Carbon dioxide is the most dominant gas in the thin atmosphere of Mars, so we are looking for a way to take advantage of this element and turn it into sugar to carry out a successful Mars colonization. Glucose is rich in energy and would be a useful fuel for ‘bioreactors’ that could help make a good number of things for the future colonizers of the Red Planet.
NASA seeks new ways to enable human life sustainably on an alien planet
“Enabling human life sustainably on another planet will require a large pool of resources, and we won’t be able to take everything we need to those planets. We will have to be creative. If we can transform large and existing resources such as carbon dioxide into a variety of useful products, space applications would be limitless,” explained Monsi Roman, the head of the NASA’s Centennial Challenges programme.
As Monsi Roman said, the goal of NASA is to find a method to turn carbon dioxide into sugar (glucose) to help the future Mars colonization missions. For that, the US space agency is ready to offer a big prize for the winners of the contest.
NASA’s Centennial Challenges programme to offer a prize of $800,000 in total
In the first phase of this particular contest, participants must submit details of their projects by April 2019, and there will be five finalists who, if they pass to the second stage of the competition, will win a prize of $50,000.
In the second phase, the conversion system will have to be built and demonstrated, and the winner will be rewarded with the remaining $750,000 of the prize.
Any US citizen and resident can participate in NASA’s competition
The contest is open to US citizens and residents, but other foreign researchers may also join as members of a US team, as indicated in the contest rules.
NASA aims to find a viable project that could help the future space missions for Mars colonization with producing different things the humans on the Red Planet might need to survive and live a normal life on the Earth’s neighbor planet.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.