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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Agency Info

Since 2005, NASA has been at the forefront of federal agencies using challenge-driven approaches to meaningfully engage the public in the mission of the Agency. A number of NASA offices, Centers, and Mission Directorates are using challenge-driven approaches to solve a variety of problems. There are several NASA programs, pilots, and activities that design and implement different types of challenges.

All current opportunities available to the general public through NASA challenges, prize competitions, and crowdsourcing activities and programs are listed on the NASA Solve website: http://www.nasa.gov/solve/. Use this site as your first stop for information and engagement. We want YOU to get involved!

These activities have played an important role in stimulating innovation and helping NASA develop innovative solutions. They offer several unique benefits and can result in a variety of valuable outcomes ranging from NASA’s own immediate use of the solutions, development of new viable aerospace industry vendors and even commercialization of new products.

These programs include:

NASA’s Centennial Challenges’ Program within the Space Technology Mission Directorate directly engages the public at large in the process of advanced technology development that is of value to NASA’s missions and to the aerospace community. Millions of dollars in prizes have been awarded through this program since 2005.

NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI) helps NASA and other U.S. government agencies collaborate to generate ideas and solve important problems. By using challenges, we can readily increase our creative capacity and reach by tapping into diverse talent from around the world. As a pioneer and active user of open innovation methods and tools, the NASA CoECI provides organizations with cost-effective and complementary means of accomplishing the Agency mission.

Follow us on Twitter through @NASASolve and Facebook to stay informed and join the community.

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Partnership Agreement Maker (PAM) Graphical User Interface (GUI) Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Seeks a mechanism to implement a new GUI in PAM

Open UntilJan 31, 2017

Space Poop Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Seeking novel solutions for in-suit waste management systems for any long duration tasks

Closed OnDec 20, 2016

3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, Phase 2: Structural Member

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Develop technologies for additive manufacturing of an off-world environment using recycled and/or indigenous materials

Open UntilJan 31, 2017

Space Robotics Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

A virtual challenge improving the autonomy and dexterity of humanoid robots

Closed OnOct 07, 2016

Vascular Tissue Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

A first-to-demonstrate challenge to create thick, human vascularized organ tissue surviving 30 calendar days

Open UntilSep 30, 2019

NASA In-Space Manufacturing Logo Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA In-Space Manufacturing Logo Challenge

Closed OnApr 14, 2016

NASA Experiment Attachment System (EAS) Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Experiment Attachment System (EAS) Challenge

Closed OnApr 10, 2016

Robonaut Vision Tool Manipulation Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Create algorithms that will receive a pair of noisy stereo images of common space tools such as an RFID reader and determine the 3D representation of the object in the image pair.

Closed OnMar 08, 2016

Future Engineers Star Trek Replicator Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA, ASME and Star Trek Challenges students to pioneer the future of food in space

Closed OnMay 01, 2016

Free Flyer Robotic Arm System Architecture Contest

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This challenge is seeking multiple ways to approach creating a decomposed architecture of a complex system.

Closed OnFeb 05, 2016

Sky for All: Air Mobility for 2035 and Beyond

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Envision the skies of 2035 and design an airspace system that allows vehicles to safely and efficiently navigate dense and diverse airspace.

Closed OnFeb 26, 2016

Sample Return Robot Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Demonstrate an autonomous robot can locate and collect geologic samples

Closed OnJan 07, 2016

Bio-Inspired Advanced Exercise Concepts

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This Challenge seeks bio-inspired approaches for compact and efficient Advanced Exercise Concepts (AECs)

Closed OnDec 16, 2015

Asteroid Grand Challenge Video

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA wants you to help create a suite of videos that will inform the public about its Asteroid Grand Challenge (AGC) program.

Closed OnJan 29, 2016

In-Situ Materials Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The In-Situ Materials Challenge seeks solutions to utilize surface-based materials like regolith (crushed basalt rock) for Earth and space fabrication and construction applications.

Closed OnDec 03, 2015

Textile Test Methods Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The Textile Test Methods Challenge seeks to develop standard test methodologies for assessing the wear performance of environmental protection garment (EPG) textiles for planetary exploration,

Closed OnDec 03, 2015

Improving NASA Enterprise Search Capabilities

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The NASA Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is deploying a new Enterprise Search Engine and is seeking to expand the capabilities beyond the current offering to include enhancements in filtering, geolocation, content types, imagery discovery and machine learning.

Closed OnFeb 10, 2016

VA Center for Innovation Game Controller Adaptations for Differently-Abled Veterans

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

VA seeking novel ideas for ways to reassign motions and buttons on gaming controllers to provide alternative access for veterans.

Closed OnAug 27, 2015

NASA Quest for Quakes

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Develop new algorithms to identify electromagnetic signals detected before earthquakes.

Closed OnAug 09, 2015

Micro-Tasking Challenges Pilot

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This pilot project will launch a series of focused challenges developing 3D models, software ideas and code, and graphics for NASA projects.

Closed OnSep 02, 2015

3D-Printed Habitat Challenge – Design Competition

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Design a habitat which utilizes additive construction advantages over traditional construction.

Closed OnJul 15, 2015

Space Pioneering – Achieving Earth Independence

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA is looking for concepts describing Mars surface systems and operations needed to for Mars pioneering that are, to the greatest extent possible, technically achievable, economically sustainable, and minimizes (ideally eliminating) reliance on support from Earth. 

Closed OnJul 06, 2015

Find Optimal Configurations for Galactic Cosmic Ray Protection

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This challenge is seeking solutions that either make use of active shielding (electrostatic or magnetic) or passive shielding by layering different types of materials. The focus of the challenge will be to maximize the radiation protection while keeping parasitic mass as low as possible.​

Closed OnJun 29, 2015

Flexible Space Hatch Seal Device Concepts

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Develop concepts for a flexible seal device for ultra-lightweight deployable space hatches on spacecraft and habitat systems.

Closed OnJun 17, 2015

DTN Dashboard Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Help NASA build a Network Monitoring & Management Interface or "dashboard" for non-technical users of a Disruption Tolerant Network (DTN). Non-technical users will not be experts in the inner workings of DTN code, nor will they be experts in how to install and configure DTN using only shell tools and command line instructions. To be useful, the set up, configuration and management of a DTN network needs to be easy for a reasonably competent end user. This challenge will run on Topcoder.com and will ask competitors to design and develop a User Interface that is easy to use, intuitive and provides capabilities to help manage a disruption tolerant network.

Closed OnJul 06, 2015

CineSpace Film Competition

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA and Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) will offer filmmakers around the world a chance to share their works inspired by -- and using -- actual NASA imagery through "CineSpace," a new short film competition premiering at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival in November 2015.

Closed OnJul 31, 2015

International Space Apps Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The International Space Apps Challenge is a two-day hackathon where teams of technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, developers and students across the globe collaborate and engage with publicly available data to design innovative solutions for global challenges.

Closed OnApr 12, 2015

DTN Neighbor Discovery Protocol Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This is the 5th challenge in the DTN challenge series! The goal of this challenge is to update Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) "ION" implementation so that it includes IP Neighbor Discovery (IPND). IPND is a method for otherwise oblivious nodes to learn of the existence, availability, and addresses of other DTN participants. IPND both sends and listens for small IP UDP announcement beacons that are addressed to an IP unicast, multicast, or broadcast address to discover specified remote neighbors, or unspecified local neighbors in the network topology.

Closed OnJul 11, 2015

Design 3D Printable Handrail Clamp Assembly for the International Space Station

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA is seeking a design a Handrail Clamp Assembly (HCA) for the International Space Station (ISS) that can be printed on the ISS 3D printer. The HCA is currently used by astronauts on ISS to provide rigid mounting locations required in a microgravity environment for normal daily operations. The complementary HCA design to be printed by the 3D printer onboard ISS will named CHAMP (Clamp for Handrail with Additively Manufactured Parts).

Closed OnFeb 16, 2015

Climate Resilience Data Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

With over $35,000 in prizes, NASA, in partnership with the United States Geological Survey (USGS), will host the Climate Resilience Data Challenge — an effort to spur data innovation in support of resilience in communities and ecosystems. Through the NASA Tournament Lab hosted on Topcoder, the Challenge will kick-off on December 15 and last for three months, starting with an ideation stage for data-driven application pitches, followed by storyboarding and prototyping of concepts with the greatest potential. The winning ideas can one day be implemented on the web and will inform the development of Earth science web services. For more information, the new NASA Earth Science Challenges Mini-Site (topcoder.com/earthscience) provides key details about the launch of contests, timelines, and additional resources.

Closed OnMar 15, 2015

Centennial Challenges Program Cube Quest Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Registration is now open for NASA's Cube Quest Challenge. Competitors have a shot at a share of $5 million in prize money and an opportunity to fly their very own CubeSat to the moon and beyond as secondary payload on the first integrated flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket. A series of four ground tournaments will take place prior to launch.

Open UntilDec 31, 2018

Find a Better Way to Protect Astronauts from Galactic Cosmic Rays

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Help NASA find a better way to protect humans from the effects of “Galactic Cosmic Rays” (GCR) when traveling outside the Earth’s protective magnetic field. Although GCRs are of relatively low intensity, these rays can be of very high energy. Long-duration exposure to GCR will exceed allowable career radiation exposure limits for crew members during any meaningful deep space mission. Protection is needed to allow for safe and successful human missions such as going to Mars.

Closed OnDec 15, 2014

NASA’s Mars Balance Mass Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA is looking for creative yet practical ideas to find a dual purpose for Balance mass ("dead weight") jettisoned from Mars landers like the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The question NASA hopes to answer is, "If you had up to 150 kg of ejectable mass prior to entry and another 150 kg during the entry and landing phase of a Mars mission, what could you do with it that was useful and advances knowledge in a scientific or technological way?" This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. Ideas, drawings, and detailed procedures are required. Ideas from all disciplines are welcome.

Closed OnNov 21, 2014

Humans in Space Art Video Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Explore How will humans use space, science, and technology to benefit humanity? Express your answer creatively in a video 3 minutes long submitted to the Humans in Space Art Video Challenge.

Closed OnNov 15, 2014

NASA Earth Science Data OpenNEX Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA is launching two challenges to give the public an opportunity to create innovative ways to use data from the agencys Earth science satellites called OpenNEX (or Open NASA Earth Exchange). OpenNEX is a data, supercomputing and knowledge platform where users can share modeling and analysis codes, scientific results, knowledge and expertise to solve big data challenges in the Earth sciences. The challenges will be run on Innocentive.com and consist of an ideation challenge and a builder challenge. The builder challenge goal will be to develop an application or algorithm that promotes climate resilience using the OpenNEX data, based on ideas from the first challenge.

Closed OnDec 01, 2014

NASAs Asteroid Tracker Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA must find ways to observe, track & characterize asteroids that may threaten Earth. NASA needs your help to improve systems needed to identify & track asteroids using large arrays of antennas. For this specific challenge, NASA needs help to develop an algorithm that can determine the optimum selection and scheduling of sets of antennas (as part of a large, array based deep space radar capability) to detect and track multiple asteroids as they travel through space.

Closed OnAug 31, 2014

Improve NASAs Astronaut Email for ISS

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASAs astronaut email on the International Space Station (ISS) is currently limited due to issues caused by communications disruptions and delays. To fix this, NASA needs a plug-in or extension for Outlook/Exchange Server that converts the TCP-based protocols used by Outlook (on-board the ISS) to communicate with an Exchange server (on Earth) to instead use the Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) Bundle Protocol.

Closed OnOct 27, 2014

Asteroid Data Hunter Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA is launching the Asteroid Data Hunter Challenge in partnership with Planetary Resources, Inc. This is the first in a series of contests to be launched as part of NASAs Asteroid Grand Challenge. The Asteroid Data Hunter challenge, conducted through the Harvard NASA Tournament Lab on the Topcoder platform, is a series of contests tasking competitors to develop a significantly improved algorithm to identify asteroids in images from ground-based telescopes. The winning solution will increase the detection sensitivity, minimize the number of false positives, ignore imperfections in the data, and run effectively on all computers.

Closed OnDec 22, 2014

NASAs Solution Mechanism Guide

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA is building an online wizard to help our scientists, engineers, and project managers find the best way to find solutions for their project needs. NASA has many mechanisms for finding project and technical solutions, including using crowdsourcing, partnerships with academia and industry, and various contracting/acquisition methods. Help us develop an online wizard to take the guesswork out of finding the most effective methods for solving problems at NASA.

Closed OnJul 03, 2014

Help NASA build the Solar System Internetwork!

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA is building software that communicates between systems across the solar system. Help us build the systems that can overcome the delay/disruption issues that come with exploring this new frontier. We need your help in building protocols that make up the Disruption-Delay Tolerant Network (DTN) that can work over time delayed communications links and can hop from point to point using a store and forward approach across disrupted links. Specifically, we are working to secure all of the communications using these protocols and to ensure all of the open standard implementations are interoperable.

Closed OnOct 11, 2014

The Collective Minds & Machines Exploration Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Help NASA and University of California San Diego Research Scientist, Dr. Albert Lin, study satellite imagery to develop an active, machine-learning algorithm that matches human capability.

Closed OnOct 04, 2013

Sample Return Robot Challenge – 2014

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Centennial Challenge for an autonomous exploration robot

Closed OnMar 15, 2014

EPA Android App – Design Concepts for Cyanobacterial Bloom Mapping

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

EPA needs your help to write a predictive algorithm to forecast the status of cyanobacteria bloom events in 7, 14, and 28 day intervals. This determines land and water body quality around the world.

Closed OnNov 30, 2013

NASA Climate Modeling – Search for New Sources of Observational Data

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The NASA Tournament Lab and the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) launch challenge to find new sources of observational data for climate modeling.

Closed OnJun 06, 2013

Open Payments App Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launch challenge to develop iPhone app and reporting Web application.

Closed OnOct 04, 2013

LAUNCH Systems Challenge 2013

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

At LAUNCH we see a future where the making of things has a positive impact on human prosperity and planetary sustainability.

Closed OnJul 16, 2013

Healthcare Fraud Prevention Partnership Data Exchange Network

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launch challenge to build a data exchange network to safely and securely share information to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse.

Closed OnNov 15, 2013

NASA Tournament Lab Robonaut 2 “Sight” Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

International Space Station Challenge Series Continues with Robonaut 2 Challenges

Closed OnApr 22, 2013

Identifying Indicators of Vulnerability (MODEL)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

USAID and Humanity United launch MODEL challenge as part of The Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention

Closed OnJun 01, 2013

Seeking a Mechanism for Secure Communications During a Crisis

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

USAID and Humanity United launch COMMUNICATE challenge as part of The Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention

Closed OnMay 04, 2013

NASA ISS FIT (Food Intake Tracker) iPad App Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Do you want to be part of solving a problem that will help future space exploration? Join the competition and help International Space Station crewmembers enter and track food items.

Closed OnJul 02, 2013

ISS Longeron Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Do you want to be part of solving a problem that will help future space exploration? Join the competition and help optimize the power generation of the solar arrays of the International Space Station.

Closed OnFeb 06, 2013

Non-invasive Measurement of Intra-cranial Pressure

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This Challenge seeks a non-invasive method or technology to measure the absolute intracranial pressure (i.e., the pressure of the interior of a humans head).

Closed OnFeb 18, 2013

Sample Return Robot Challenge – 2013

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Centennial Challenge for an autonomous exploration robot

Closed OnMar 19, 2013

The Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention 2012

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

USAID and Humanity United launch challenges to award prize money to problem-solvers who develop innovative concept papers and prototypes contributing to atrocity prevention.

Closed OnNov 29, 2012

Service Credit/Redeposit/Deposit System Challenge Series

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is launching a series of challenges to develop a flexible Service Credit Redeposit/Deposit (SCRD) system

Closed OnJun 30, 2013

NASA Challenge: Strain Measurement of Vectran and Kevlar Webbing

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA is looking for a new method to measure the strain on Kevlar and Vectran straps in the 25 to 125C range. Measurement by traditional contact extensometers has caused damage and premature failure.

Closed OnJan 02, 2013

Big Data Challenge Series

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Tournament Lab Launches Third Big Data Challenge for U.S. Government Agencies

Closed OnDec 21, 2012

Humans in Space Youth Art Competition

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Be Inspired, Be Creative, Be Heard

Closed OnOct 22, 2012

Zero Robotics STEM Video Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Kids are always told to reach for the stars. Encourage students to control state-of-the-art robots on the International Space Stationno PhD. in astrophysics required!

Closed OnAug 20, 2012

Medicaid Provider Enrollment Screening Challenge Series

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is announcing the launch of the CMS Provider Screening Innovator Challenge.

Closed OnNov 17, 2012

Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The best algorithm submissions from simulation competitions will be tested in zero gravity on real SPHERES satellites aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Closed OnApr 26, 2012

The 2011 Zero Robotics Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announce an opportunity for U.S. high school students to conduct experiments in space.

Closed OnSep 06, 2011

Detecting Impact Craters Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

This NASA Tournament Lab challenge focuses large-scale, automatic and robust crater detection algorithms which can help solve one of the most important data mining problems in space exploration.

Closed OnJun 30, 2011

Mapping Dark Matter

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Help us map the dark matter to better understand the invisible components of the Universe.

Closed OnAug 19, 2011

GREAT10: The GRavitational lEnsing Accuracy Test

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Help us measure the shapes of distant galaxies to determine the content of the Universe

Closed OnSep 03, 2011

Balloonsat High Altitude Flight Student Competition

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

High School Student teams can propose experiments to fly on a high altitude weather balloon

Closed OnFeb 12, 2011

International Youth Art Competition

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

What is the future of human space exploration and why is it important? Witness, shape and participate in the "Next Golden Age of Human Space Flight".

Closed OnDec 04, 2010

Sample Return Robot Challenge – 2012

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Centennial Challenge for an autonomous exploration robot

Closed OnMar 18, 2012

Power Beaming Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Centennial Challenge for wireless power transmission

Closed OnJan 01, 2012

Night Rover Challenge 2014

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Centennial Challenge for energy storage technology

Closed OnOct 26, 2013

Green Flight Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Centennial Challenge to build an aircraft that can fly 200 miles in less than two hours using the energy equivalent of less than 1 gallon of gas per occupant

Closed OnJan 01, 2011

NASA’s Space Rock

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Choose the songs that will be used to wake up the crews on NASA's last space shuttle missions.

Closed OnNov 01, 2010

Strong Tether Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA Centennial Challenge for super-strong materials

Closed OnAug 13, 2011

Medical Consumables Tracking

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA requires a method/process to track medication and medical consumables usage from a common medical kit

Closed OnJul 28, 2010

Simple Microgravity Laundry System

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Long-Distance space travel will require astronauts to be able to launder clothing in space

Closed OnJul 28, 2010

Augmenting the Exercise Experience with Audio-Visual Inputs

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA is looking for a system that augments the exercise experience and captures psychological and physiological measures while the individual crew member is participating in prescribed exercise regime

Closed OnJul 28, 2010

Fishing for Fishermen

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Join the Hunt for Illegal Fishing!

Closed OnSep 19, 2016

$10,000 PatentLabeling2 Algorithm Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

2nd in a series of phased competitions to develop new algorithms that can automatically identify and locate specific elements within millions of patent documents.

Closed OnApr 16, 2012

$50,000 USPTO Algorithm Challenge

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The US Patent and Trademark Office, together with the NASA Tournament Lab, is launching a contest to develop new algorithms to aid in patent examination.

Closed OnDec 06, 2011