NASA’s public CO2 challenge could help astronauts endure on Mars

NASA would really prefer that Mars astronauts produce their materials on Mars, but that’s not so easy when resources we take for granted on Earth are hard to get on the Red Planet. The administration has an idea as to how it might accomplish that feat, though — and it wants your help. It’s launching a CO2 Conversion Challenge that asks the public to find ways to turn carbon dioxide into compounds that would be useful on Mars, where the substance is plentiful.

The competition will focus on glucose, since it’s the most likely to metabolize and thus the most efficient. A first phase will have teams submit designs that explain the details of their approach, with as many as five teams winning $50,000 each. Those teams that pass the gauntlet will move to a second phase where they have to build and demonstrate their solutions. The most promising candidate from that group will win up to $750,000.

[Read More]