NASA has created a prize competition aimed at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The MSI Space Accelerator challenge aims to engage underrepresented academic institutions and help NASA make advancements in machine-learning, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems to address climate change.

The technical focus of this challenge is to create systems that operate without human oversight for future science missions. Participants must design and/or demonstrate tools that can perform effective monitoring of autonomous systems to diagnose problems, and optimize, reconfigure, and recover from failure.

In the first round of the prize competition, MSIs will submit research papers (until March 16, 2022) that broadly describe the capability being offered and how it might be applied to an Earth-observing system.

After the selection of the best ten papers, the second round will take place on May 5, 2022, in a pitch-day, live event. Judges will then select up to three institutions, each receiving a maximum of $50,000.

The MSI Space Accelerator competition is the result of a partnership between NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, the Minority University Research Education Project within the Office of STEM Engagement, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, and Starburst Accelerator in Los Angeles.

To find out more about the prize competition, visit the MSI Space Accelerator website.

NASA JPL headquarters