HeroX Helps NASA Advance Lunar Exploration with a Miniaturized Payload Prototype Challenge
HeroX Crowdsourcing Competition Enters Second Phase with NASA Seeking Prototype Payloads, Offering $800K in Total Development Funds & Prizes
HeroX, the world’s leading platform for crowdsourced solutions, launched the crowdsourcing competition “Honey I Built the NASA Payload, The Sequel” on behalf of the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The challenge seeks to develop miniature payload prototypes that can be sent to the Moon to help fill gaps in lunar knowledge. Lunar resources are potentially abounding, and these prototypes can also help discover some of these key resources scientists think might be on the Moon.
The first Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload Challenge launched on April 9, 2020.
Fourteen teams were recognized and rewarded for their innovative approaches to miniature payload development. In this new challenge, these teams will rely on crowdsourcing to recruit new team members and fill any resource gaps they might have. These expanded teams will have the opportunity to win $800,000 in development funds and prizes and potentially see their payloads deployed on the Moon.
Roomba®-sized rovers will explore the Moon’s surface, collecting key information about the Moon’s resource potential, environment, and suitability for sustained human presence. This information will be especially valuable for NASA’s Artemis program, which will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. Existing payloads are too big, too heavy, and consume too much energy for these small rovers, so new, miniaturized payload designs are needed.
“Smaller, more efficient payloads provide us with greater mission flexibility,” said Andrew Shapiro, Manager of Technology Formulation for the Space Technology Office at NASA JPL. “Ultimately, the information gathered by these miniature rovers and their payloads will inform our near term mission designers and help us prepare for long-term habitation on the moon.”
“The first phase of this challenge brought creative thinkers and talented engineers into the fold, and now they will take their ideas to the next level,” said Christian Cotichini, CEO, HeroX. “By building working prototypes of their payload designs, these crowdsourced teams are bringing us one step closer to a sustained presence on the moon that will lead to unprecedented opportunities.”
The HeroX Challenge
NASA is calling on the global scientific community to help these 14 teams build prototypes of their miniaturized payloads that will be tested and evaluated by NASA. Many of these 14 teams are seeking new team members with specific capabilities and areas of expertise to complete their teams and successfully deliver working prototypes to NASA within the challenge’s ambitious timeline. To get involved, visit the Teams tab of the challenge and see which teams are recruiting new members and what capabilities and areas of expertise those different teams need. New team members must be aged 18 or older and may originate from any country, as long as United States federal sanctions do not prohibit participation (some restrictions apply).
This challenge has a total prize purse of $800,000. The Phase 1 prize purse of $675,000 will be shared among up to 4 Phase 1 winning teams to help support prototyping efforts. Winners will be selected based on several factors, including quality of project plan, the likelihood of success, and scientific impact.
At the end of Phase 2, NASA will award a winning team $100,000 and a runner-up team $25,000. Winners will be selected based on testing results and evaluation of the received prototypes. NASA may choose to send one or more winning payloads to the moon.
HeroX is a social network for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX offers a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that supports anyone, anywhere, to solve everyday business and world challenges using the power of the crowd.