As we already know by now, NASA wants the astronauts that will enroll in future missions on Mars to produce their materials on the Red Planet. However, this is far from being an easy task, since all the resources that we have here on our planet are not that easy to get on Mars. The space agency has some ideas about how they could work around this difficulty and they need your help. NASA is launching a CO2 Conversion Challenge that will allow the public to come up with strategies on how to transform carbon dioxide into elements that could be useful on the Red Planet, where CO2 can be found in large amounts.
When can we sign up for this competition
The registration for this competition is already possible, however, contestants have time until 24th of January, 2019 to sign up for it, so there’s plenty of time for those who are interested. The deadline for submitting entries is 28th of February 2019 and the judging of these entries will run between 8th of March and 10th of April next year.
A challenging contest
It goes without saying that any successful conversion method would play a crucial role in future long-term missions that astronauts will have on Mars. Carrying less load with them and being able to stay longer on the Red Planet are two of the main factors that will contribute to a victorious mission. Nevertheless, capturing CO2 here on Earth and trying to use it for something purposeful can be quite challenging, so competitors will have a lot of work to do. In case this challenge will result in the discovery of new capture methods, it could also help lower emissions while creating something useful for space missions.
The structure of the competition
The focus of this competition will be on glucose, as it is the most likely to metabolize, therefore being the most efficient. In the first stage, the participating teams will need to submit designs that will describe what their approach is. The five best teams will win $50,000 each. The teams who pass this phase will move to a second stage, where they will be expected to actually build and show their solutions. The best candidate will win a prize of up to $750,000.
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