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NASA needs your help unloading items on the moon

The Lunar Delivery Challenge is soliciting ideas on how to transport goods via rovers and unload them onto the moon's surface.

Do you have what it takes to enter the NASA Lunar Delivery Challenge?

NASA's Artemis program aims to land astronauts on the surface of the moon in 2024, and eventually create a sustainable base camp on the lunar surface to act as a hub for scientific research and serve as a base for future exploration of Mars. A critical component of this program's success will be the delivery of supplies and systems to the lunar surface, and eventually to the red planet. 

And you could help NASA reach its goals. 

NASA issued a call Thursday for ideas that address how to unload payloads from lunar landers. The Lunar Delivery Challenge launched on crowdsourcing platform HeroX with total available prize money of $25,000 (approximately £19,318, AU$35,559) for the top concepts.

"Payloads of varying mass and volume will be sent to the moon in one of several commercial landers and once they arrive at the lunar South Pole, they need to be unloaded," the challenge says. "These landers will range in size depending on the program requirements, so ideally the solution should be flexible enough to handle a variety of payloads being off-loaded from a range of different vehicles."

NASA offered an extensive set of guidelines for the challenge. Ideas will be judged based on the quality of the proposal, the degree to which the technique can work autonomously and be able to offload payloads, and the extent to which the design could work with a variety of payloads and landers.

The challenge is open to individuals and teams, with a submission deadline of January 19, 2021. Winners will be announced on March 16, 2021. 

Earlier his year, NASA asked space fans to help design a payload for a mini-moon rover in its Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload challenge.