The world’s biggest space agency seems to be dealing with some very serious issues these days. NASA wants an effective solution for the astronauts’ bowel movement. And that’s the reason NASA has come up with the Space Poop Challenge for crowdsourcing the best ideas in this regard.
Till now, the issue wasn’t so big that NASA couldn’t handle it. But in the near future, astronauts will need to stay in their pressurized suit for longer periods to undertake long-duration journeys. The space missions at present don’t require the crew member to be in their suits for more than 10 hours and the duration was managed using diapers. Through this challenge, NASA wants to find a solution that will let crew members be in their suits for as long as 144 hours.
Now since the US President has already announced that NASA will be undertaking a mission to put humans on Mars by the 2030s, the space agency needs to find a solution really quick. The Space Poop Challenge is live on HeroX, a crowdsourcing platform, and the willing candidates can join the challenge until December 20. The winners will be announced by NASA on the same platform on January 31.
The candidates are required to come up with innovative ideas that can be practically implemented in their upcoming missions. As per the report by U.S. News, the winner of this challenge will be awarded $30,000 as prize money. A few teams, that include “Team Dookie,” “The Stool Solution” and “2 Astronaughts 1 Cup” have already taken up the challenge.
Besides this challenge, NASA will also be pitching in $65 million in the coming years so that the companies can too come up with some real-world solutions for the issue.