The upcoming Artemis missions will send Americans back to the Moon for long durations. The Robotic Mining Challenge (RMC) is a university-level competition designed to stimulate solutions to problems faced on these missions. Specifically, university teams will design, build and operate remote, robotic mining systems capable of excavating buried ice on the lunar surface.
This ice is essential to supplying astronauts with water and oxygen during long stays on the Moon, and its collection is considered to be a critical capability upon which the entire Artemis program is based.
Mining robots must meet specific launch dimensions suitable for Artemis launch and landing vehicles, and they must demonstrate remote operability including some capability to autonomously excavate, collect and offload the buried ice.