NASA Contest: Develop an Origami/Folding Concept for Radiation Shield Packing/Deploying
- Status: Closed
- Prize: $500
- Entries Received: 81
- Winner: albertusjanuardy
This challenge is seeking packaged and deployed concepts for a radiation shield that would envelope the habitation portions of a Mars spacecraft.
We are seeking novel folding/origami-based patterns and concepts for packaging a large radiation shield within a single launch vehicle that can be deployed around a Mars vehicle in cis-Lunar space. One of the major concerns to humans embarking on interplanetary space travel is the space radiation environment and the resulting damage to the human body. The radiation of most concern is the Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR) because it contains heavy elements, which are particularly damaging, and is very penetrating due to its high energy. This makes GCRs difficult to shield against with traditional spacecraft architectures having thicknesses in the typical range of 20-30 g/cm2. On Earth, we are partially protected by Earth’s magnetic field and mostly protected by the miles of atmosphere. So, we want to focus on what we know works in protecting humans from space radiation and figure out how to construct a large shield on an interplanetary space vehicle.
Previous research (see references in attachment) into radiation mitigating multifunctional materials has shown lithium hydrides to be particularly advantageous in shielding against GCRs. So, with this challenge, we are looking for novel ideas on how to package a large radiation shield made of a multifunctional lithium hydride material that could be deployed in space. We are really trying to tap into people that are passionate about NASA and space exploration and have a talent for creating innovative 3D designs that can be packaged within a minimum volume, but deployed such that they maximize the radiation protection around the human habitation portion of the spacecraft.
This challenge seeks creative ideas that can be shown using diagrams, graphics, 3D models, or animations that at a minimum show the stowed and deployed configurations. Submissions should include the dimensions of the stowed and final configuration, paying particular attention to include the final thickness of the deployed shield. Submissions should also describe/diagram at a high level the transformation from stowed to deployed configuration to verify feasibility of deployment. Submissions must take into account the attached requirements.
This challenge will award at least one winner with an award of $500. However, multiple submissions may be selected for prize amounts between $100-$500 depending on the submission evaluation.
Submissions will be evaluated based on:
- Feasibility, including feasibility of deployment
- Novelty/Originality (something we would not have come up with on our own)
- Functionality (ability to stow in a minimum volume and deploy for maximum coverage)
- Simplicity or Reliability (more complexity usually means less reliability)
IMPORTANT: See the attached file(s) for a complete list of challenge requirements, constraints, and references.
Please note that NASA employees/contractors are not eligible for competing in this contest.
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“Albertus J. did an outstanding job developing a spacecraft radiation shielding design based on origami design methods . This was a contest and this design concept was selected as 1st place from 159 entries. Albertus J. provided a design that was very well thought through. It took an origami concept and adapted it to a thick material while taking into account a honeycomb material and how one would package that (most realistic from that perspective). It also had an additional benefits of being advantageous for Micro-Meteoroid & Orbital Debris (MMOD) shielding. Albertus J. was very responsive to our feedback and worked hard to provide a high quality product.”
nasacoeci, United States.