5 US universities win NASA's 2024 human lander challenge

New York, June 30 (IANS) Five US universities have won NASA's 2024 Human Lander Challenge (HULC) for various innovative concepts addressing the complex issue of managing lunar dust during the imminent lunar exploration mission Artemis, the space agency said.

Dust mitigation during the landing of the Artemis missions is a key challenge that NASA and its partners want to address to explore the Moon's south pole region and establish a long-term human presence on the Moon.

The University of Michigan team was named the overall winner, NASA said. The university was awarded a prize of $10,000.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received second prize and a $5,000 award, followed by the University of Colorado Boulder with a $3,000 award.

In addition, Texas A&M University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, received the Excellence in Systems Engineering Award.

These universities are among 12 finalists selected in March 2024, and have developed proposed system-level solutions that could potentially be implemented within the next 3-5 years to manage or prevent dust clouds – called lunar plume surface interactions – that form when spacecraft land on the Moon.

The teams were selected following a final round held June 25-27 near NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

“Managing and mitigating the hazard of lunar dust is a difficult challenge for NASA,” said Don Krupp, associate program manager for the HLS program.

He said the space agency is “committed to real solutions for our long-term presence on the lunar surface.”

Disclaimer: This post is auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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