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NASA launches moon landing competition

NASA launched a competition to create a night landing system on the moon. This is reported by the NASA TechLeap project website.

According to the results of the test, called Nighttime Precision Landing Challenge No. 1, the agency plans to pay out prizes to three winners, up to a total of $650,000 each. Participants will need to develop sensors capable of detecting danger from a height of at least 250 meters and process this information in flight. Sensors can be based on radar, lidar (laser "radar") or other technology that allows you to build 3D maps of the area in the dark.

Registration must close by May 5, and full applications must be submitted by May 19. NASA specifies that this technology will be used during a long-term program to explore the moon. It includes both landings of small private spacecraft and the Artemis mission, during which the Americans plan to resume their presence on the Moon and build long-term bases there.

NASA needs night landing technology because there are zones of eternal darkness at the poles of the Moon: craters that the Sun never illuminates. Such craters can have a lot of water ice, and to use this resource, it is beneficial to land as close as possible.

Earlier, the Chinese published a project of a reusable space rocket, strongly reminiscent of Elon Musk's Starship.

NASA launches moon landing competition