NASA has decided that spend almost $ 1 million on several projects elaborated by a team of students, which include lunar catapults, sophisticated towers, and remarkable towers.
The ambitious Artemis initiative involves a return to the surface of the Moon in less than five years, and the astronauts could be accompanied by a series of robotic assistants that will be sent with the help of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services project. Several commercial companies have joined the program, and it is thought that new names may surface in the future.
One of the most interesting challenges faced by NASA engineers involves the creation of devices that could work without issues on the craters of the moon that are covered by an eternal shadow. These craters are essential for the exploration of the object since they can hold vast reserves of water ice, which can be used to raft rocket fuel or obtain drinking water.
Students submitted several projects that attracted the attention of the NASA engineers
However, the same regions are also notorious for being very hazardous since the equipment should endure very low temperatures while also being fueled by a source of energy that can work in the absence of solar light.
Eight teams who submitted interesting projects received grants from NASA, with the sums ranging from $80,000 to $165,000. The money will be spent on the development and improvement of the projects. After they pass the conceptual testing phase, some of the payloads may be sent to the moon if the space agency is confident that they are viable in the long run.
Several projects are quite daring. One of them involves the use of a custom catapult mounted on the top of a lunar launcher. The catapult could be used to launch special probes that are shaped in the form of balls and filled with sensors that could collect relevant information. More data about the successful projects will be shared in the future.