University Teams Demonstrate ‘Cool’ New Technologies for the Moon, Mars

Ten university teams designed and built systems intended to harvest water frozen below the surface of the Moon and Mars. The teams put their prototypes to the test during the 2021 Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge held September 23-25 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Taking top prize of $6,000 was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) team from Cambridge with HYDRATION III: High Yield Dihydrogen-monoxide Retrieval And Terrain Identification On New worlds.

"I think one of the determining factors in the MIT’s excellent performance was the test program they set up," said Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman, MIT team faculty advisor and former NASA astronaut. "They tried to duplicate as closely as possible the conditions they would face in the actual competition, and that allowed them to refine the hardware, software, and procedures. They followed the famous advice we give to anyone working on a space project, test like you are going to fly, and fly like you tested!"

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