KARACHI: Freelancer.com and NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI), through the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), have released the latest in a series of challenges to crowdsource solutions for new capabilities for space exploration.According to NASA, out of over 24 million users worldwide on Freelancer.com, over 900,000 users come from Pakistan; which consist of almost 850,000 users registered as freelancers and the rest are employers and businesses posted freelance jobs on the marketplace.A majority of the Pakistani users come from cities like Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Faisalabad. Most of the employers who hire Pakistani freelancers in the marketplace are from the US, India, the UK, Australia and Pakistan.Over 24 million registered users have posted more than 12 million projects and contests to date in over 950 areas as diverse as website development, logo design, marketing, copywriting, astrophysics, aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Freelancer Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker ASX:FLN.NASA has called on professionals from anywhere in the world to submit entries to three challenges including: – A contest to create an animation storyboard that conveys NASA’s experiments to more accurately track items in space habitats – A challenge to use origami folding concepts to pack and deploy radiation shielding for a Mars transfer vehicle; – And a mission patch design contest for NASA’s In Space Manufacturing Refabricator project.The origami challenge is seeking someone expert in folding/origami concepts to tailor a design for its radiation shielding – this will protect against galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), for a spacecraft taking humans into deep space. The winning design will help to guard against cancer risks which are the largest challenge for exploration.Another crowdsourcing challenge is to develop storyboards for a two-minute video or animation for the REALM (RFID-Enabled Autonomous Logistics Management) to describe the experiments for a non-technical audience; i.e. the general public. More background information can be foundLastly is the mission patch. In 2015, the NASA’s In Space Manufacturing (ISM) project made history by sending the first 3D printer to the International Space Station (ISS) and manufacturing the first parts ever in space. Now the “Refabricator” effort looks to take that process further by recycling plastic in space to reuse as other 3D printed parts. The product should graphically convey the key theme of space exploration, recycling of materials, and on-demand manufacturing. The graphic will be used in multiple ways including in presentations, on team items (mugs, shirts, etc) and in materials developed for education and public outreach. All challenges are aimed at people who are passionate about NASA and space exploration and have a talent for creative ideas and design, said NASA. Published in Daily Times, July 20th , 2017.