NASA is asking student community from tech universities for creative ideas for achievement of its moon landing and dark area exploration activities through Breakthrough Innovative and Game Changing Idea Challenge called BIG for short. NASA is asking these teams to submit proposals for sample payloads to the moon that can demonstrate ability to explore hitherto unexplored areas of the moon. The BIG Idea Challenge of 2020 is expanding this year with large teams and increased funding for high concept development. Though moon is the closest heavenly body to the earth there is plenty to be learnt about it as the permanently shadowed regions and polar region has not been explored as yet.
To enable exploration in those areas the BIG Idea Challenge is asking universities to develop new ideas and technologies for study in these areas. The students are expected to propose innovative ideas for various concepts and carry out technology demonstrations that will help to address NASA’s explorative objectives in the shadowed regions close to the moon’s polar region. Teams of students and their faculties have been invited to propose innovative solutions that are in response to the issues like Exploration of moon’s polar region that is permanently shadowed, Technologies that can help in utilization of resources in these areas, and Methods to explore and operate in these permanently shadowed areas.
According to program executive of NASA’s Game Changing Development program LaNetra Tate, they are developing technologies for creating large landers that will explore remote regions of the moon through partnership of both industry and academics. Commercial provider teams will be asked to design concepts based on moon’s surface delivery capability and these will be selected under NASA’s CLPS contract. The proposals of BIG Idea Challenge should have a strong operations strategy along with cost effective power options and should also be capable of working in extreme dark circumstances.