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NASA asks public to provide ideas to develop a mini moon rover

If you have a great idea to develop a small scanning robot, NASA needs to listen to you. The organization calls on the general public to send designs for miniature rovers to use as part of the Artemis mission to explore the Moon.

According to the reports, the world’s largest aeroscape company NASA issued a call to the public on April 9 asking for ideas for miniaturized payloads to send to the moon onboard Roomba-size rovers, which would be used to explore the moon as part of the Artemis project.

Reports suggest that the ”Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload” challenge was launched on crowdsourcing platform HeroX with total available prize money of $160,000 (£130,000, AU$250,000) for the top concepts.

Our news sources have reported that NASA has also disclosed its interest in designs that would tie into its Artemis program, which is aimed to return humans to the moon in 2024, and ultimately establish a permanent presence there.

The challenge states, “Payloads that support prospecting for resources that help support a sustained human presence are highly desirable, in addition to payloads that enable lunar science, demonstrate new technologies and/or advance the use of resources found on the moon.”

Payloads have to fit into a small room, about the size of a soap bar. NASA has proposed a detailed set of guidelines for the competition. Ideas will be judged based on the nature of the concept, the technological capabilities of the proposed project, its potential effects, the degree of progress and the probability that it will be developed and deployed within one to four years.

According to the report, the challenge is to build a 100 mm by 100 mm by 50 mm rover with full external dimensions. Following the design process, the prototyping, testing, and development of these rovers will present new challenges. There is a total of $160,000 in prize money to be split into two groups for the first round of designing rovers to find lunar resources, and rovers to explore the lunar environment.

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