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NASA's moon-dirt digging competition ends sans a winner

Darren Murph

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This won't mark the first occasion (nor the last) in which a NASA challenge ends without a winner, but just as noted before the competition began, it looks like the quarter-million dollars in prize money will indeed be rolled over to next year. NASA's Regolith Excavation Challenge beckoned teams to conjure up autonomous digger bots that could move a given amount of mock moon dirt into a cell within a half hour, and unfortunately for crews hailing from Pismo Beach, Berkley, Rolla, and Rancho Palos Verdes, everyone left with their heads a-hangin'. The excavator built by Technology Ranch was able to notch first place by relocating just over 143-pounds in 30 minutes, but fell quite short on picking up any award monies. So for those of you who weren't exactly ready to go mano-a-mano with these guys and gals this time around, next year you've all got $750,000 on the line. [Warning: Read link requires subscription]

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