Friday, September 28, 2007

MoonROx Centennial Challenge Status?

In my previous post, I mentioned a slide show of prize-related pictures and associated text.

One of the slides says "...MoonROx Challenge, which will reward $1 million for an apparatus that can extract oxygen from simulated moon dirt. This competition, announced in 2005, has yet to prompt a single contestant".

As far as I know (I could be wrong), MoonROx isn't even on right now, which would explain why there aren't any contestants. You need to know the rules before you put money down on a registration fee. The California Space Authority site has the following information on MoonROx:

"MoonROx Challenge 2008... Coming Soon ... We are in the process of coordinating with NASA to finalize the rule set. They have been quite busy lately in their lunar architecture development efforts. With a little luck, we should have the rule set out to the general public in the July 2007 time frame."

I wrote the following notes during a talk by NASA Centennial Challenge's Ken Davidian at Space Access '07, which was only a few months ago:

"2006: Beam (200K), Tether (200K), LLC (2M), MoonROx (250K)
2007: Glove (250K), Regolith (250K), PAV (250K), Beam (300K), Tether (300K), MoonROx (750K)

For the MoonROx challenge, he just got the administrator’s signature on the $1 million prize."

The following NASA Innovative Partnership Program slide show from August 2007 has MoonROx as a 'possible'".

That's about all I know about it ... the situation isn't too clear to me. From this Spaceports article, it sounds like a lot of people would be interested in signing up for the challenge if it's offered and the details work out for them.