SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- NASA selected a team of Cal Poly students to help the space agency find ways to drill for water on Mars and the Moon.
Cal Poly and nine other universities are taking part in NASA’s Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge.
The competition aims to advance the space agency’s prolonged space missions.
The students are working with NASA and industry researchers to come up with ways to harvest water on the Moon and Mars.
“NASA is working hard on getting humans back to the moon and onward to Mars,” said Peter Schuster, the Cal Poly team’s faculty advisor. “This project focuses on coming up with potential solutions for some of those challenges. It is an amazing opportunity to be able to work on real NASA challenges and interact with their engineers.”
NASA plans to send humans back to the moon by 2024 and a sustainable human presence by 2028.
The space agency has not sent anyone to the moon since Apollo 17 in 1972.
They hope to eventually land humans on the Red Planet.
Any prolonged stay on the Moon or Mars will need water.
Students Alex Krenitsky, Chris Boone, Aaron Erickson, Ryan Locatelli, and Westin McHaney make up Cal Poly’s team.
They began working on the project back in October.
As a finalist team, the Cal Poly students received a $10,000 stipend to build and test their systems.
They will demonstrate the technology in June at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.
Colorado School of Mines, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, University of Southern California; University of Virginia; and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University will compete against Cal Poly this summer.