NASA has announced a competition challenging scientists and inventors to come up ways to turn carbon dioxide into useful molecules like glucose. This invention if successful will help those who are willing to relocate to the Red Planet. To win NASA’s CO2 Conversion Challenge worth $1m, the team or individual has to successfully show how the gas can be used to create other compounds. The spacecraft has very less room for cargo and it becomes essential for the crew members to prioritize the bare resources.
The astronauts are short on time, water and energy needed to replicate the process through which plants make sugar-based biomaterials, which is very easily possible here on Earth. With the availability of Carbon dioxide in abundance, NASA hopes to the space crew members can harvest in space with ease. Carbon and oxygen together from carbon dioxide, and this makes the molecular basis of sugars. Also, glucose is the easiest way to metabolize sugar and therefore, it is the most promising way to convert into energy. The registration data ends on 24 January 2019 and till 28 February, interested candidates can send their entries.
The competition is divided into two segments, the first concept carries a prize of $250,000 and the second phase is worth $750,000. For phase one, NASA will award up to five teams $5r0,000 for the blueprints for a physical-chemical way to turn carbon dioxide into glucose. In the second phase, the ideas must be proven to be viable. Other rules for the second phase have not been declared yet so far. The award-winning invention will be useful on Earth as well because carbon dioxide is in abundance form on Earth and this approach can turn both waste and atmospheric carbon dioxide into resources back home.