HeroX, a leading platform and open marketplace for crowdsourced solutions, today launched the crowdsourcing competition, “Waste to Base Materials Challenge: Sustainable Reprocessing in Space“. Future human missions to Mars and the journey back to Earth are expected to take two to three years. During this time, significant amounts of waste will be generated. HeroX is seeking innovative approaches to repurpose, recycle, and reprocess the waste generated onboard to enable mission sustainability.

Since the logistics of supply ships to support a Mars mission are very difficult, the spacecraft needs to be as efficient and self-sufficient as possible. This challenge is all about finding ways to convert waste into base materials and other useful things, like propellant or feedstock for 3D printing. The challenge is looking for your ideas for how to convert different waste streams into propellant and into useful materials that can then be made into needed things and cycled through multiple times. While a perfectly efficient cycle is unlikely, ideal solutions will result in little to no waste. NASA could eventually integrate all the different processes into a robust ecosystem that allows a spacecraft to launch from Earth with the lowest possible mass.

“This is exactly what our crowd is poised to do: solve intractable problems with an eye for efficiency and sustainability,” said Kal K. Sahota, President & CEO of HeroX. “I am eager to see the submissions.”

The Challenge: NASA’s Waste to Base Materials Challenge asks the larger community to provide inventive approaches to waste management and conversion in four specific categories:


Fecal waste

Foam packaging material

Carbon dioxide processing

The Prize: Multiple winners in each category will each be awarded a prize of $1,000. Additionally, judges will recognize four ideas as “best in class,” each with a prize of $1,000. A total prize purse of $24,000 will be awarded.

Eligibility to Compete and Win Prize(s): The prize is open to anyone aged 18 or older participating as an individual or as a team. Individual competitors and teams may originate from any country, as long as United States federal sanctions do not prohibit participation (some restrictions apply).

To accept the challenge, visit herox.com/WasteToBase.


HeroX is a platform and open marketplace for crowdsourcing innovation and human ingenuity, co-founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur, Christian Cotichini and XPRIZE Founder and Futurist, Peter Diamandis. HeroX offers a turnkey, easy-to-use platform that supports anyone, anywhere, to solve everyday business and world challenges using the power of the crowd. Uniquely positioned as the Social Network for Innovation, HeroX is the only place you can build, grow and curate your very own crowd.

Explore the latest challenges at www.herox.com

Media Contact:

Alexandra Pony