NASA Announces Lunar Exploration Competition for Students

Lunar rover mining. Credits: NASA

[NASA Press Release - 04.08.2009]
NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate is accepting proposals from teams of undergraduate and graduate students for the inaugural Lunabotics Mining Competition. The event will be held at the Astronaut Hall of Fame near NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., May 25-28, 2010.

Full competition proposals can include a request for up to $5,000 to cover designing, building, and travel expenses. NASA anticipates funding the first 10 approved team requests.

Participants in the competition will design and build excavation systems that could be used for future lunar exploration. Teams will test their designs in a "head to head" challenge to see which design can excavate the most simulated lunar regolith, or dirt, over a specific timeframe. The competition also involves submittal of a systems engineering paper, as well as an educational outreach project.

The competition is designed to engage and retain students in the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, disciplines critical to NASA's missions.

For information on the competition and how to apply, visit:
http://education.ksc.nasa.gov/esmdspacegrant/Lunabotics.htm