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NASA Taps University Teams for Mars Solar Power Tech Ideas

NASA has launched a challenge for university students to submit concepts for solar power systems that can work to produce power on Mars in daytime and nighttime.

The 2018 Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing Idea Challenge seeks solar array designs that will fit into a single cargo launch, deploy robotically on Mars’ surface and start power generation after landing, NASA said Tuesday.

The agency aims to establish a working power source on Mars ahead of astronauts’ arrival.

NASA’s Game Changing Development Program and the National Institute of Aerospace will collaborate to identify concepts and approaches that can support sustained power generation on Mars’ surface for many years.

NASA and industry experts plan to select four teams that will receive $6,000 each to develop their concepts, submit a technical paper and present their proposals at the BIG Idea Forum in March 2018.

Interested groups of three to five undergraduate and/or graduate students have until Nov. 30 to submit proposals and a two-minute video outlining their concepts.

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