NASA's Lunar Loo Challenge for Designers 2020 and win up to $35,000

NASA's Lunar Loo Challenge for Designers 2020 and win up to $35,000



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Organisation à but non lucratif
Date limite
17 août 2020
Niveau d'études
Type d'opportunité
Financement d'opportunité
Financement complet
Pays éligibles
Région éligible
Toutes les régions

Herox is offering NASA's Lunar Loo Challenge for Designers. NASA will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon in 2024, and the goal is to do this in a way that uses less mass, occupies less volume, is more energy efficient. Designing and developing new lunar toilets may not be as exciting or intriguing as developing tools to support the exploration of the lunar surface, but the need is just as important. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The Prize is open to anyone age 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
  • If you are a NASA employee, a Government contractor, or employed by a Government Contractor, your participation in this challenge may be restricted.
  • Submissions must be made in English. All challenge-related communication will be in English.
  • No specific qualifications or expertise in the field of waste management  is required.


  • This challenge has two categories: Technical and Junior. 
  • The winners for the Technical category will be announced on September 30, and the winners for the Junior category will be announced on October 20, 2020.
  • The Technical category has a total prize purse of $35,000 USD. 
  1. First Place $20,000
  2. Second Place $10,000
  3. Third Place $5,000
  • The Junior category will have Public recognition, Official NASA-logoed merchandise Additional “mystery” prizes


  • Open to submissions June 25, 2020
  • Submission deadline August 17, 2020 @ 5pm ET
  • Judging and evaluation (Technical)August 18 - September 22, 2020
  • Winners Announced (Technical)September 30, 2020
  • Judging and evaluation (Junior)August 18 - October 13, 2020
  • Winners Announced (Junior) October 20, 2020

Submission Questions:

  • Discuss in detail (6000 characters) how your design will:
  1. work in both microgravity and lunar gravity
  2. accommodate female and male crew
  3. be easy to use and maintain, with low noise, low odor, and fast turnaround time
  4. allow for transfer of collected waste to storage or external vehicle disposal 
  • Discuss in detail (6000 characters) how your design will:
  1. capture and contain urine, feces, vomit, diarrhea, and menses
  2. Stabilize urine
  3. accommodate simultaneous urination and defecation
  4. accommodate the needs of 2 crew members for 14 days
  5. accommodates the use of toilet hygiene products
  6. clears previous waste content prior to next use
  7. defines how often the collections system must be replaced or disposed of in the mission  
  • Discuss the safety measures in place to ensure that during nominal use or in the event of a system failure:
  1. crew handling of waste materials during maintenance or system use is minimized
  2. crew members are not exposed to vacuum  (5000 characters)
  • Discuss the technical maturity of your proposed toilet design (5000 characters): 
  1. What TRL would you assign it? provide a supporting rationale and/or evidence for this rating. 
  2. Why do you believe this could be developed and integrated into a lunar rover in the next 2-3 years?  

About the Challenge:

NASA is already looking at ways to make currently-used space toilets smaller, lighter, and functional in lunar gravity. The process for using proposed toilet designs must be relatively straightforward. Toilets will operate in a nominal spacecraft environment with an air pressure of 14.7 psia (sea level like on Earth) or 8.2 psia Additionally, toilet designs should conserve water and help maintain a pristine environment inside the lander that is free of odors and other contaminants. Complete solutions will be ones that can support a crew of two astronauts for 14 days, while controlling odor, accommodating different types of waste (urine, feces, vomit, diarrhea, menses), and different gender users (female and male).

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