[{"id":2,"title":"NASA launches $1 million competition for Mars project","date":"Sep 05, 2018","author":"Global Engineering News","category":"News","image":"image/news/globalengineeringnews.jpg","description":"If you think you're smart enough to figure out NASA's CO2 problem, head over to the CO2 Conversion Challenge website for more details.","content":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\n

Global Engineering News reports:

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Calling it the \"CO2 Conversion Challenge\", NASA scientists say they need help finding a way to turn a plentiful resource like carbon dioxide into a variety of useful products in order to make trips to Mars possible.

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Carbon dioxide is one resource readily abundant within the martian atmosphere. If you think you're smart enough to figure out NASA's CO2 problem, head over to the CO2 Conversion Challenge website for more details and guidelines and to register. \"We have to get creative\".

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The contest is divided into two phases.

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\"Enabling sustained human life on another planet will require a great deal of resources and we can not possibly bring everything we will need, said program manager Monsi Roman in a press release\".

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Read Full Article

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ABC News reports:

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Even rocket scientists can use a little help sometimes.

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NASA is asking the public to figure out a way to turn carbon dioxide into glucose. The catch is, it needs to happen on Mars.

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If the job sounds daunting, it is. But anyone who does it could take home part of a $1 million prize pot from NASA.

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\"Enabling sustained human life on another planet will require a great deal of resources and we cannot possibly bring everything we will need. We have to get creative,\" Monsi Roman, program manager of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program, said in a statement announcing the challenge last week. \"If we can transform an existing and plentiful resource like carbon dioxide into a variety of useful products, the space –- and terrestrial -- applications are endless.\"

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The competition comes from several goals the space agency has for both Mars and Earth.

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\"We're asking the public to help us convert carbon dioxide into sugar and the end game is gluclose,\" Roman told ABC News. \"That conversion happens naturally in photosynthesis on Earth all the time. It’s an issue on Mars. There’s a lot of carbon dioxide, if we have hydrogen, we can basically make 'designer farms.'\"

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Read Full Article

\n\n\t\n"},{"id":6,"title":"NASA launches $1 million competition for Mars project","date":"Sep 04, 2018","author":"New York Post","category":"News","image":"image/news/newyorkpost.jpg","description":"Dubbed the “CO2 Conversion Challenge,” the space agency is looking for scientists to figure out how to transform the carbon dioxide that’s abundant on the Red Planet into glucose.","content":"\n\t\n\t\n\n

New York Post reports:

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NASA is offering $1 million in a new type of space race — to convert carbon dioxide into other compounds that can potentially be used to sustain life on Mars.

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Dubbed the “CO2 Conversion Challenge,” the space agency is looking for scientists to figure out how to transform the carbon dioxide that’s abundant on the Red Planet into glucose.

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“Enabling sustained human life on another planet will require a great deal of resources and we cannot possibly bring everything we will need. We have to get creative,” said Monsi Roman, program manager of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program. “If we can transform an existing and plentiful resource like carbon dioxide into a variety of useful products, the space – and terrestrial – applications are endless.”

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Carbon, oxygen and hydrogen molecules are the building blocks of sugars, which NASA said “are preferred microbial energy sources” because they’re easy to metabolize.

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Read Full Article

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Newsweek reports:

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When you’re an astronaut exploring Mars, you can’t just knock on your neighbor’s door to ask for a bowl of sugar. So NASA has challenged scientists and inventors to dream up ways of turning carbon dioxide into useful molecules, like glucose, to help those who will one day head to the Red Planet. 

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To win NASA's CO2 Conversion Challenge, the team or individual must show how the gas could be used to create other compounds, with a potential total prize of $1m.

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On a spacecraft, room for cargo is scarce and the crew must prioritize the bare essentials. Astronauts are also short on resources like the time, water and energy needed to replicate the process through which plants make sugar-based biomaterials, which we take for granted here on Earth.

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Read Full Article

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Outer Places reports:

If and when humankind finally reaches Mars and begins the process of building a colony, we're going to need a few a things. Astronauts chosen for NASA's Mars Mission will have lots of supplies with them to make transitioning to life in a new world easier, but as with every settlement in history, they will also have to make use of native resources for long-term survival. According to Yahoo!, NASA needs some help in that department, and they have $1,000,000 in prize money waiting for the person/people that can figure out ways to turn carbon dioxide into other useful products, namely sugar.

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Read Full Article

\n\n\t\n"},{"id":1,"title":"New NASA Competition Aims to Convert Carbon Dioxide into Exploration Sweet Success ","date":"Aug 30, 2018","author":"Author","category":"News","image":"img/sample-news.png","description":"The CO2 Conversion Challenge aims to help find a solution. Energy rich sugars are preferred microbial energy sources composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms.","content":"\n\t\n\t\n\t\n\n

When astronauts begin exploring Mars, they’ll need to use local resources, freeing up launch cargo space for other mission-critical supplies. Carbon dioxide is one resource readily abundant within the Martian atmosphere. NASA’s new CO2 Conversion Challenge, conducted under the Centennial Challenges program, is a public competition seeking novel ways to convert carbon dioxide into useful compounds. Such technologies will allow us to manufacture products using local, indigenous resources on Mars, and can also be implemented on Earth by using both waste and atmospheric carbon dioxide as a resource. 

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“Enabling sustained human life on another planet will require a great deal of resources and we cannot possibly bring everything we will need. We have to get creative.” said Monsi Roman, program manager of NASA’s Centennial Challenges program. “If we can transform an existing and plentiful resource like carbon dioxide into a variety of useful products, the space – and terrestrial – applications are endless.”

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Carbon and oxygen are the molecular building blocks of sugars. Developing efficient systems that can produce glucose from carbon dioxide will help advance the emerging field of biomanufacturing technology on Earth.

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While sugar-based biomaterials are inexpensively made on Earth by plants, this approach cannot be easily adapted for space missions because of limited resources such as energy, water and crew time. The CO2 Conversion Challenge aims to help find a solution. Energy rich sugars are preferred microbial energy sources composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. They could be used as the feedstock for systems that can efficiently produce a variety of items. Glucose is the target sugar product in this challenge because it is the easiest to metabolize, which will optimize conversion efficiency. 

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The competition is divided into two phases. During Phase 1, teams must submit a design and description of a conversion system that includes details of the physical-chemical approaches to convert carbon dioxide into glucose. NASA will award up to five teams $50,000 each, to be announced in April 2019. Phase 2, the system construction and demonstration stage, is contingent on promising submissions in Phase 1 that offer a viable approach to achieving challenge goals. Phase 2 will carry a prize purse of up to $750,000, for a total challenge prize purse of $1 million. 

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The Centennial Challenges program, part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, bridges the innovation gap between NASA and the nation by stimulating research and technology solutions inside and outside of the traditional aerospace community. The program offers incentive prizes to generate revolutionary solutions to problems of interest to NASA and the nation. Centennial Challenges is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

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Shannon Ridinger
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
256-544-0034
shannon.j.ridinger@nasa.gov

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