NASA Offers $1.5 Million Prize

Artist's Conception

As part of its Centennial Challenge Program, NASA is sponsoring a contest to develop a solar-powered rover that can operate in darkness, using its own stored energy.  Currently, the solar-powered Mars rovers “go to sleep” during the Martian night.  NASA is looking for innovative solutions that would allow the rover to continue operations even in the dark.  The new technology must allow solar energy to be captured, stored, and then redistributed when needed.  Breakthroughs in this arena would not only benefit space exploration, but would have a significant impact on electric vehicles and renewable energy systems right here on Earth.

The competition is designed specifically to reach out to the public and independent teams who work without government funding. Individuals, groups, and companies working outside the traditional aerospace industry are invited to compete.

The winning system will be the one that moves the greatest distance during darkness in an allotted time period using only its own stored energy.

For more information check out NASA’s website.

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