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NASA Announces Mini Payload Challenge Winners

16 Jul 2020, 08:22 UTC
NASA Announces Mini Payload Challenge Winners
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Credit: NASA

The winners for the JPL-led “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload” challenge have been announced, and the miniature robotic designs could help the agency explore the Moon.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s next giant leap may be aided by tiny lunar robots. These miniature robots would help scout the lunar surface, collecting key information about the Moon, its resources, and the environment. Such data would be helpful for the agency’s future lunar endeavors and NASA’s Artemis program.

In April, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California ran a public prize competition for miniature payload designs for future Moon missions. The “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload” challenge garnered the interest of hundreds of innovators. Now, the winners have been announced.

“The ideas generated by the community were outstanding,” said Sabah Bux, a technologist at JPL. “These designs could help NASA sustain a human presence on the Moon and enable new science.”

Existing payloads are often big, heavy, and require a lot of power. Tiny payloads allow for the development of technologies that can do more prospecting and science on smaller, more mobile platforms. This challenge sought designs for payloads not much larger than a bar of soap ...

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