NASA’s Mars Ice Challenge: Follow The Water

Eight university teams have accepted the first ever Mars Ice Challenge – to devise innovative ways to drill for water on the Red Planet. Image Credit: NASA Langley Advanced Concepts Lab/Analytical Mechanics Associates

June 9, 2017 – Eight teams of university students will take part in a NASA challenge to come up with ways of extracting water from ice on Mars so that humans can survive there for a long time.

The event is being held June 14 at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The teams will work on drawing water from simulated Martian subsurface ice stations. Each station will consist of solid blocks of ice covered in a mix of clay and rock about three feet deep.

The event will be the subject of a Facebook Live broadcast from: and a story on the ‘NASA’ Snapchat and Instagram accounts.

NASA’s Mars Ice Challenge is part of an effort by the agency to enable a sustained human presence on other worlds by taking advantage of the resources on them. This will be a focus for NASA over the next few decades, and the challenge offers a unique way to engage students and faculty as partners in the efforts to send humans farther into space than ever before.

The Mars Ice Challenge is being held in conjunction with NASA Langley’s centennial celebration activities and is supported by the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton.

The teams are: Colorado School of Mines, University of Pennsylvania, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, North Carolina State University, University of Texas at Austin, Alfred University in New York, and two teams from West Virginia University.

For information about the challenge, go to: