College students compete in second Mars Ice Challenge at NASA Langley

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HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — With the help of college students from around the country, NASA is getting closer to figuring out how to extract water from ice on Mars.

NASA held its second Mars Ice Challenge at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton this week.

Ten university teams have been working at simulated Martian ice stations this week. 

“It’s going to take ideas, not just from NASA, it’s going to take ideas from all over this planet to actually figure this out,’ said Richard Davis, NASA’s assistant director for science. 

Davis says this year’s competitors have already crushed last year’s achievements. 

“Having them produce as much as they did yesterday with 100-fold increase of last year is already victory,” explained Davis.

This year, competitors were able to look at notes from last year’s competition, which Davis says helped with the improvements. 

“This is just an incredible opportunity to get exposure to major projects like this,” said one Northeastern University student. 

Davis says NASA is using their successes and failures as research. 

“What they’re doing in a short period of time just totally rocks,” said Davis. 

Davis says they anticipate continuing the program next year and they’re now exploring what other projects students could help them with. 

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