Jacobs Space Exploration Group


Lunar Life Odyssey

Help NASA overcome challenges inherent to living far away from Earth.


A Lunar Life Odyssey represents humankind’s passion to break earthly boundaries to explore the solar system moving to, from, and around the Moon. We are seeking capabilities to transport us there, create and sustain a permanent habitat, and use lunar exploration to seek and discover new knowledge and opportunities to take us to Mars and beyond. 

Last November, NASA’s Artemis rocket powered by the Space Launch System journeyed around the Moon, going further than any other human rated vehicle in history. Now that we’ve demonstrated our capability to transport humans to the Moon, NASA is advancing its plan to establish a sustained lunar presence.

There are so many challenges in our odyssey, and we know that it is going to take many minds and ideas to achieve our goals. We need ideas that can help us reduce the supplies we send, improve reliability for secure communication systems, protect from radiation, avoid damage from lunar dust, and deploy systems that can help us navigate precision landings as well as crewed and uncrewed lunar surface transport while avoiding hazards. 

To compete in this challenge, submit an idea that will assist NASA with sustaining a human presence to, from, and around the Moon by helping to overcome the challenges posed by such a difficult environment, including lunar dust, extreme temperatures, lunar resource mining, resource reusability, energy harvesting and management, surface transportation, in-space manufacturing, communications, etc.



Technology Challenge Examples



  • Interested teams will submit an Initial Proposal (up to three pages) describing their concept and projected results
  • The top several cash prize eligible proposals will present via Video Conference with the winners being chosen from these finalists



  • Cash prizes are limited to US Citizens only. However, there are no citizenship requirements for Honorable Mentions.
  • Employees of Jacobs, NASA, and others who work on the Jacobs Space Exploration Group (JSEG) Engineering and Science Services Capability Augmentation (ESSCA) contract are not eligible to participate.



  • Jacobs and its evaluation committee are solely responsible for the evaluation and selection of challenge winners.
  • The submitted ideas shall not contain classified, International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) data. Entrants must certify that all information used is taken from the public domain, generated by the team, or that the team has rights to any data utilized to prepare the proposal.
  • Entrants agree that Jacobs shall have the right to publicize the award, including photographs, video, and brief summaries of the idea.



This challenge will award three cash prizes as shown below which will be paid to the designated captain of the winning teams; distribution among the team participants is the responsibility of the team captain. Taxes will not be withheld; any tax obligation will be the responsibility of the winning team members.

  • First Place:  $5,000
  • Second Place:  $3,000
  • Third Place:  $2,000

Additional entries may be acknowledged in a non-cash Honorable Mention category. US Citizenship is not required for Honorable Mentions.

All team members for cash prize and Honorable Mention awards will receive a free Lunar Life t-shirt if a US Mailing address can be provided.


  • Open to submissions:  August 15, 2023
  • Initial proposal submission deadline:  October 2, 2023 at 12 p.m. (CDT)
  • Finalists notified:  October 13, 2023
  • Video Conferences with finalists:  October 30 - November 10, 2023
  • Winners Announced:  November 17, 2023


Judging Criteria

  • Innovative (30%) -  Does the idea present a unique or innovative approach to solving a problem?  The proposal should succinctly describe the uniqueness and benefits of the proposed idea relative to the current state-of-art or alternate approaches.
  • Impact (20%) - Is there a likelihood of making a significant contribution toward a critical aspect of human spaceflight? The proposal should provide a description of the impact of the proposed development on NASA missions or objectives.
  • Feasibility (25%) - Is there a credible plan/path for implementation into the spaceflight program?
  • Technical Approach (25%) - Does the idea demonstrate a high level of technical merit and is it grounded in sound scientific or engineering principles?


The Initial Proposal

The initial proposal (up to three pages) should include the following sections in the PDF document submitted:

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The problem your innovation aims to solve and how it will significantly enhance at least one critical aspect of human spaceflight (safety, affordability, schedule, capability).
  3. Your innovation, it's underlying principles of operation, and how it can be integrated into existing systems to significantly enhance human spaceflight. Include supporting data.
  4. Next steps to advance your innovation.
  5. Current level of technical readiness (TRL) and supporting explanation (

Additional information:

  • Team member bios and resumes may be included and should be limited to 1 page per person.  They do not count toward the 3 page limit.
  • References should be in an appendix.  They do not count toward the 3 page limit.
  • Documents should be submitted in PDF format.
  • Minimum font size is 12 pt.


The Video Conference

  • 10 minute presentation
  • 10 minute question and answer session
  • Submit the slide package for the presentation in either PowerPoint or PDF format