NASA is calling out to all people who love to design little things and who have dreamt of sending one to the moon to join their new contest. Shortly after NASA launched their 'Send Your Name to Mars' Program, the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has launched their new competition: "Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload."

Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload

Inspired from the hit movie in 1989, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, NASA's JPL has named their new contest for the public after the movie. They aim to challenge people to design instruments that could support a long-term human presence on the moon.

The "Honey I Shrunk NASA's Payload" contest will be giving an award of $160,000 in prizes. These miniature robots would provide mission flexibility and collect information about the moon's surface which would be helpful for future lunar endeavors including NASA' Artemis program.

This NASA program intends to return humans to the moon by landing the first woman and the next man on the moon's surface by 2024. Artemis program is derived from the Greek goddess of the moon whose namesake program first brought crews to the moon 50 years ago.

JPL technologist, Sabah Bux said that smaller payloads are game-changing as they will allow NASA to develop technologies to do more exploring and science on smaller and more mobile platforms.

To explore the moon, NASA needs to recruit a host of robots. They are planning to travel on the moon's south pole to search for water ice using the VIPER or the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover. But scientists think that smaller rovers could potentially collect more data using less fuel and power.

Read: Over 10 Million Entries Sent to NASA's 'Send Your Name to Mars' Program

How to Qualify?

The agency requires the participants to design a payload not bigger than a bar of soap that could hitch a ride to the moon and help collect important scientific data.

To qualify for the challenge, the payload designs should not be bigger than 3.9 inches by 3.9 inches by 1.9 inches or 100 millimeters by 100 millimeters by 50 millimeters and weighs no more than 0.8 pounds or 0.4 kilograms. The deadline for submissions will be until June 1. For more information, click here.

Some of the biggest lunar explorations

China's Chang'e 5 will be China's third successful spacecraft landing on the moon. Although it is unlike the previous Chang'e rovers, this will be the first sample-return mission of China, bringing back at least two kilograms of samples from two meters below the moon's surface.

India is planning to re-attempt a soft landing of its Chandrayaan-3 on 2021 after the Chandrayaan-2 crashed landed into the moon's surface. The rover is expected to carry out explorations in the South Pole of the moon to help characterize the water ice found there.

Russia is resurrecting the Luna program which sent its last mission in 1976. Eager to prove that they still got a stake in the 21st century, Luna 25 will prove out new landing technologies and drill into the south pole to study the composition of the lunar soil for water ice.

Japan and Korea will also be landing their first missions on the moon in 2022 eager to play an important role in the moon rush exploration this decade.

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