About the Challenge

This competition has two phases with a total prize purse of up to $1 million. Phase 1 (completed in April 2019) was the Concept Phase with a prize purse of $250,000 awarded equally among the top five scoring teams. Phase 2 is a Demonstration Challenge with a prize purse of up to $750,000.

Before you can apply, you must first register no later than Friday, December 6, 2019, at 5:00 PM Central. You must submit the following information via email to solutions@co2conversionchallenge.org.

Teams who seek to have their systems evaluated will be required to submit an application via email to solutions@co2conversionchallenge.org and submit a video link that demonstrates the performance of their system no later than 5:00 PM Central on Friday, December 4, 2020.

The three highest scoring teams will be awarded the following prizes:

In the event of a tie score between two or more teams, the corresponding award(s) will be divided evenly among the teams. For example, a tie for first place will result in both teams receiving ($350,000 + $200,000)/2 = $275,000.

Bonus Prize—System Effectiveness for Space Mission Applications

The information provided in the Application as well as information gathered during the on-site judging event will be used by the judging panel to assess the overall system effectiveness for future application in space missions. A total of $100,000 will be available for bonus prizes in amounts determined by the judges for up to 3 teams. Teams do not need to win one of the contest prizes to be awarded a Bonus Prize. The top score will receive $50,000 and the next two highest scores will receive $25,000. A minimum score of 65 points is required to be eligible for a bonus prize. The scoring matrix will consist of a total of 100 points divided into the following three categories:

System Efficiency (40 Points)

Operating CO2 conversion systems in space will benefit substantially by operating at high levels of efficiency with respect to consumable useage, waste production and power requirements. Therefore, systems will be assessed with respect to power requirements, consumables needed, and wastes produced as compared to the amount of products produced. Increased levels of efficiency results in increased scores. Points will be allocated based on the efficiency of:

System Scalability (30 Points)

Application of CO2 conversion systems to support space biomanufacturing operations may need to operate from small to large scales. Therefore, systems will be assessed based on their ability to increase and decrease in scale in terms of system volume, mass, power and consumable useage as compared to the tested configuration. Greater capability for effective scaling results in increased scores. Points will be allocated based on the scaling capability of:

System Robustness and Reliability (30 points)

Systems in space are required to reliably operate for long periods of time with minimal or complex maintenance. Therefore, systems will be assessed regarding their ability to handle off-nominal events, stops and restarts, general reliability of component parts and catalysts, and anticipated maintenance. Scoring will be based on the information provided in the Demonstration Application and information obtained during the on-site demsontration. Factors include demonstrated and theoretical evidence of resilience to system starts and stops, perturbations, and failures, as well as projected maintenance procedures. Greater robustness and reliability results in increased scores.

About NASA Centennial Challenges

The Centennial Challenges Program seeks to stimulate research and technology solutions to support NASA missions and inspire new national aerospace capabilities through public prize competitions. The program is an integral part of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing, and flying hardware for use in NASA's future missions. For more information about NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) see http://www.nasa.gov/spacetech.