Please note that the details of this Challenge are no longer open. This challenge is awarded and is no longer accepting new submissions. You can:
Challenge NASA Challenge: Space Pioneering – Achieving Earth Independence
NASA Challenge: Space Pioneering – Achieving Earth Independence
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 4812
Posted: May 05 2015
Challenge ID: 9933746
Team Project Rooms are available on this Challenge. Team Share Challenge Share

NASA is embarking on a long-term effort of “pioneering space” for this and future generations.  In this context, “pioneering space” is defined as the ability for humans to go further and stay longer in space with an ever decreasing need to be reliant on Earth, approaching “Earth independence”.

For this specific Challenge, the Solver is asked to focus on particular elements of “pioneering space,” namely those elements needed to establish a continuous human presence on Mars.


NASA’s challenge is finding elements that support the logistics and capabilities required for a sustainable permanent human presence beyond Earth’s vicinity. 

For this specific Challenge, the Solver is asked to focus on those particular elements of “pioneering space” needed to establish a continuous human presence on Mars. The Solver is asked to describe one or more Mars surface systems/capabilities and operations needed to achieve this goal that are, to the greatest extent possible, technically achievable, economically sustainable, and minimize (ideally, eliminate) reliance on support from Earth. 

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written submission.  The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the submission by the Seeker. Awards will be paid out to the top submissions that meet or exceed the criteria below. Awards will be paid out in increments of $5,000 (minimum) up to a potential total award pool of $15,000. The awards are not guaranteed, however; the Seeker expects to pay out 1-3 awards in total assuming the submissions meet the criteria. 

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive intellectual property (IP) rights to the Seeker.  Instead, they will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.

The deadline for this Challenge is 23:59:59 July, 6, 2015 Eastern Standard Time. No late submissions will be accepted.

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What is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge?

An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge, meaning that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. By contrast, Theoretical-IP Transfer means that Solvers must relinquish all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. For these forms of a Theoretical Challenge, Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.

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