As part of the plan to launch the lunar surface crew and cargo mission, NASA is inviting the public to provide the agency with the idea of a lunar cargo unloading system.The agency has awarded SpaceX、Dynetics and National Team contracts worth $967 million to design and develop lunar landers, which will form
NASA is accepting the idea of the system on the crowdsourcing platform herox. Paul Kessler, NASA's spacecraft design and mission analyst, answered a number of concerns in an interview. Mr. Kessler explained the purpose of the NASA lunar delivery challenge, how the agency would use the winning design, and whether the private sector would be involved in the development of the selected unloaders with NASA.
Paul Kessler said the payload unloader program was a crowdsourcing challenge, trying to reach out to the public, especially those with experience on earth. Because it will work with NASA's Artemis program, NASA needs to place a lot of objects on the surface of the moon. Now that NASA is doing this, part of NASA's goal is to reach out to other new areas and see broader perspectives that are outside the typical box that NASA might think of.
Paul Kessler said NASA would also contract private companies to design solutions, believing it would be a combination of crowdsourcing challenges. some contractors also want to do this, NASA believe they will have their own ideas. Current plans are to exchange NASA things for their concepts and ideas. NASA want to use and understand what these concepts are, so NASA will contact the individual who won the challenge. NASA have plans to make these discussions part of the challenge and to maximize their ideas is a goal.
At present, NASA's plan is that NASA will cooperate with all the winners, so NASA will have different support. It will include all the awards, so all the awards will be considered by NASA. When it comes to the timing of the Artemis launch, when will the cargo handling system reach the surface of the moon, Paul Kessler said some of the payloads that would be sent there could be science, rovers, larger aircraft and human habitat. To achieve this, it will be possible to use it for multiple missions from 2025. So NASA thinks there's a lot of analysis going on to determine what's required. NASA has a lot of different ideas.
The winner of the lunar cargo unloading system challenge will receive a $10000 prize, and two second and third place winners will receive $4500 and $2000, respectively. Submitted work must be uploaded to the herox website by 05:00 CET on January 19, 2020. Herox will determine the winner of the competition after NASA's evaluation.