NASA's Human Lander Challenge (HuLC)

congratulations to our 2024 HuLC Competition Winners

Second Place Overall: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Excellence in Systems Engineering Award:
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Excellence in Systems Engineering Award:
Texas A&M University

Colorado School of Mines

Project Title: Prudent Landers – FAST
Advisors: Mark Florida, Dr. Angel Abbud-Madrid, David Purcell

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Project Title: Plume Additive for Reducing Surface Ejecta and Cratering (PARSEC)
Advisor: Dr. Siwei Fan

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Project Title: Ceramic Research Advancement Technology at Embry-Riddle (C.R.A.T.E.R.)
Advisor: Seetha Raghavan

Ohio Northern University

Project Title: HuLC Smash
Advisor: Dr. Louis DiBerardino

Texas A&M University

Project Title: Maroon Moon: Preliminary Surface Stabilization to Mitigate Lunar Plume Surface Interaction
Advisors: John F. Connolly, Dr. Jean-Louis Briaud

Texas A&M University

Project Title: Synthetic Orbital Landing Area for Crater Elimination (SOLACE)
Advisor: Dr. Helen Reed

Texas State University

Project Title: Numerical Simulation and Physical Validation of Regolith Ejecta During Plume Surface Interaction
Advisor: Dr. Bin Xiao

The College of New Jersey

Project Title: TCNJ Adaptable Regolith Retention Program (TARRP)
Advisor: Mohammed Alabsi

University of California, San Diego

Project Title: MOON Pads: Microwave-Sintering Operations Of Nanophase-Iron Pads
Advisors: Dr. Amy Eguchi, Dr. Zahra Sadeghizadeh, Dr. Ross Turner

University of Colorado, Boulder

Project Title: Lunar Surface Assessment Tool (LSAT): A Simulation of Lunar Dust Dynamics for Risk Analysis
Advisor: James Nabity

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Project Title: HINDER: Holistic Integration of Navigational Dynamics for Erosion Reduction
Advisor: Laura Villafane Roca

University of Michigan

Project Title: ARC-LIGHT: Algorithm for Robust Characterization of Lunar surface Imaging for Ground Hazards and Trajectory
Advisor: Mirko Gamba, Chris Ruf

Challenge Overview

The Human Lander Challenge (HuLC) is an initiative supporting NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate’s (ESDMD’s) efforts to explore innovative solutions for a variety of known Human Landing System (HLS) challenge areas. Through this competition, college students become important partners in NASA’s advancement of HLS technologies, concepts, and approaches.

The 2024 HuLC competition asks teams of students and their faculty advisors to design innovative solutions addressing the mitigation of lunar Plume-Surface Interaction (PSI).

Offering team stipends and cash prizes!

HuLC is open to teams of undergraduate and graduate students at accredited colleges and universities in the United States.  Based on a review of initial proposals received by March 2024, up to 12 teams will be selected to continue developing their proposed concepts and compete at the Forum in Huntsville, Alabama in June 2024.

Each finalist team will receive a $7,000 stipend to facilitate participation in the Forum, which includes the submission of a final technical paper and poster, and presenting their concepts to a panel of NASA and industry subject matter experts during the Forum. Inclusion of a design model or prototype is encouraged when appropriate.

The top three placing teams will share a total prize purse of $18,000.

Interested in competing?  Visit the Challenge Details page for more information. 

Challenge Updates & News

Finalist Teams Announcement

Read NASA’s Feature Story announcing the 2024 HuLC Finalist Teams.

Challenge Announcement

Read NASA’s Feature Story announcing the inaugural Human Lander Challenge (HuLC).

Challenge Announcement

Read NASA’s feature story announcing the HuLC competition.

Interested in Competing?

Review the Challenge Guidelines for more details and find out how to apply.

Join the Q&A Session

A Question & Answer Session for interested teams is scheduled for November 8, 2:00-3:30 p.m. EST.  Submit a question by Noon on October 31.