The development project of Hungarian space tech company Puli Space Technologies won second place in the second round of NASA’s competition entitled, “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload.”
The results of the first round were announced in the summer of 2020 when Puli won the grand prize with the Puli Lunar Water Snooper (Vízszimatoló). In the category of instruments capable of exploring lunar resources, only the Water Snooper has reached the implementation phase. In 2021, NASA supported the project with 225,000 USD (more than 200,000 euros).
The “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload” is a competition seeking to develop instruments designed to help support sustained human lunar presence, demonstrate and advance the use of resources found on the Moon, and enable new science. It is run by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The Puli Lunar Water Snooper is a detector weighing just 40 dekagrams (10x10x3,4 cm) that searches for hydrogen deposits hiding in the surface layer of the Moon. The Water Snooper identifies hydrogen and all hydrogen-bearing volatiles, like water-ice. The system measures the quantity and distribution of these resources in the lunar surface regolith. However, this would be useful not only for supplying water to astronauts but also for fuel production.
We are proud of what we have achieved so far. […] At the same time, technical discussions are underway about participating in another mission, where the goal would be to reach the South Pole of the Moon within a year, and carry out measurements in the so-called ‘permanently shaded area’, in a temperature of -200 degrees,”
Dr. Tibor Pacher, founder and leader of Puli Space Technologies said.
The company has already delivered three of the devices to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for testing, while they are waiting for the space agency to approve the launch of the Puli Lunar Water Snooper on the next mission.
Sources: HVG, Telex
Featured image: the Puli Lunar Water Snooper. Illustration via Puli Space Technologies’ Facebook page