Students shoot for the moon in NASA contest

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On January 9, 2024

NASA's BIG Idea Challenge

Ph.D. student Jacob Ortega works with Dr. Daoru Han in Missouri S&T’s plasma vacuum chamber. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T.

A multidisciplinary team of S&T students was one of seven finalists in NASA’s 2023 Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-Changing Idea (BIG Idea) Challenge: Lunar Forge. 
The S&T team, led by Jacob Ortega, a Ph.D. student in aerospace engineering and Kummer Innovation and Entrepreneurship Doctoral Fellow from Vallejo, California, presented research on producing aluminum on the moon during the final round, held in Cleveland in November. 
Although the team did not successfully produce aluminum before the contest’s final stage, the team was awarded NASA’s Edison Award, which is about Thomas Edison’s quote: “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The lightbulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”  

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On January 9, 2024. Posted in Accomplishments