U of U students hoping to help NASA get to the moon

Jun 26, 2023, 6:30 PM | Updated: 6:44 pm

Effects of Climate Change may be lessened by Lunar Dust...

FILE - Impact craters cover the surface of the moon, seen from Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022. A group of University of Utah students could work towards establishing a moon base after winning NASA's Big Idea competition. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — Sixty years have passed since John F. Kennedy uttered the famous words, “we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,” at the beginning of a new space race.

Now the US wants to go back to the moon and Utah is involved.

The United States is now in a new race against China to place a permanent base on the moon. That project will require new technology and NASA has picked a handful of schools across the country to help.

Up there with MIT and Penn State is the University of Utah.

KSL NewsRadio spoke with Collin Anderson, a member of the Utah team that won NASA’s Big Idea competition.

“The problem that we’re looking at in particular is the problem of space, in general,” Anderson said. “The distances are incredibly far you’re talking about thousands of kilometers away. And how do you supply that? Well, the only way that we know to supply it is to put it on top of a rocket and send it up into space. But that costs many, many thousands of dollars per kilogram. ”

Anderson said any future lunar base will need to sustain itself without constant packages from Earth. However, that’s been impossible to do so far because of how big the equipment would need to be. Until now, that is.

“Now imagine that you can do all of that with simply an astronaut, holding a shovel, something that’s about the size of a septic tank (and) a 3D printer that is maybe the size of a countertop. And, then some slight sandblasting finishing and you’ve done everything from mining, to refining, to shaping to finishing that product,” Anderson said.

He sad the team’s goal is to be able to fit all of this inside of a living room.

Additionally, he said Utah’s win in this competition could be big for the future of aerospace in the state.

“As far as we’re aware, this is the first time that the University of Utah has been a finalist in this competition,” He said. “What it also means is that it’s brought in funding for the university and possibly could lead to other projects.”

We’ll know the results of the Utah team’s study by November.

Related: How to view a lunar eclipse, full ‘flower moon,” and meteor shower this weekend

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

The University of Utah

long covid clinic patient in utah...

Adam Small

U of U long COVID clinic shares findings after three years of seeing patients

The Long COVID Clinic in Utah has treated more than 3,000 patients over the last three years according to the clinic's medical director.

4 days ago


Mariah Maynes

Researchers reveal new findings in neurological origins of creativity

A team of researchers said that a new study shows creativity may be reliant on certain neurological functions.

7 days ago

The University of Utah has a new app that could help boost student graduation and retention rates a...

Josuee Sanchez

Navigating the University of Utah with the help of a new app

The University of Utah has a new app that could help boost student graduation and retention rates at the school.

10 days ago

Utah Utes defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley (Photo courtesy of Ravell Call, Deseret News)...

Michelle Bodkin, KSL Sports

Utah Football Names Defensive Coordinator Morgan Scalley Successor To Kyle Whittingham

The future of Utah football became a little clearer with defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley being named Kyle Whittingham’s successor.

20 days ago

A University of Utah professor is harnessing the power of tiny "nanobubbles" to help tackle environ...

Eric Cabrera

U of U professor using nanobubbles to better environment

A University of Utah professor is harnessing the power of tiny "nanobubbles" to help tackle environmental and medical challenges.

24 days ago

People walk through the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 13, 2024....

Heather Peterson

University of Utah offers new continuing education courses

The University of Utah is trying to "close the skills gap" by offering continuing education courses for busy professionals.

28 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

U of U students hoping to help NASA get to the moon