HeroX Crowdsources to Solve NASA’s Trash-to-Gas Challenge

HOUSTON, March 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — HeroX, the leading platform and open marketplace for crowdsourced solutions, today launched the crowdsourcing competition, Trash-to-Gas Challenge, on behalf of NASA. The Challenge seeks innovative ways to safely remove ash from trash-to-gas reactors that astronauts may use on long duration missions.

One of the challenges for long duration space exploration is waste management. As waste streams are created, their mass and volume need to be minimized through various processes, like recycling or incineration. NASA is taking a multi-pronged approach to waste management on its spacecraft (see the Waste to Base and Jettison Launcher Challenges).

The Trash-to-Gas Challenge is in support of that larger waste management effort and has the goal of generating design concepts for ash removal from a trash-to-gas reactor in microgravity, one of several potential solutions for trash in space.  A trash-to-gas reactor uses thermal degradation processes to gasify waste into a product that can be vented or repurposed as raw material for other spacecraft processes. In addition to the gas product, the reactor also produces ash as a by-product. This ash must be removed regularly, just like ash needs to be removed from a fireplace or grill.

"We’re tapping the power of the crowd to address a range of waste management issues in order to help guarantee successful and more sustainable flights," said Kal K. Sahota, CEO, HeroX. "It’s these moments that allow anybody, from anywhere, to participate in solving tough problems."

The Challenge: NASA’s Trash-to-Gas Challenge asks the global community to design an ash removal process for NASA’s trash-to-gas reactor so that it can be safely used throughout a long mission. Successful participants will propose modifications to the reactor that will allow ash to be regularly and safely removed in microgravity conditions while meeting other constraints and performance criteria.

The Prize: This challenge has a total prize purse of $30,000 and will recognize the top three design concepts with first, second, and third prizes of $15,000, $10,000, and $5000, respectively. 

Eligibility to Compete and Win Prize(s): The prize is open to anyone aged 18 or older participating as an individual or as a team. Individual competitors and teams may originate from any country, as long as United States federal sanctions do not prohibit participation (some restrictions apply).

To accept the challenge, visit herox.com/TrashtoGasChallenge

HeroX is a platform and open marketplace for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX offers a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that supports anyone, anywhere, to solve everyday business and world challenges using the power of the crowd. Uniquely positioned as the Social Network for Innovation, HeroX is the only place you can build, grow and curate your very own crowd.

To explore the latest challenges, visit herox.com

Media Contact:
Alexandra Pony