If NASA goes back to the moon in 2024 like planned, it’s going to need a lot of energy.
NASA’s Artemis program plans to land a man and woman on the moon’s South Pole for humanity’s first time on the lunar surface since 1972. The mission is to both explore the moon and prep for future Mars missions.
On Friday, idea-crowdsourcing platform HeroX announced up to $5 million in prize money for ideas on how to manage, distribute, and store energy in a place where the sun can disappear for two weeks at a time.
In the first phase, winners will earn $500,000 for their best ideas. If ideas are feasible and can be tested in a simulation, Phase 2 will include building out prototypes to show how they would actually function. Phase 2 winners are then eligible for the $4.5 million prize money.
NASA needs to figure out how to get electricity from a power plant to, say, a mobile platform collecting rocks inside of a crater, or a facility that produces oxygen. (Maybe Elon Musk, with his Powerwalls and Megapack, can enter.)
While the ideas are meant for the moon, NASA is hoping they could be applied back on Earth.