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About the Night Rover Challenge

To stimulate innovations in energy storage technologies of value in extreme space environments and in renewable energy systems on Earth—
  • demonstrate a high energy density storage systems that meet the demands imposed by the daylight/darkness cycle on the Moon to enable a rover to operate throughout the lunar darkness cycle
  • Energy system innovations to benefit terrestrial applications, including vehicles and renewable energy generation systems.
Allied Organization:
The Clean Tech Open
Redwood City, CA

Description (subject to revision during Rules development process)

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, this Challenge may be conducted in an ambient Earth environment. Competitors with successful and appropriate system designs may be invited to test their energy storage systems in NASA thermal-vacuum chambers to demonstrate applicability to the space and lunar environment. The Challenge will be to demonstrate a portable energy storage system through several cycles of lunar daylight and darkness. During the daylight period, systems will receive electrical or thermal 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.

Prize Purse

$1.5 million is available from the Centennial Challenges Program. This amount may be supplemented with funds from other sources.

More Information

See the Night Rover website at http://NightRover.org/ for more details and preliminary schedule.