Jump to Challenge category #1 submission criteria • Jump to Challenge category #2 submission criteria


  1. Submission Instructions
  2. Awards & Prizes
  3. Judging Panel Evaluations
  4. Winner Selection
  5. Timeline
  6. Participation Guidelines
  7. Official Rules

The Lunar Deep Freeze Challenge has two separate categories, which are administered under the same timeline, participation guidelines and official rules:

CHALLENGE CATEGORY #1: Small Transportable Cryogenic Containment Systems

Propose concepts or designs for a small footprint system (or combination of systems) that enable transportation of lunar samples at constant cryogenic temperatures (-150°C or colder) across multiple NASA vehicles on the journey from the Moon to Earth. Click here for full details.

CHALLENGE CATEGORY #2: Innovations for Long-Term Cryogenic Stowage & Transportation

Propose technologies which either provide incremental cryogenic solutions or which may have significant value in developing and enabling future small, low-power cryogenic systems. Click here for full details.


Submissions (“Entries”) can only be submitted through the designated Challenge submission page. Where applicable, entry attachments maybe be submitted in .pdf, .xls, .xlsx, .doc, docx, .ppt, .jpg, .png, .gif, or .pptx formats.

All entries must be submitted through the submission page by:

  • Completing all fields of the submission (or registration) form;
  • Uploading required files via the provided upload field at the time the entry is submitted; and
  • Completing submission by clicking the “submit” button.


A total prize purse of USD $40,000 is available for this Challenge. Each Challenge category has a total cash prize pool of up to USD $20,000. TechConnect will issue prizes as follows:

CategoryTopic# of AwardsPrize per WinnerTotal Prize Pool
#1 Small Transportable Cryogenic Containment SystemsUp to two (2)$10,000$20,000
#2Innovations for Long-Term Cryogenic Stowage & TransportationUp to four (4)$5,000$20,000

In addition to cash prizes, winners in both categories will also receive:

  • Recognition by TechConnect and NASA through published announcements and individual profiles on the Challenge webpage
  • A virtual conference with one or more members of the NASA Challenge team to discuss your winning solution, and
  • Potential opportunities for future collaboration with NASA.


TechConnect will screen all submitted entries to confirm eligibility and compliance with the Challenge participation guidelines and rules. Entries must be received through the official Challenge submission page no later than the indicated deadline. In order to win cash prizes, participants must be eligible according to the official rules.


The judging panel will evaluate entries for each category based on how well they address pre-defined evaluation criteria for that category. Judges will score entries for each category on a weighted 100-point scale to determine winners. See applicable Challenge category pages for specific details.

A judging panel of NASA subject matter experts will select winners for each category. Winners for both categories will be selected and notified no later than Friday, December 18, 2020. The winners for both categories will be announced on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.


Submissions OpenWednesday, September 16, 2020
Informational WebinarTuesday, October 13, 2020 at 1:00 PM ET
Submissions DeadlineThursday, November 12, 2020 by 7:59 PM ET
EvaluationFriday, November 13 – Friday, December 11, 2020
Winners NotifiedFriday, December 11 – Friday, December 18, 2020
Winners AnnouncedWednesday, January 6, 2021



These participation guidelines are provided for your summary guidance as a prospective Challenge participant. They are not intended to replace or supplement the official Challenge rules, nor do they represent the full scope of the rules. All participants are required to review, understand and agree to the official Challenge rules. By submitting an entry, you agree to be bound by the Challenge rules and any and all terms and conditions highlighted therein or elsewhere.


Entries can only be submitted by completing the appropriate digital submission form for the Challenge category to which you wish to respond, and which is available on the submission page of the Challenge website. The submission page also includes the option for participants to upload supporting information and attachments in support of their entry.

Submissions must be in English.

There is no cost, purchase or payment required to submit an entry or win an award.

All entries must include only non-confidential information.

By submitting an entry, participants agree that the entry is their original idea and that they are authorized to submit the entry. False representation of ownership, plagiarism, or submission of any entries for which you are not authorized to do so is grounds for immediate disqualification from the Challenge.


Multiple Entries from the same participant are allowed.


The Challenge is open to all participants 18 and older.

Eligibility is not predicated on any expertise specific to the technical fields of interest for this Challenge. Participants from all backgrounds and technical disciplines are invited and strongly encouraged to participate.

The Challenge is open to participants from any country, provided that participation is not currently prohibited under existing U.S. Treasury sanctions. For specific details see here.

Participation in the Challenge may be restricted for NASA employees, NASA contractors, employees of other federal agencies, and other agency contractors. Check your eligibility status with your employer before submitting an entry.

See the official rules for complete eligibility details.


All entries must be completed and submitted online through the Challenge submission page no later than Thursday, November 12 by 7:59 PM ET. No late submissions will be accepted.


Entries will be evaluated by a team of NASA subject matter experts according to the category-specific evaluation criteria defined for each Challenge category.


TechConnect will determine and select winners in accordance with evaluation by the NASA judging panel.

By accepting a prize, winners agree to grant NASA a royalty free, non-exclusive, irrevocable, world-wide license in all intellectual property demonstrated by the winning entry. See the official rules for complete details. 

Download the official rules here: