NASA-HeroX Invites Sustainable Waste Management Solutions For Future Mars-bound Astronauts
Posted By : Abhijeet Singh | Date : Jan 29 2022 11:00 AM
The competition is open to anyone who is above 18 years of age and wishes to participate individually or in a group from any country.
As we move further into this decade, NASA is upping its preparations for the human endeavour to Mars. In its latest step, it has launched a competition named the "Waste to Base Materials Challenge: Sustainable Reprocessing in Space" inviting innovators to design a waste management system. The challenge has been issued following NASA's collaboration with HeroX, which is a crowdsourcing platform founded in 2013.
Astronauts currently living aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have the facilities of a waste management system and so do the spacecraft meant for transporting the astronauts to and from the Earth. Toilets in these conditions are not much of an issue (relatively speaking) as the trips are short and the ISS is not too far into space which allows for repairs during a malfunction. However, this would not be the case for the astronauts leaving for Mars on a nine-month-long one-way trip at the least, a scenario that calls for a sustainable waste management system.
Turning waste into usable products
In an official release by HeroX, the company said that the challenge is to bring out innovative approaches to repurpose, recycle, and reprocess the waste generated during the entire course of the trip. It has been estimated that the trips to and from Mars can take as much as three years, during which an enormous amount of waste would be generated. The participants of this challenge will be asked to provide ideas through which the waste could be utilised to produce propellants and other multi-purpose materials. NASA is looking for a system that could convert human waste under four specific categories- Trash, Fecal waste, foam packaging material, and carbon dioxide processing. Kal K. Sahota, President and CEO of HeroX, said in the company's release-
Even you can contribute to human trips to Mars
The competition is open to anyone who is above 18 years of age and wishes to participate individually or in a group. According to HeroX, participants from any country are welcomed as long as United States federal sanctions do not prohibit their participation. Winners from any of the aforementioned four categories will be awarded a monetary prize of $1,000 and the total prize purse is $24,000. The company even shared a link to register oneself and contribute to future human trips to Mars.
Source: NASA | Republic TV