The winners of the contest “Honey, I shrunk the payload of NASA”

NASA announced the winners of the “Honey, I shrunk the payload of NASA,” in which the participants were asked to develop miniature tools for the study of the moon. First place went to x-ray spectrometer of the company SunSlicer and detector of hydrogen molecules from Puli Space Technologies, reported on the website space Agency.

Modern Rovers, as a rule, heavy and require large amounts of energy. A good alternative can be more compact research platform, but to create them it is necessary to develop compact tools. In April, the space Agency NASA has announced a “Honey, I shrunk the payload of NASA” (“Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload”), in which the participants were asked to design a device for exploration of the moon comparable in size with a bar of soap — 10×10×5 cm and weighing not more than 0,4 kg.

14 Jul NASA on its website published a list of the winners. The competition was in two categories “the Lunar resource potential” (Lunar Resource Potential) and “the lunar environment” (Lunar Environment). The first category included a miniature device for the study of the moon’s surface that reveal minerals, volatiles and other elements, as well as looking for resources that could support future astronauts — for example, water. The winner is the company Puli Space Technologies, has created a detector to search for and mapping of hydrogen and, therefore, all hydrogen-containing volatiles such as water ice in the regolith. It works on the basis of sensors which detect reflected from the surface cosmic radiation.

First place in the category “lunar environment”, which included projects that focused on the study of the radiation environment on the moon and the Sun’s activity. took Sun Slicer for developing x-ray spectrometer and built-in camera, adapted to the harsh conditions of the satellite. He will conduct research on the heliosphere by measuring the active area of the Sun with an angular resolution at least 20 times higher than the satellites, receiving similar direct x-ray image. Also Sun Slicer will monitor the radiation level on the moon and serve as a prototype of a compact x-ray security monitor in place of astronauts. Its adapted version can be used for the needs of astronauts in 2024 during the mission “Artemis”.

Each team received 30 thousand dollars. Future developments can be used in 2024, while sending people to the moon the mission “Artemis”. The program will allow to test the technologies before the more distant journey — manned flight to Mars.

Last year, NASA experts have completed the Assembly of the module of the manned spacecraft Orion and began to prepare it for a connection with service module, ESA made. The combined vehicle, consisting of two modules, go to the unmanned mission “Artemis-1”, in which he comes out to lunar orbit, and then return to Earth.

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