As NASA works to extend human exploration of the solar system, unprecedented capacity for energy distribution, management, and storage will be needed to support sustained human presence and the beginning of industrial activity.
Solar energy is abundant on the surface of the Moon, but extended night hours (350 consecutive hours) and the extreme environmental temperature change from daylight to nighttime, create problems for solar power use. Earth also addresses similar issues, where demand for additional renewable energy generation, including solar, is rising, but additional power management, distribution, and energy storage solutions are needed to address issues such as intermittency and resiliency.
Not only could novel solutions make a difference in lunar and space exploration, but technologies discovered during NASA’s Watts on the Moon competition could help facilitate new power options on Earth.
The Watts on the Moon Challenge is managed by NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and is part of Centennial Challenges, based at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Centennial Challenges are a part of the Prizes, Challenges and Crowdsourcing program within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. Centennial Challenges has contracted HeroX to support the management of competitors for this challenge.
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