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Marshall Space Flight Center
Overview: Night Rover Challenge
Solar energy is a renewable source that would be available on the moon and at other destinations in space. To enable practical system demonstrations of diverse design solutions by independent teams, the Night Rover Challenge may be conducted in an ambient Earth environment.
The Challenge will be to demonstrate a portable energy storage system through multiple cycles of lunar daylight and darkness. During the daylight period, systems will receive electrical energy from a simulated solar collector. During darkness, the stored energy will be used for simulated thermal management, scientific experimentation, communications, and rover movement. The competitors may store and extract the energy by any means they desire. A winning system must exceed the performance of a reference state-of-the-art system by a specified margin. The winning system would be the one that has the highest energy storage density.
› More About the Night Rover Challenge
› Centennial Challenges Fact Sheet (PDF, 810 Kb)
In the Media
Energy Storage for Lunar Exploration (Essinova)
05.24.12 - Program manager Sam Ortega explains how NASA can help make America better through exploration.
Interview With Josh Neubert, Dr. Larry Cooper (The Space Show)
03.26.12 - Josh Neubert and Dr. Larry Cooper discuss NASA's Centennial Challenges and the Night Rover Challenge.
Obama Pushes to Expand NASA's Public Contests (nextgov)
07.15.10 - The Obama administration wants to expand a NASA initiative that awards cash prizes to nongovernment teams that solve mission-critical problems, marking another step to increase collaboration with the private sector on space activities.