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Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-Changing (BIG) Idea Challenge

Click Here to Learn More and Apply! 

Academic Level:
Undergraduates - First Year
Undergraduates - Sophomore
Undergraduates - Junior
Undergraduates - Senior
Graduate Students (Masters)
Graduate Students (PhD)
Faculty & Administrators

Note: this opportunity encourages applications from community college students.

The Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge is one of NASA's premier engineering design competitions engaging universities in NASA's Mission to develop space exploration technologies for the Moon.

For the next BIG Idea Challenge, NASA solicits team proposals from Space Grant affiliated universities and colleges for a wide range of technologies that will enable the production of lunar infrastructure from ISRU-derived metals found on the Moon. Key infrastructure products desired are storage vessels for liquids and gases, extrusions, pipes, power cables, and supporting structures (i.e: roads, landing pads, etc).

Teams are invited to submit proposals that focus on any part of the product production pipeline' from prospecting to testing, including:

-Prospecting for metal-bearing ores.

-Ore extraction from bulk regolith.

-Beneficiation/Refining processes.

-Smelting and other metal reduction methods Feedstock forming and alloying from ISRU-derived metals Handling of materials used in metal production Additive manufacturing and joining with ISRU-derived feedstock Production of metal matrix composites Extrusion and drawing methods tailored for use in the lunar environment where a complex infrastructure is not available Test and qualification of ISRU-derived metal products such as storage vessels for liquids and gases, extrusions, pipes, power cables, and supporting structures.

*Exclusions: Proposals that focus on drilling, excavation, or transportation will NOT be considered for selection. The challenge is not looking for concepts that focus on the recycling of landed assets into feedstock or metal products.

Selected teams will build their proposed system concept, and will be responsible for setting up and executing their own high-fidelity verification testing, based on what was described in the proposal. Teams are encouraged to be creative and design their own accurate and realistically simulated testing scenarios.

Please visit the website to learn more about the program and how to apply. Minority Serving Institutions are encouraged to apply!
accepts non-us citizens

Application Deadline: 1/24/2023

Program Dates: 3/2/2023 - 11/17/2023

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts)
NASA (Lead)
NASA Langley Research Center (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 
movie  Program Video

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Aerospace Engineering
Applied Mathematics
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Computer & Electrical Engineering
Materials Science & Engineering
Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Collaborative Research
Manufacturing Engineering
Material Design
Materials Lifetime Science & Engineering
Materials Processing
Mechanical Engineering
Metallurgical Engineering
Systems Engineering

Learn More and Apply!

This program is funded by:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Page last updated 8/27/2022
Click here to submit updates to this program listing!


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