3rd NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition
NASA's Third Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition is a competition for university students around the world. NASA is looking for innovative lunar excavation concepts from universities which may result in clever ideas and solutions which could be applied to an actual lunar excavation device or payload. The challenge is for students to design and build an excavator, called a Lunabot, that can mine and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms of lunar simulant within 10 minutes. The complexities of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics of the BP-1, the weight and size limitations of the Lunabot, and the ability to telerobotically or autonomously control the Lunabot from a remote mission control center.
This year the scoring for the mining category will not be based primarily on the amount of material excavated in the allowed time but instead will require teams to consider a number of design and operation factors such as dust tolerance and projection, communications, vehicle mass, energy/power required, and level of autonomy.
Teams will compete in up to five major competition categories including: on-site mining, systems engineering paper, outreach project, slide presentation (optional), and team spirit (optional). Additionally, teams can earn bonus points for mined and deposited BP-1 in the competition attempts, having multidisciplinary teams, and collaborating between a majority institution and a U.S. minority serving institution. The team with the most points from all categories will win the grand prize, the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence, and will receive the Joe Kosmo Award for Excellence trophy, team certificates for each member, a $5,000 team scholarship, and up to $1,000 travel expenses for each team member and one faculty advisor to participate at one of NASA’s remote research and technology tests. Awards for other categories include monetary team scholarships, a school trophy or plaque, team and individual certificates, and KSC launch invitations.
Undergraduate and graduate student teams enrolled in a U.S. or international university are eligible to enter. Design teams must include at least one faculty member and at least two undergraduate or graduate students. NASA has not set an upper limit on team members. A team should have a sufficient number of members to successfully operate their Lunabot. Registration is limited to the first 60 approved teams. Registration is limited to one team per university campus. Internationally, registration is limited to 10 teams per country. Registration will end when NASA approves 60 applications or on November 30, 2011, whichever occurs first.
Visit the Lunabotics website for competition guidelines and application form.