If you are an engineer and you are looking for an opportunity from another world, you can not miss this. NASA has launched a contest to choose the bathroom design for the Artemis mission, scheduled for 2024 and that will seek to bring the next man and the first woman to step on the lunar surface.
The North American space agency published the contest rules on HeroX, a platform where organizations can use the crowdsourcing (distributed open collaboration) to find innovative solutions.
Although the International Space Station already has special toilets for astronauts, the new manned mission to the Moon would require a special design for it to work in lunar gravity, which is about one-sixth of Earth’s gravity.
In particular, NASA is looking for ideas for a next-generation device that is smaller, more efficient, and capable of operating in both microgravity and lunar gravity.
“Our astronauts perform amazing feats of science and space exploration. But at the end of the day, they are still human and we must provide them with the same basic necessities that we have here on Earth, so that they can continue doing their job, “explains the HLS Program manager of the Crew Compartment Office of NASA at the Johnson Space Center (Houston, TX).
Through the competition, the agency aims to find new designs that can reduce the mass of the latest generation bathrooms to more than half, from 54 to 31 kilos, reducing their volume by 70%, from 0.17 to 0, 12 cubic meters.
“The standard house toilet weighs 30-60 kilos, but the complexity of operating in low-gravity environments requires more components for a space toilet,” recalls NASA.
The agency offers three prizes of $ 20,000, $ 10,000, and $ 5,000 respectively. You can participate individually or with a team and the only requirement is to be over 18 years old (or have the authorization of the parents to be minors). The deadline for submission of the project is August 17 and the winner will be announced on September 30.
To apply, follow THIS LINK.