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NASA announces moon toilet contest

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NASA Aerospace Agency has announced a contest to create a toilet for the future lunar mission “Artemis.” People of any age and from any country can take part in it. Among the technical requirements for the invention is a weight of not more than 15 kilograms on Earth and energy consumption of not more than 70 watts.

In 2024, as part of the Artemis program, NASA plans to send two astronauts to the moon, a man and a woman, who will be the first woman ever to land on the moon. They will live in a habitable module designed by Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX, and will encounter a lot of difficulties, including household ones, and therefore the aerospace agency is in search of the most successful solutions that will help make the life of astronauts more comfortable.

The Lunar Loo Challenge is a NASA and HeroX space toilet design competition for the Artemis program. It will be installed on the landing module, which can independently descend from orbit, which means it must work both in zero gravity and on the moon, where the gravitational force is about six times weaker than the earth. In addition, he must cope with various types of waste, including vomiting (and for projects that offer a solution that does not require the astronaut to put his head in the toilet, bonus points will be awarded), hygiene products, withstand an average of 6 uses per day and easy to clean. NASA also has technical requirements – for example, a toilet should weigh no more than 15 kilograms (on Earth), consume less than 70 watts of electricity, occupy a volume of not more than 0.12 cubic meters and serve both men and women.

The main prize in the competition is 20 thousand dollars. The winners will also be invited to discuss their project with NASA engineers and, possibly, participants in a future mission, as well as go on a private tour of the Lyndon Johnson Space Center. In addition, teenagers under the age of 18 years can participate in the competition: they will receive a certificate, accessories with the NASA logo and possibly other awards as a prize. Applications for participation are accepted until August 17, 2020.

Recently, NASA presented a detailed project of the Lunar Flashlight spacecraft, which will be sent to the moon as part of the first phase of the Artemis program. He will look for ice deposits that future missions will be able to use as fuel.

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