Lunar sample collector
NASA Selects Six Companies to Demonstrate Lunar Robot Prototypes
NASA has selected six companies to demonstrate their prototype robotic systems designed to navigate through the lunar south pole.
The six companies were chosen through NASA’s Break the Ice Lunar Challenge, conceived in 2020 to identify novel solutions that can collect samples from the lunar south pole for further studies. The six, all from the United States, demonstrated their prototypes at their testing grounds to prove their ability to collect and transport samples.
The companies will bring their prototypes to a NASA-designated test facility for head-to-head matchups involving reduced-gravity excavation and rough terrain navigation. The winner will receive $1 million while the runner-up will receive $500,000, NASA said.
The agency has been partnering with businesses on various lunar exploration and tech development projects.
In July, NASA partnered with 11 companies on technology development partnerships for long-term lunar and space applications. The technologies NASA and its partners will build include in-space 3D printing and lunar surface power systems.
In June, the agency selected four teams to advance to the final level of the Watts on the Moon Challenge Phase 2. The companies were tasked to demonstrate their power supply and storage technologies in a simulated lunar environment.
Tags: Break the Ice Lunar Challenge lunar sample collector NASA robotic systems prototype demonstration space