This week, the agency announced it is offering three US $5,000 (AUD $6,260) rewards for the best ideas on “establishing a sustained human presence” on the planet.
It may be a novel approach to solicit ideas from the public but given the largely inhospitable conditions and lack of oxygen at the destination, it can’t hurt to have as many suggestions as possible.
The NASA call-out encouraged ideas around “shelter, food, water, breathable air, communication, exercise, social interactions and medicine” but also encouraged participants to submit ideas beyond those categories.
The difficulty of the task will far exceed your average punter and the online reaction to the competition has been fierce over what NASA can likely expect from the public submissions.
As reddit users discussed the competition, many thought the prize money was insufficient.
“Come to think of it, considering the effort one has to put into the idea, pretty much giving them a ready-to-implement solution, $5k seems a bit low. Do they at least promise a plaque with your name, bolted at the entrance to the Mars base once it’s set up?” wrote the top commenter.
Private companies are also getting in on the action with a Dutch non-profit foundation called MarsOne planning to send humans on a one-way trip to the red planet in 2026.
The company has identified the top 100 candidates for the pioneering adventure and last month news.com.auprofiled the sole Australian picked in the group, Josh Richards.
So if you want to help Mr Richards out and solve the pesky problem of survival on Mars, you can find the application form here.
dailytelegraph.com.au 8 May 2015
Is this for real or is it a joke???
A multibillion dollar 'research' company who is in charge of all things interstellar cannot figure out a solution to a problem that's only on our 'backyard'?
The 'best' minds in the business cannot figure this one out???
And they need an opinion from the plebs???
Maybe if they spent a little less time on covert government ops, then their goal may be met.