NASA Goes BIG, Selects University Teams to Build Technologies for the Moon’s Darkest Areas

HAMPTON, Va. (NASA PR) — Almost a quarter of a million miles away from home, the Moon’s permanently shadowed regions are the closest extraterrestrial water source. These craters have remained dark for billions of years, but student-developed technologies can help shine light on all they have to offer.

Through the competitive Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge and the Space Grant project, NASA has awarded nearly $1 million to eight university teams to build sample lunar payloads and demonstrate innovative ways to study the Moon’s darkest areas.

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NASA Seeks BIG Ideas from Universities for Tech to Study Moon’s Dark Regions

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA plans to land humans on the Moon by 2024 with the Artemis program. Before astronauts step on the lunar surface again, new technology instruments will study the surface.

NASA is engaging the university community for ideas to help achieve some of these activities through its annual Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge, which is asking university teams to submit robust proposals for sample lunar payloads that can demonstrate technology systems needed to explore areas of the Moon that never see the light of day. The 2020 BIG Idea Challenge is scaling up this year, with larger team sizes and more funding that will allow for high fidelity concept development.

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BIG Idea Challenge Finalists Devise Crafty Concepts for In-space Spacecraft Assembly

nass_big_idea_challengeWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — It’s a complex and daunting thing, dreaming up ways to assemble spacecraft in space.

But don’t tell that to a few whip-smart college students — they’re up for the challenge.

In fact, five university teams will soon get the chance to make the case for their in-space spacecraft assembly concepts as part of the 2017 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge.

This year’s challenge asked teams to propose innovative concepts for in-space assembly of spacecraft – particularly tugs – propelled by solar electric propulsion that transfer payloads from low-Earth orbit, to an orbit around the moon, or to a lunar distant retrograde orbit.

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NASA Searches for Big Idea for In-Space Assembly of Spacecraft

NASA’s Game Changing Development Program, managed by the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, and the National Institute of Aerospace are seeking novel and robust concepts for in-space assembly of spacecraft – particularly tugs, propelled by solar electric propulsion, that transfer payloads from low earth orbit to a lunar distant retrograde orbit. (Credit: Analytical Mechanics Associates)
NASA’s Game Changing Development Program, managed by the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, and the National Institute of Aerospace are seeking novel and robust concepts for in-space assembly of spacecraft – particularly tugs, propelled by solar electric propulsion, that transfer payloads from low earth orbit to a lunar distant retrograde orbit. (Credit: Analytical Mechanics Associates)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In the 2017 Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge, NASA is engaging university-level students in its quest to reduce the cost of deep space exploration.

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NASA Launches 2017 BIG Idea Challenge

Big_Idea_ChallengeWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea challenge is an initiative supporting NASA’s Game Changing Development Program (GCD) efforts to rapidly mature innovative/high impact capabilities and technologies for infusion in a broad array of future NASA missions. This year’s GCD-sponsored engineering design competition seeks innovative ideas from the academic community for in-space assembly of spacecraft – particularly tugs, propelled by solar electric propulsion (SEP), that transfer payloads for low earth orbit (LEO) to a lunar distant retrograde orbit (LDRO). Reuse of the SEP tug provides a cost-efficient method of transferring payloads between LEO-to-LDRO, LDRO-to-LEO, and for transit to deep-space locations such as Mars.

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