NASA is gearing up to embark on new era of space exploration. Their first destination is the moon, but NASA won’t be able to get very far with the current available technology.
The agency plans on sending a specialized digger called the Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot, or RASSOR to the moon but needs your help to do so.
NASA is seeking out designs for a key component, the RASSOR collection drum.
The problem NASA is currently facing is the complexity of picking up certain materials from the moon. Unfortunately, while it may seem like a lot of fun operating in a zero gravity environment, it actually complicates the collection of material from the moons surface.
Another issue NASA is faced with is the fact that the digger and the collection bin have to be light enough to transport on a single rocket. This situation has stumped the space agency.
“With RASSOR, we no longer rely on the robot’s traction or weight. It is possible to dig on the Moon or Mars with a really light robot,” said Jason Schuler of NASA in a statement. “RASSOR is all-in-one excavation and transportation, but we would like to improve the design.”
NASA wants your suggestions on how to make the task of unearthing materials and delivering it to different locations as easy and efficient as possible. The agency is asking for 3D models of new designs that can meet NASA requirements, including the ability for the drum to be able to fill at least 50% before it needs to be emptied.
If your design is chosen, not only will you have the right to say you’ve designed a piece of equipment that will be used on the moon, but NASA are offering a cash prize of R117, 362 ($7,000) to the top five submissions.
For more information about prize amounts and how to enter, click here.