NASA's Human Landing System (HLS) Program


NASA's Lunar Loo Challenge

Help astronauts go back to the Moon in 2024! NASA seeks new designs for a toilet that will work both in microgravity and lunar gravity.

Challenge Overview

We are going back to the Moon.  

Artemis is NASA’s program to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024.  Humanity is going back to the Moon to establish a presence that will enable eventual crewed journeys to Mars.  As we prepare for our return to the Moon, innumerable activities to equip, shelter, and otherwise support future astronauts are underway.  These astronauts will be eating and drinking, and subsequently urinating and defecating in microgravity and lunar gravity.  While astronauts are in the cabin and out of their spacesuits, they will need a toilet that has all the same capabilities as ones here on Earth.  

NASA is calling on the global community for their novel design concepts for compact toilets that can operate in both microgravity and lunar gravity.  These designs may be adapted for use in the Artemis lunar landers that take us back to the Moon.  Although space toilets already exist and are in use (at the International Space Station, for example), they are designed for microgravity only.  NASA is looking for a next-generation device that is smaller, more efficient, and capable of working in both microgravity and lunar gravity.  Getting back to the Moon by 2024 is an ambitious goal, and NASA is already working on approaches to miniaturize and streamline the existing toilets.  But they are also inviting ideas from the global community, knowing that they will approach the problem with a mindset different from traditional aerospace engineering.  This challenge hopes to attract radically new and different approaches to the problem of human waste capture and containment.

We want to encourage the next generation of space explorers, engineers, and scientists, and we know that students may think about this design problem without the same constraints as adults.  So in addition to the main Technical category, this challenge will have a Junior category.  To submit to the Junior category, you must be less than 18.  

This Lunar Toilet Challenge has a total prize purse of $35,000 that will be shared among the teams submitting the top three designs in the Technical category.  The top three participants in the Junior category will each receive public recognition and an item of official NASA-logoed merchandise.

Updates 7

Challenge Updates

Two Week Warning

Aug. 3, 2020, 2 p.m. PDT by Lulu

There are only TWO WEEKS left to submit your solution for the NASA's Lunar Loo Challenge. The early bird definitely gets the worm - so don't put it off! Be sure to have at least 75% of your submission complete a full week before the deadline for maximum flexibility. We'd hate to think you worked hard on a submission, just to miss the deadline by a hair (that's right - no late-night, sad email exceptions - the cut-off is real, folks!)

All that aside, thanks so much to all of you for your interest. Crowdsourcing is nothing without the crowd, and well, that's you. Yeah, you.  

We can't wait to see what the winning solution looks like.

Best of luck to all!

Webinar Recording

July 23, 2020, 5:30 p.m. PDT by Natalie York

If you missed Tuesday's webinar (or need a refresher!), you can watch the recording here. If you have outstanding questions, be sure to post them on the forum.

As a reminder, you have just over 3 weeks left to get your submissions in!

Reminder: The webinar is tomorrow!

July 20, 2020, 12:20 p.m. PDT by Liz Treadwell

You won't want to miss this! Join the Lunar Loo Challenge webinar tomorrow at 12:30pm Pacific Time.


You will learn more about the purpose of the challenge and what you can win.

Important update:  given the number of registered attendees, we have adjusted the format to ensure the highest level of quality for our audience.  NASA will be pre-selecting the questions they will respond to live during the webinar.  All other questions will be answered through the forum.

Please submit your questions here for the Q&A webinar and be sure to vote up your favorite ones!

Sign Up for the Challenge Webinar!

July 17, 2020, 11:30 a.m. PDT by Liz Treadwell

Join NASA and HeroX to get the inside scoop on the Lunar Loo Challenge! This will be your opportunity to hear directly from NASA and learn what is most important in a winning submission. Submit your questions here.


When: July 21st at 12:30 pm PT

What: A NASA representative and HeroX will talk about the Lunar Loo Challenge and host a live Q&A for the participants!​


Have Questions? Please submit any questions you have for the panel here and vote up your favorites.

Have Questions? We have answers!

July 14, 2020, 10:30 a.m. PDT by Liz Treadwell

Join the Lunar Loo Challenge team for a live webinar where you have an opportunity to ask all of your questions! You won't want to miss this opportunity to get clarification on anything you need to design your lunar toilet! Submit your questions here.

Date and time: Tuesday, July 21st @ 12:30 pm PST

Make sure to register your spot early since space is limited!



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