The US space agency NASA wants a solution for its power management concerns on Moon. The agency has announced a new competition to find out an answer. The agency said it will sponsor a competition. The USD 5-million competition will be aimed at finding suitable solutions for proper energy management including storage and distribution on the surface of the Moon. NASA said that it will study its feasibility to develop further. If all goes well, the space agency will use the technology for space flights, and its upcoming Moon and space missions. The announcement assumes significance as the space agency prepares to land the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface.
NASA is also preparing for space exploration by humans. Besides, sending humans on Mars is also in the pipeline. If the technology is demonstrated successfully, it could be vital to future missions. According to NASA, the solar energy exists in large quantities on Moon’s surface. But the extended night hours are a big hurdle for constructively utilizing solar power. The night hours on Moon lasts for 350 hours (roughly 14.5 days). Also, its environmental temperature changes from daylight to nighttime. This is where the agency is facing problems in using sunlight to manage power. NASA said that energy management is required to support human presence on the Moon.
As per NASA’s plan, it will land the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface in 2024. It wants them to stay there for seven days. The last time astronauts touched down on the lunar surface was in 1972. The astronauts had spent a little more than 12 hours. Moon is the only celestial body where humans have traveled so far. With the latest announcement, NASA wants technology for power management, and also wants to engage itself with a broader community of experts to push its space exploration program further. According to the agency, the competition will have two rounds. The winners will be announced in May next year.