mknk5

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.