Lockheed Martin and NASA have launched an exploration design contest for students from kindergarten to 12th grade to research and design ideas for protecting astronauts from space radiation.
The Exploration Design Challenge calls for students to study the effects of radiation on astronauts and recommend and analyze different materials that simulate space radiation for Lockheed’s Orion spacecraft, the company said Monday.
Students can also design a shield shielding to protect a sensor inside the Orion capsule from space radiation and the winning design will fly in the capsule during a September 2014 flight test.
“Space exploration has inspired and fascinated young people for generations, and the Exploration Design Challenge is a unique way to capture and engage the imaginations of tomorrow’s engineers and scientists,” said Marillyn Hewson, president and CEO.
“America’s next step in human space exploration is an ambitious one and will require new technologies, including ways to keep our astronauts safe from the effects of deep-space radiation,” said Charles Bolden, NASA administrator.
“That is the focus of this challenge, and we are excited that students will be helping us solve that problem,” he added.