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Open Innovation 

Lunar Excavation Prize Challenge Powered by Ensemble 

To Read NASA's Official Press Release for the Break the Ice Lunar challenge click here



Break the Ice Lunar Challenge



Centennial Challenge Program (CCP) at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center



Aerospace, Mining, Robotics, Construction



NASA’s Centennial Challenge Program (CCP) administers multi-year grand challenges to engage the public in the process of advanced technology development by offering large incentive prizes to generate revolutionary solutions to problems of interest for NASA and the nation. We were tasked with delivering the end-to-end innovation services required to design, build, launch, and administer a Lunar excavation and mining challenge aimed at crowdsourcing novel concepts to extract and transport icy regolith on the Moon. 

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Key Services

  • Challenge Branding and Graphic Design

  • Communications Planning

  • Community Management

  • Prize Design 

  • Niche Solver Outreach 

  • Web Platform Design and Deployment 

  • Judge Recruitment & Facilitation

  • Detailed Reporting



Our efforts have generated successful initial performance metrics, positioning the Prize Challenge to exceed NASA’s desired results. 374 teams registered for Phase 1 of the Break the Ice Lunar Challenge. The participation of registrants is highly diverse in nature, with people and organizations from 31 states and 48 countries engaged in the program. There have been over 26k sessions on the BTIL Website , and over 1000 eligibility form downloads. Out of the 374 registered participants, there were 42 US- based teams eligible for prizes, and 18 international teams eligible to participate. The end of Phase 1 of the Prize Challenge resulted in 31 eligible submissions that resulted in 13 teams eligible for cash prizes. 


Breakdown of  NASA's BTIL Challenge Phase I Prize Money 

Phase 1 featured a variety of teams spanning mining, robotics, and construction representing academic institutions, individual inventors, and industry. The winning team, Redwire, will be receiving $125,000, and first and second runners up, Colorado School of Mines and Austere Engineering will be receiving $75,000 and $50,000 in prize money respectively. The next ten runners up were unranked, and will be receiving $25,000 each. 


NASA's BTIL Challenge Phase 1 top 3 winners 


NASA's BTIL Challenge Phase 1 top 10 runners up, unranked

Congratulations to the winners, and stay tuned for a Phase 2 announcement! 

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