LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Challenge

Status Report From: NASA Education Office
Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012

NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the State Department and Nike recently announced a challenge to identify 10 game-changing innovations that could transform waste-management systems and practices. Waste management is important for planning long-duration human spaceflight missions to an asteroid, Mars or beyond.

Humans living off the planet require waste solutions that mirror issues facing people on Earth. In the hostile environment of space, waste must be eliminated or transformed in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. The innovations, which will be presented at the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum, may lead to practical applications for astronauts as we send humans deeper into our solar system.

The LAUNCH: Beyond Waste challenge is open through May 15, 2012, and seeks creative solutions to minimize waste or transform it into new products in space and on Earth. Forum partners will select 10 innovators to present their technology solutions at the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste forum, hosted by NASA July 20-22, 2012, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

NASA and the LAUNCH Council -- thought leaders representing a diverse and collaborative body of entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, government, media and business -- will participate in the forum and help guide these innovations forward. The selected LAUNCH innovators will receive networking and mentoring opportunities from influential business and government leaders, as well as portfolio presentations.

LAUNCH was created to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to global sustainability challenges. LAUNCH searches for visionaries whose ideas, technologies or programs show great promise for making tangible impacts on society in the developed and developing worlds.

For more information about the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Challenge and how to enter, visit

Inquiries about this challenge should be directed to Chad Badiyan at

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