Registration for NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge, an in-space competition with a huge cash reward, is now officially open to the public.
The challenge was released by NASA as a way to promote innovation in space travel, and offers a cool 5 million dollars as the prize. Not only that, but the winners of the competition will also get their CubeSat launched by Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft of NASA. A very exciting prospect that will hopefully garner some very creative and intelligent minds. The cash prize will be dealt out into the three distinct areas of Grand Tournaments, Lunar Derby and Deep Space Derby.
According to American Live Wire, the main focus of the competition is to advance the state of CubeSats while also demonstrating their ability to explore the deep reaches of space. In addition, NASA also sees the competition as a way to engage the public in the space agency’s goals. They hope that the cash prize will bring out the best of the best to the challenge, which in turn will benefit space exploration overall. Each competitor must have designed or developed a small satellite that is capable of aiding the space agency while also carrying out operation in close proximity to or beyond the moon.
Each of the three parts of the tournament will all be measured by different factors. In the Grand Tournaments, the agency will decide who will get a chance to fly on the first SLS flight. In the Lunar Derby, satellites will be checked to see if they can safely put a CubeSat into lunar orbit, while in Deep Space Derby CubeSats will be monitored to see if they can pass a distance of at least 2.5 million miles. There is a lot at stake, and winners of these events will not only be sharing in the prizes, but will also be aiding the agency overall.