Make Sense Out of Mars

    The Challenge

    Develop a sensor to be used by humans on Mars.


    It’s only a matter of time before we are able to go to Mars and see, touch and inspect things that have only been visible through the lenses of landers, rovers, and orbiters. We will have the opportunity to build upon decades of past science experiments from robotic missions, and we will explore familiar and new terrains and environments on Mars in person.

    Your challenge is to create a sensor (or cluster of multiple sensors) to be used by humans on Mars. For this challenge, your options for scientific exploration are endless! What interesting features of the Mars environment would you want to observe and measure? Will your sensor be a wearable device that monitors its target constantly, or will it be a portable device that you deploy to move underground, on the ground, or even flying around the planet? Will your sensor uncover something about how humans respond to short- or long-term stays on the red planet?

    We are excited to see what you dream up and build!

    Potential Considerations

    • The sensor could be for an initial short-term Mars mission or to be used while humans are permanently living on the red planet.
    • Can you repurpose existing technology on Earth to be used by humans on Mars?
    • Or, can you improve technologies from NASA’s robotic Mars missions to be operated by humans? What benefits would you take advantage of with a human (versus robot) operator? How would you address any drawbacks?
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    SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.