21/06/2018

Two GAS projects winners of the MBR Space Settlement Challenge!


Worldwide distribution of applications to the MBR Space Settlement Challenge.
Credits: https://www.guaana.com

Two projects from the GAS team have been selected within the Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) Space Settlement Challenge of the Dubai Future Foundation. This challenge looked for projects aimed at developing ambitious ideas and concepts in all areas of research that explore space settlement and the habitation of space.

Submissions came from most of the top universities in the world such as MIT, Stanford, John Hopkins, Oxford, University of Tokyo, to name a few, and only the top-35 projects will be funded. The  MBR Space Settlement Challenge funding will be distributed as seed grants for those selected projects that explore bold ideas and radical solutions for living and working in space.

Prof. Javier Martín-Torres and Prof. María-Paz Zorzano have been among the finalists with their projects: “Water farming on Mars: In-situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) for future Mars exploration and Earth arid regions” and “Investigation of transport of biomass and aerosols through the atmosphere in Mars analogues: implication for planetary protection during colonization and exploration”. Each project is granted with a “seed” funding for 6 months. Other funded projects explore various concepts from a sustainable settlement of new planets to mining in-situ resources and mushrooms as a life support system for humans, as well as Martian caves.

This call uses a novel funding model where applicants also evaluate each other’s proposals and collectively make all funding decisions. The Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) Space Settlement Challenge grant fund (2 000 000 AED, approx. 5 000 000 SEK) was put up by the Dubai Future Foundation to fund all areas of research that explore bold ideas and radical solutions for living and working in space.

Funded authors and teams will then get to work on their proposed research projects for the next 6 months with the collective capabilities of the community and the Guaana platform at their disposal. They can share their progress updates and challenges with fellow researchers from the cohort and around the world, who can then help them overcome obstacles more effectively than working on their own or in a closed circle.