According to the publication, NASA commenced a new round of its Moon to Mars Exploration Systems and Habitation Academic Innovation Challenge (M2M X-Hab) that challenges university students to study and develop space-faring tech. Students shortlisted in the programme recieve a $15,000-50,000 amount. But the agency clarified that the reward money was not set for only tangible products. It could also be given for research that filled “knowledge gaps” or reduces risks, for instance. The proposals can be submitted to the agency by April 24.
According to the website, the competition may not result in any major breakthrough in NASA’s Moon and Mars expeditions but noted that similar competitions held in the past have developed inflatable airlock modules and other concepts that could play important roles for astronauts. NASA said it hoped that its M2M X-Hab mission would allow it to focus on the broader problems involved with travelling to and surviving in places beyond Earth.