The space agency has set an ambitious goal of sending astronauts back to the moon by 2024 and the crew will obviously have to go to the bathroom during the mission.
The toilet designs should also conserve water and “help maintain a pristine environment inside the lander that is free of odors and other contaminants.”
“Bonus points will be awarded to designs that can capture vomit without requiring the crew member to put his/her head in the toilet,” the guidelines said.
It should be able to support a crew of two astronauts for 14 days and allow for the transfer of the collected waste to storage or for disposal outside the vehicle.
The toilet should be easy to clean and maintain and should have a turnaround time of five minutes or less between uses. It also needs to use less than 70 watts of power and make less noise than an average bathroom fan.
Space will also be an issue, so the toilet needs to weigh less than 33 pounds on Earth and be less than .12 cubic meters in volume.
The top prize is $20,000 and the second and third place winners will get $10,000 and $5,000. The deadline for submitting the designs is August 17 and the winners will be announced in October.