Aspiring engineers are invited to design a robot that digs through lunar soil and enter their submissions in the Lunabotics Junior Contest. U.S. students in public and private schools, as well as home-schoolers, can participate in this collaboration between NASA and Future Engineers.

A lunar soil-manipulating robot is needed to excavate and transport regolith from an area of the lunar South Pole to a holding container near where Artemis mission astronauts may explore the Moon in the future. Participants are tasked with developing, but not building, a robot design within the dimensions of 3.5 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft.

Budding designers must consider how the physical design of the robot will enable it to scoop/dig and move lunar regolith, whether the robot will operate by moving large amounts of dirt per trip or by transporting less dirt over more trips, and how the the robot will meet the challenge of lunar dust that is stirred up and can adhere to surfaces.

Entries are accepted through January 25, 2022. Winners will be announced March 29, 2022, and awarded a virtual chat for their class with Janet Petro, director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Volunteers are also sought to help judge the entries, and those willing to offer about five hours of their time over a 10-day period can register here.

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