New Delhi: NASA’s US space agency will be offering prize money of USD 35,000 to those who can come up with a space toilet design.
“Artemis astronauts visiting the Moon will use the 21st century’s most advanced space technologies-including some of the most common home comforts, such as a toilet. NASA is calling on the global community, through the Lunar Loo Challenge, to help invent space toilet ideas, “NASA wrote in its website.
NASA said astronauts exploring the Moon would need a smaller , lighter, simpler toilet inside their lunar lander, because each ounce of mass on the lander is carefully allocated.
“For every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight, it takes 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of propellant to descend to the lunar surface and return to the lunar orbit,” he added.
The Lunar Loo Challenge is searching for innovative design ideas for low-density, portable toilets that can reduce the existing state-of-the-art toilet density by more than half – from 54 kg to 31 kg – and reduce the volume by 70 percent – from 0.17 cubic meters to 0.12 cubic metres, NASA said.
The space agency further stated that the principles of lunar toilet design would allow astronauts to urinate and defecate at both lunar gravity and microgravity.
“The Technical Prize is open to anyone 18 years of age or older who takes part as an person or as a team. The Junior Challenge is open to anyone under the age of 18, as an individual or as a team participating. Entrants aged 12 or younger may need a parent or guardian register to file on their behalf, “NASA added.
The Lunar Loo Challenge has a combined $35,000 prize purse to be split among the top three designs. The top three Junior group participants will each receive public recognition and an piece of official NASA merchandise.
NASA’s Lunar Loo Challenge launched on 25 June 2020, the closing date being 17 August 2020.