How to Enter

Register your team, design your concept, and submit by June 18, 2021


All interested Teams must register for the Challenge by the June 18, 2021 deadline and meet the eligibility requirements in order to participate in the Challenge. For this Challenge, the registration process will be administered by the Challenge contractor, Ensemble.

After registering for the Challenge, please download the following Eligibility Requirements document, complete the form, and send to the challenge admin email account:  This will be the final registration step for your Team to officially become eligible to compete in the Challenge and should be completed within 2 weeks after completing the online registration form.

Please complete the registration form

Phase 1 Submission

All registered Teams must submit designs by the June 18, 2021 deadline

Teams will deliver their Phase 1 Submission through the Challenge submission form. For some submission elements, Teams will fill out a form field with a character limit; for other elements, Teams will upload one or more attachments. The limits for submission
elements are summarized in the table below.

Submission Elements

Submission Title:

This title may be displayed on the competition website post-submission.

Team Information:

Teams must submit a Curriculum Vitae and headshot for each Team Member.

Technical Abstract:

Teams must provide a brief summary description of the system architecture. The Technical abstract should provide a concise and compelling overview of the Team’s submission.

Intellectual Property:

Teams must explain who owns the intellectual property of the proposed architecture. If the architecture is built on existing or off-the-shelf technology, Teams should detail the permissions (if applicable) they have to use that technology. If a Team is part of an organisation, the submission should indicate which Team Members own the intellectual property.

Team Video Pitch:

Teams must submit a short video to introduce the Team and pitch your architecture. In the video, Teams should address:

  • Introduce yourself and your organization and/or Team
  • How are you addressing NASA’s key technology gaps?
  • What are the key elements of your proposed system architecture design?
  • What is unique about your proposed system architecture design?
  • How would you measure success and achieve broad and meaningful impact?

System Architecture:

A detailed narrative and supporting illustrations, models, data, or other materials describing the following elements:

  • All hardware needed to complete the mission, including:
  • Equipment that interfaces with the icy regolith, including its maintenance requirements
  • The shape and material composition of the impacting portion of the equipment
  • Concept of operations, addressing:
  • Movement of hardware from a starting location to the excavation site
  • Excavation of icy regolith
  • Movement of icy regolith from the excavation site to the NASA Water Extraction Plant, including how the material will be protected from sublimation or other losses; alternatively, Teams may describe their own method and location for water extraction
  • Delivery of water to the delivery site
  • Information on roads, berms, or other elements that must be constructed to support the architecture (if any)
  • Environmental Analysis: How equipment is expected to perform in the extreme lunar environment with regard to temperature, dust, reduced gravity, and vacuum
  • Performance Analysis addressing:
  • Analysis of the mass of each piece of equipment that would need to be landed on the lunar surface to complete the mission, plus total landed mass
  • Analysis of the mass of water (in metric tons) delivered during the mission
  • Analysis of the energy used by each piece of equipment during the mission, plus total energy consumed
  • Ratio of total water delivered to total landed mass
  • Ratio of total water delivered to total energy consumed

Excavation Plan:

Illustrating or modeling:

  • An area of regolith excavation
  • The sequence of excavation operations
  • The path of equipment between the Excavation Site and the Delivery Site

Mission Animation:

Showing the System Architecture under operation and including the following elements:

  • Minimum of 60 seconds showing set up of all equipment from the starting location
  • Minimum of 60 seconds detailing the excavator design and digging implement interactions with the regolith at depth
  • Minimum of 60 seconds showing long-term operations of overall system architecture

Legal and other required documentation:

As described in the Overview of Challenge Rules and Requirements in Section 5


Summary of Submission Element Formats & Limits

Phase 1 Submission Element

Form Field Character Limit

Narrative Page* Limit

Limit on Attachments

Such as data files, illustrations, video, etc.

Submission Title

~5 words / 30 characters

Technical Abstract

~250 words / 1,500 characters

Intellectual Property

~50 words / 300 characters

Team Information

25 pages* in Portable Document Format (PDF)

Team Video Pitch

Maximum of two (2) minutes uploaded to YouTube. A public YouTube link must be provided.

Legal and other required documentation

100 words / 500 characters

25 pages in Portable Document Format (PDF)

System Architecture

25 pages in Portable Document Format (PDF)

Excavation Plan

For drawings, a maximum of five (5) sheets in PDF with a size no smaller than 11” x 17” and no larger than E Size.

Digital models should be submitted in a format which can be reviewed in a freely available 3D model viewer software which would be accessible to the judges.**

Mission Animation

Maximum of five (5) minutes, uploaded to YouTube. A public YouTube link must be provided.

* For purposes of the Phase 1 Submission, a “Page” is defined as Letter size paper
(8.5 x 11.5 inches) with 12 point font (Times New Roman) and one-inch margins.

**Recommended file types are: IGES, STEP, STL, and IFC.