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Photo Credit: NASA
Nighttime Precision Landing Challenge No. 1
Develop sensing systems that can detect terrain hazards in the dark.
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Photo Credit: Masten Space Systems
Advancing Landing Capabilities
To support future missions, NASA seeks to advance the affordability and reduce the complexity of precision landing capabilities to deliver spacecraft to safe landing locations, particularly when the terrain is hazardous and lighting conditions are challenging.
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Register
Do you have a sensing system that could be capable of sensing terrain in the dark from an altitude of 250 meters or higher to help identify hazards and safe landing sites for spacecraft? We would love to know about it! You must first register no later than Thursday, May 5, 2022, at 5:00 PM Pacific.
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Photo Credit: Masten Space Systems
Apply
Individuals, teams, and organizations that meet eligibility criteria are welcome to submit technologies. Applications should focus on advancing sensing capabilities that can identify hazard-free landing sites for spacecraft to land within shadowed and dark surface regions. Apply no later than Thursday, May 19, 2022, at 5:00 PM Pacific.
APPLICATION
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Evaluation
Each valid application receives scores and comments from five Evaluation Panel judges, using a scoring rubric with four criteria: relevant, verifiable, achievable, and feasible for flight. All scores are normalized to ensure fairness. The Selection Committee will choose Winners to each receive an initial $200,000 award, with the opportunity for each to win up to $650,000 total and a suborbital flight to test their technology at no additional cost.
SCORING PROCESS
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Payload Build Round 1
During Payload Build Phase Round 1, Winners will have the opportunity to compete for an additional award of $200,000 each. Winners will participate in a Payload Build kick-off call to present their plans for the payload development and progress to date. Field Judges will conduct an on-site visit in October 2022 to score the progress each Winner has made and determine if they qualify for the Round 1 award.
ROUND 1
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Photo Credit: NASA
Payload Build Round 2
Upon successful completion of Payload Build Round 1, Winners have the opportunity to compete for an additional award of $100,000 each. Winners will participate in a virtual meeting to present their progress to date on their plans for the payload development. Field Judges will conduct an on-site visit in February 2023 to score the progress each Winner has made and determine if they qualify for the Round 2 award.
Round 2
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Performance Incentive Phase
NASA intends to provide a suborbital flight test at no additional cost to each Winner of Payload Build Round 2. NASA anticipates these flight tests will be conducted on a Masten Space Systems rocket-powered vehicle. In this phase, Winners will each have the opportunity to win an additional award of up to $150,000 based on the payload’s ability to generate a terrain map that meets or exceeds targets outlined in the Technical Guidelines.  
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Photo Credit: Masten Space Systems
Questions and Answers
Get answers to frequently asked questions. Don’t see your question answered? View the full list of FAQs, or email us.
Get answers to frequently asked questions. Don’t see your question answered? View the full list of FAQs, or email us.
What is the NASA TechLeap Prize?
What is the Nighttime Precision Landing Challenge No. 1?
Who can participate?
How do I submit an application?
How will applications be evaluated?
What can we win?
About Flight Opportunities
Flight Opportunities rapidly demonstrates technologies for space exploration, discovery, and the expansion of space commerce through suborbital testing with industry flight providers. The program matures capabilities needed for NASA missions and commercial applications while strategically investing in the growth of the U.S. commercial spaceflight industry.

These flight tests take technologies from ground-based laboratories into relevant environments to increase technology readiness and validate feasibility while reducing the costs and technical risks of future missions.

Awards and agreements for flight test are open to researchers from industry, academia, non-profit research institutes, and government organizations. These investments help advance technologies of interest to NASA while supporting commercial flight providers and expanding space-based applications and commerce. NASA encourages participation from teams who may not have previously engaged in other NASA funding opportunities.
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Are you ready to advance technology through suborbital flight?
Join us in advancing spacecraft landing capabilities. Submit your application today.
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Photo Credit: NASA