The development project of a Hungarian space technology company Puli Space Technologies won second place in the second round of the NASA competition titled “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload”.
The results of the first round were announcement 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 contest while searching to develop instruments designed to help support a sustained human lunar presence, demonstrate and advance the use of resources found on the Moon, and enable new science. It is operated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The Puli Lunar Water Snooper is a detector weighing only 40 decagrams (10x10x3.4 cm) that searches for hydrogen deposits hidden in the surface layer of the Moon. The water digger identifies hydrogen and all volatile compounds containing hydrogen, such as 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 providing water to astronauts, but also for fuel production.
We are proud of what we have accomplished so far. […] At the same time, technical discussions are underway to participate in another mission, the objective of which would be to reach the south pole of the Moon within a year, and to carry out measurements in the so-called “permanently shadowed” zone. , at a temperature of -200 degrees”,
Dr. Tibor Pacher, Founder and CEO of Puli Space Technologies said.
The company has already delivered three of the devices to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for testing, pending the space agency’s approval to launch the Puli Lunar Water Snooper on the next mission.