Attention, space enthusiasts! NASA is offering a USD 20,000 prize to anyone who can come up with a design idea for small science and technology payloads that could also provide the necessary weight to balance spacecraft entering the Martian atmosphere.
“NASA is committed to engaging the public, and specifically the maker community through innovative activities like the Mars Balance Mass Challenge,” said NASA Chief Technologist David Miller.
The Mars Balance Mass Challenge seeks design ideas for small science and technology payloads that could potentially provide dual purpose as ejectable balance masses on spacecraft entering the atmosphere of the Red planet.
The payloads will serve two roles: perform scientific or technology functions that help us learn more about the Red planet, and provide the necessary weight to balance planetary landers.
Submissions are due by November 21. A winner will be announced in mid-January 2015 and receive an award of USD 20,000, NASA said.
The US space agency has also launched a new website NASA Solve which it said is a “great way for members of the public, makers and other citizen scientists to see all NASA challenges and prizes in one location.”