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Help Wanted: Designers for NASA’s Artemis Base Camp Cargo System

Human Landing System 2024 Surface Astronauts Concept
Artist concept of Human Landing System and astronauts on the surface of the Moon. Credits: NASA

NASA is reaching out to the online community of engineers, designers, manufacturers, and students to help solve the challenge of unloading supplies on the Moon as the agency plans for sustainable exploration under the Artemis program.

Earlier this year, NASA released an outline of its long-term plans to explore the Moon under the Artemis program. In that report, the agency identified the core elements needed for a sustainable presence including a surface habitat to house crew on short surface stays.

Deployment and operation of an Artemis Base Camp could require an effective system to unload cargo from various lander configurations and transport those payloads to the Artemis Base Camp that, for safety reasons, will be located about a mile away from the landing site.

Through the Advanced Lightweight Lunar Gantry for Operations (ALLGO) Challenge, NASA is looking for creative solutions using computer-aided design, or CAD, models of a mobile lunar gantry, or support structure, based on a structural framework of inflatable components. Competition judges will select five submissions to receive up to $3,000 each.

“This competition supports a feasibility study on a mobile lunar gantry that can be used to load and unload supplies on the Moon,” said Kevin Kempton, Game Changing Development program element manager at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. “The goal of the study is to develop an innovative lightweight system using inflatable components that can be tightly packaged and easily deployed on the lunar surface. The results from the study could help the lunar mission architects decide which systems will be used for cargo operations on the Moon.”

The challenge is open to the public. Designs should be submitted as CAD models by Nov. 2. Finalists will be announced in mid-November.

This contest supports the Advanced Lightweight Lunar Gantry for Operations concept study. The study is funded by the Center Innovation Fund within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). The challenge is managed by the NASA Tournament Lab, part of the Prizes and Challenges program within STMD. The program supports the use of public competitions and crowdsourcing as tools to advance NASA research and development and other mission needs. The competition is being run by GrabCAD.

For more information about the challenge, including full design guidelines and constraints, relevant resources, and details on how to apply, visit:

Learn more about opportunities to participate in your space program via NASA prizes and challenges: