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NASA announces winners of two challenges
15
Mar '16
Courtesy: NASA
Courtesy: NASA
NASA announced winners of two challenges to create new concepts for construction and human habitation on future space exploration missions, including the agency's journey to Mars.

The Space Suit Textile Testing and In-Situ Materials Challenges were managed for NASA by Ninesigma, and was launched in October 2015 under the umbrella of the NASA Tournament Lab.

“It yielded innovative concepts for spacesuit testing and in-situ building materials use for habitat construction,” a NASA press release informed.

Winners for the Space Suit Textile Testing Challenge include, Ahilan Anantha Krishnan for 'Evaluating Space Suit Textile Abrasion in Planetary Environments'.

Himel Barua, Thomas L. Collins, Riniah Foor, Evan Hess, Joey Stavale, Christopher Daniels, Heather Oravec, Janice Mather and M.J. Braun together won for 'Cylindrical Abrasion Method'.

While, John Holler was named winner for his 'Point-of-Failure Based System Using High Velocity Abrasives'.

The Space Suit Textile Testing Challenge offered three prizes of $5,000 for winning ideas on how to test the outer protective layer of spacesuit material for performance in different kinds of planetary environments.

The first place winner of the In-Situ Challenge was Behrokh Khoshnevis for 'Planetary Fabrication of Complex Metallic/Ceramic Objects with In-Situ Resources'.

Second place went to David Espinosa and David Orlebeke for 'Cold Spray Technology Applied to Building and Repair' and also to Patrick Donovan for 'Simultaneous Exhaust-Enabled Ore Reduction, Separation and Processing'.

The In-Situ Challenge sought solutions using surface materials like regolith or crushed basalt rock for earth and space fabrication and construction applications.

The challenge offered a first-place prize of $10,000 and two second-place prizes of $2,500 for top submissions.

According to NASA, using native materials for construction is tremendously beneficial for space exploration because in-situ regolith utilisation (ISRU) reduces the need for materials to be shipped.

“ISRU could potentially save the agency more than $100,000 per kilogram to launch, making space pioneering more cost-effective and feasible,” it observed.

"These two challenges offered the opportunity to think about two basic needs of exploration, protective suits and building materials, in a new way," said Steve Rader, deputy manager of NASA's CoECI.

"Our journey to Mars will require innovations in design and technology; opening our process up to the public gives us more creative paths to follow," Rader stated. (AR)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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