NASA is awarding nearly $2.4m to six universities as part of a bold new initiative to inspire the next generation – the Artemis Generation.

Grants awarded under the Artemis Student Challenges initiative will be used to advance the quality, relevance and overall reach of opportunities to engage students as NASA takes the first step in the next era of exploration.

Each of these opportunities will build foundational knowledge and introduce students to topics and technologies critical to the success of the agency’s Artemis program, which will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.

Through the Artemis Student Challenges students will test and strengthen their skills for future mission planning and crewed space missions to other worlds.

The six universities and amounds awarded are:

University of Alabama, Huntsville – $200,000: The university will develop resources and materials related to Artemis Trajectory Design and Mission Analysis, which will enable spacecraft to transfer from Earth orbit to Earth-Lunar orbit and later onto Mars through the Gateway.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – $200,000: The University will develop learning resources, enabling self-study of topics and technologies directly relevant to Artemis, such as habitats, robotics precursor missions, and exploration spacecraft.

University of Colorado, Boulder – $499,333: The university will generate hands-on learning opportunities related to the Great Lunar Expedition for Everyone (GLEE) LunaSat platform.

Each LunaSat includes a suite of sensors enhanced by innovative technology that makes it capable of eventually operating on the surface of the Moon.

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Source: NASA

University of Hawaii, Honolulu – $500,000: The university will generate hands-on learning opportunities related to orbital and suborbital CubeSats containing all of the subsystems of a fully functioning passive satellite.

Each CubeSat will include onboard computing, communication components, dynamic sensors, an infrared camera and an electrical power system.

University of California, San Diego – $500,000: The university will develop a Lunar/Martian Lander skills competition, using existing technology to execute the competition in Earth’s gravity and atmosphere.

The competition requires competitors to develop and demonstrate Artemis-relevant systems engineering skills by building a lander free flier and navigating it through a 3D obstacle course.

University of Washington, Seattle – $499,864: The university will develop a Lunar/Martian exploration and habitation skills competition involving several Artemis-relevant tasks.

The competition includes using a rover to explore facsimile lava tube and surface structures, generating maps, identifying valuable resources, and deploying an airtight barrier to seal the lava tube as a potential pressurized living quarters for humans.