Nasa opens Phase 2 of $5m Lunar Power Prize Competition

Nasa opens Phase 2 of $5m Lunar Power Prize CompetitionBasically, it is seeking innovative technologies for energy distribution, management, and/or storage that can be developed for space flight and future operations on the Moon’s surface.

Under its Artemis programme, NASA is committed to return to the Moon and explore more of the lunar surface than before. This will require “lunar surface systems” that can deliver continuous, reliable lunar power to support mining and construction, research activities, and human habitation, it expects.

The newest phase of the challenge will offer up to $4.5 million in prizes to design, build, and demonstrate relevant prototypes. And teams have to register to compete via the challenge site by 4 p.m. (CDT) on 15 June 2022.


“Challenges like Watts on the Moon give us the chance to utilize the creativity of industry, academia, and the public to power our return to the Moon,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

“I look forward to seeing how their solutions may also have important applications here on Earth and help advance similar technologies for terrestrial application and commercialization.”

Centennial Challenges

The Watts on the Moon Challenge is managed by Centennial Challenges, based at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

This is part of the Prizes, Challenges, and Crowdsourcing program within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. NASA’s Glenn Research Center is the lead center for the challenge and is responsible for defining the challenge goals, success criteria, technology, and infusion paths.

Centennial Challenges has contracted HeroX to support the administration of the challenge.

NASA is inviting previous participants as well as new teams to compete in Phase 2.

Lunar power prize

NASA awarded $500K in the first phase of the lunar power challenge back in May 2021.

The seven winning teams in the first phase were: Astrobotic Technology, Inc. of Pittsburgh (awarded $100,000), Planetary Surface Technology Development Lab at Michigan Technological University in Houghton (Michigan: $100,000), Skycorp Inc. of Santa Clara, California ($100,000 Astrolight of Rochester, New York: $50,000), KC Space Pirates of Kansas City, Missouri ($50,000), Moonlight from the University of California, Santa Barbara ($50,000) and Team FuelPod of Johnstown, Colorado ($50,000)

“Having a continuous supply of energy on the Moon requires a wide variety of inventive solutions,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate at the time. “We salute the bold, creative, and curious solvers who are helping us advance the technologies needed for sustainable living and working farther from Earth.”

Eligible teams had six months to register and submit ideas for up to three parts of a hypothetical mission scenario – harvesting water and oxygen from a dark crater at the Moon’s South Pole with energy generated by a power plant located on the crater’s outer rim.

See also: Jaxa ball-shaped robot to explore lunar surface

Recommended Articles

  • Nasa opens Phase 2 of $5m Lunar Power Prize Competition

    Nasa to invest another $200m to help new technologies to market

  • Nasa opens Phase 2 of $5m Lunar Power Prize Competition

    Caltech selects Laurie Leshin to be Director of JPL

  • Nasa opens Phase 2 of $5m Lunar Power Prize Competition

    Israel signs on for Nasa’s Artemis Accords

  • Nasa opens Phase 2 of $5m Lunar Power Prize Competition

    NASA picks new chief scientist and senior climate advisor