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Lunar Oxygen Production or MoonROx Challenge
This challenge expired June 2009, Purse $1M
In this challenge, teams must generate breathable oxygen from simulated lunar soil. The production of oxygen from materials on the moon has been a subject of great interest to NASA for many years. Most scenarios for human activity on the moon involve the use of its natural resources. There is a large amount of oxygen on the moon, but it is bound up in compounds and extracting it may require large amounts of power and large, massive machinery.
The regolith excavation challenge addresses the problem of digging up and moving the material. This challenge seeks novel approaches to oxygen production with systems that are small, lightweight and require small amounts of power. Advancements in this field would enable much more capable human establishments on the moon and eventually at other destinations in the solar system.
The California Space Education and Workforce Institute managed this challenge for NASA.
The Centennial Challenges seek to:
- Drive progress in aerospace technology of value to NASA's missions
- Encourage the participation of independent teams, individual inventors, student groups and private companies of all sizes in aerospace research and development
- Find the most innovative solutions to technical challenges through competition and cooperation