Phase 2 Overview
The goal of Phase 2 is to further the development of technologies that can excavate and transport large quantities of icy lunar regolith and can continuously operate for 15 days. Phase 2 will not focus on ice/water delivery hardware or equipment. Through a prototype demonstration, teams must show that their solutions address the reliability, durability, and traversability challenges these systems must overcome to operate for long durations.
The specific NASA technology gaps that Phase 2 aims to address include:
- Excavate large quantities of icy regolith
- Delivery of large quantities of acquired resources
- Hardware and equipment that is lightweight and energy efficient
- Hardware and equipment that is reliable and durable
Phase 2 contains three (3) levels. In this Phase, teams will design, build, and test terrestrial analog full-scale prototypes of robotic icy regolith excavation and transportation systems. Downstream ice and/or water delivery equipment described in Phase 1 of this Challenge will not be considered in Phase 2 of this Challenge.
Level 1: Plan the Prototype
Teams will develop detailed engineering designs and long-duration demonstration test plans for their prototype systems.
- All teams that submit compliant deliverables by the deadline will move into Level 2.
- Up to $500,000 in prizes will be offered in Level 1.
Level 2: Build & Test the Prototype
Build your terrestrial analog full-scale prototype and conduct durability demonstrations at a facility of your choosing and submit the report data.
- Up to 15 teams will be selected to advance to Level 3
- Up to $1,000,000 in prizes will be offered in Level 2
Level 3: Test the Prototype at a NASA-selected Facility
In Level 3, teams will bring the prototype system(s) they built and tested in Level 2 to a test facility and compete with other teams. The facility will be chosen and prepared by NASA. Expected testing includes excavation under reduced gravity (using gravity off-loading) and transportation over complex terrain (including rocks, craters, slopes, turns, and loose granular soil).
Level 3 will offer:
- Up to $1,500,000 prize in prizes
- NASA will also award opportunities to test concepts in a dusty Thermal Vacuum Chamber that will simulate the temperature and atmospheric pressure conditions at the lunar south pole.