While some spacecraft do return to Earth and burn up in the atmosphere, others continue to orbit for years. Some satellites are moved into special orbits at the end of their operational life whereas others remain in their original orbit due to premature equipment failures. Either way, these objects in space represent a vast untapped resource of materials waiting to be re-used in the rapidly developing field of on-orbit manufacturing, providing ready access to valuable materials for new space missions.

Through this challenge, NASA explores whether a new industry could transform this orbital debris into an orbital opportunity by creating feedstocks from recycled spacecraft. Tell us how YOU would recycle objects in orbit!

An eligible response consists of a brief descriptive paper (up to 8 pages in length), along with your contact information and a completed participation agreement. We’ve provided a template to help you build your response, but you are not required to use that template. You are welcome to craft your own paper. A response may optionally include a pitch video, with maximum length of 60 seconds.

Join us Wednesday, April 13 for an informational webinar. Register here.

The total prize pool for the Orbital Alchemy Challenge is $55,000. We will award prizes as follows:

  • One (1) first place prize: $25,000
  • One (1) second place prize: $10,000
  • Three (3) third place prizes: $5,000 each
  • Five (5) honorable mention prizes: $1,000 each

Application Deadline
May 27, 2022 by 8 pm Eastern Time