This challenge is for anyone under the age of 18. If you are 18 years of age or older, please go here.
If you are 12 years old or younger, please have your parent/guardian register on your behalf.
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.
The goal of this category is to get our younger participants excited and thinking about STEM projects, and specifically about lunar toilets. If you are 15 or over and believe that you have an idea with technical merit, we encourage you to have your parent or guardian submit your design concept on your behalf in the main Technical category.
To submit to the Junior category, you must be less than 18. If you are younger than 12 years old, you must have a parent register and submit on your behalf.
The top three participants in the Junior category will each receive public recognition and an item of official NASA-logoed merchandise.