NASA Centennial Challenges Program


NASA's Watts on the Moon Challenge

Support NASA's efforts to explore the solar system. This Challenge seeks solutions to distribute, store and manage power in space.
Coming Soon
up to $5M

Challenge Overview

As NASA prepares to land astronauts at the Moon’s South Pole in 2024 and for future human exploration of Mars, there is a mission need to distribute, store, and manage power generated by different sources. As humans venture farther from Earth for longer periods of time, missions will rely on architectures and power systems that utilize sustainable technologies. These technologies should provide uninterrupted power to perform various operations on the Moon and Mars.

NASA is considering opening the Watts on the Moon Challenge to incentivize solutions that address technology gaps in the areas of high capacity, adaptable, and reliable lunar power storage, distribution, and management systems that could support a sustainable human presence on the Moon later in the decade and then later, on the surface of Mars.

The challenge will present a mission scenario with three mission activities. Participants will have the opportunity to choose one or more of the following activities to address with their solutions.

  • Mission Activity #1: Deliver power for a mobility platform operating inside the crater to collect and deliver water-bearing material.
  • Mission Activity #2: Deliver power for a water production plant operating inside the crater to extract and purify water from delivered material.
  • Mission Activity #3: Address the thermal energy needs of an oxygen production plant outside the crater.

The challenge is expected to consist of two phases and last no longer than three years. NASA is anticipating launching the challenge no earlier than September 25, 2020.


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