NASA Launches Challenge to Find Way for Astronauts to Poo on the Moon

NASA is calling on the world to submit their novel design concepts for compact toilets that can operate in both microgravity and lunar gravity. 

These designs may be adapted for use in the Artemis lunar landers that take humanity back to the Moon.

Although space toilets already exist and are in use (on the International Space Station, for example), they are designed for microgravity only.

NASA is looking for a next-generation device that is smaller, more efficient, and capable of working in both microgravity and lunar gravity.

Getting back to the Moon by 2024 is an ambitious goal, and NASA is already working on approaches to miniaturise and streamline the existing toilets.

But they also want ideas from people that will approach the problem with a mindset different from traditional aerospace engineering.

This challenge hopes to attract radically new and different approaches to the problem of human waste capture and containment.

And, to encourage the next generation of solvers, there will also be a Junior category for innovators under 18 years of age.

The challenge will award $35,000 in prizes to the authors of the three most compelling design concepts.

In addition to the awards, design winners will have the opportunity to talk directly with NASA engineers about their proposed toilet designs.

The top three participants in the Junior category will each receive public recognition and an item of official NASA-logoed mhe prize is open to anyone aged 18 or older participating as an individual or as a team.

Individual competitors and teams may originate from any country, as long as United States federal sanctions do not prohibit participation (some restrictions apply).

To submit to the Junior category, you must be younger than 18.