The Conrad Challenge, a global youth innovation competition at Space Center Houston, heads to the moon on Astrobotic’s Peregrine Lunar Lander on Monday, Jan. 8, via a partnership with PHOOZY, maker of thermal protective cases for tech.
A “MoonDrive” containing historical submissions from past Conrad Challenge participants is included in the Peregrine’s payload, among other cargo from NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative and other customers.
The Conrad Challenge honors the legacy of astronaut Pete Conrad, the commander of Apollo 12 and the third man to walk on the Moon. The Challenge invites a global community of students to combine education, innovation and entrepreneurship. The MoonDrive’s inclusion in the Peregrine’s payload marks a full-circle moment as it not only carries Conrad’s legacy but also lands near the Ocean of Storms – the same landing site where Apollo 12 landed more than 55 years ago.
“Apollo 12 is the mission that took STEM to the Moon, and for eighteen years, the Conrad Challenge has been bringing STEM to a global community of students, inviting them to understand and participate in designing a sustainable future for humanity,” said Nancy Conrad, wife of Pete Conrad and Founder of the Conrad Foundation.
“Pete saw Earth from the Moon as a blue marble in a black sky, without any borders or boundaries. Our students have collaborated without borders to develop solutions that will now return to the lunar surface where Pete walked. This is truly a “back to the future” moment for the Conrad Challenge.”
Pete’s lunar mission, Apollo 12, marked a significant scientific milestone. It was the first mission to bring STEM to the Moon (through the Apollo Lunar Surface Exploration Package (ALSEP)). The legacy of Apollo has paved the way for the next generation of explorers and innovators.
This launch marks an opportunity to invite the next generation, the Artemis Generation, to focus on peace, sustainability, scientific discovery and the economic benefits of exploration.