NASA has announced its new Journey to Mars challenge, which calls on the public to submit ideas that could one day be used to solve how human beings may one day live on the Red Planet.
This is by no means a fun exercise for people to go wild with their science fiction ideas, but rather a genuine call for detailed answers that could answer the many, many questions that NASA continue to ask as to how life can survive on the barren planet 225m kilometres away.
Topics that are likely to be covered include the obvious areas such as shelter, food, water, breathable air, communication, exercise, social interactions and medicine, but NASA are stressing that outside-the-box solutions are encouraged from all fields that might give their astronauts the upper hand against the harshness of inter-planetary existence.
A total prize fund of US$15,000 has been set aside for three of the best solutions, with each participant being asked to describe in significant detail what exactly they will need to achieve their design concept.
Likewise, they will need to show that the design is actually technically achievable while being within a reasonable cost and would allow for minimal reliance on NASA all the way back on Earth, due to the fact that if there were to be any supply issues on Mars, it would take a minimum of 500 days for any form of craft to reach the planet.
Deadlines for applications are not too far away either, with the date given being 6 July 2015.
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