How would everyone like to work with NASA to find life on Mars? NASA and HeroX launched a new challenge inviting the public to do just that. HeroX has several NASA crowdsourced projects where people can contribute.
NASA is known for innovating in almost every field, from spaceflight to technology and human solutions. But little is known about the invisible army of geniuses that came up with many of the ideas in use today. NASA leverages crowdsourcing as a way to find ideas that think outside the box. As a result, hundreds of NASA challenges have been successfully completed. Good ideas can come from anywhere.
To answer the big question of life on Mars that has haunted space exploration since its inception and before, NASA is turning to the public with a new challenge. Participants need to develop an innovative solution to a problem NASA has. The Mars rovers Curiosity and Perseverance are sending back massive amounts of information. But the data needs to be processed quickly so the rover has a chance of finding life or evidence that life once existed on the Red Planet.
Imagine operating a rover on Mars, 800 million miles from Earth, say Perseverance. Suddenly, initial results from a sample or images of the surrounding environment appear. period of time before the short window of opportunity to send a command to the rover disappears. What should the rover do? Should he collect another sample? Should it stay in place? Should you go to that hill that looks strangely interesting? That’s the problem NASA has: they’re getting too much data and they have too little time to make decisions.
Making the right decision at the right time can be the difference between finding life on Mars and fascinating discoveries or just finding more rocks and sands (although they are interesting too). it may have found sulfur, methane or other chemical signals, and it may even have lost carbon molecules.
NASA wants a fast analysis solution to make “complex chemical interferences.” In other words, the solution needs to process the data quickly, provide a complete picture of what is there, and suggest decisions, which sounds like something that just learning from machine or artificial intelligence can do. NASA says the winning system may one day find itself on a new rover, on another planet. The prize for the winner is $15,000, but everyone knows it’s not the reward. The prize is finding life out of this world.