Saturday, September 01, 2007

WIRED NextFest and X PRIZE Foundation

(Update: Lots of folks are going to this post today. I suspect most are interested in the latest news on the space prize announced at the WIRED NextFest. To get the latest I have, click on the "Google Lunar X PRIZE" tag below, and you'll get all posts related to it (including this one, but it'll be at the back of the queue).

WIRED is having a big day at Space Prizes. This one comes from an article linked from the X PRIZE Foundation web site's news ticker.

The 2007 Wired NextFest is described as "WIRED's vision of a new World's Fair".

More details: "WIRED NextFest is a four-day festival of innovative products and technologies that are transforming our world. This year's NextFest in Los Angeles features more than 160 interactive exhibits from leading scientists and researchers around the world. Experience the future of communication, design, entertainment, exploration, health, play, robots, transportation, security, and green living. Visitors of all ages are welcome."

Sponsors of NextFest include NASA, Northrop Grumman, the X PRIZE Foundation, and many other well-known organizations.

A lot of the exhibitors will be interest to people that like space and/or innovation prizes. In the "Future of Exploration" exhibit category, there's an entry on the Astronaut Glove Centennial Challenge. There are numerous NASA exhibits, and in some cases you can get a preview using the link supplied, but in others you get to the generic NASA home page. You'll just have to try to get the the real NextFest in those cases. There are NASA exhibits on LCROSS, SOFIA, Mars rovers, robots, and more. SpaceX has an exhibit on the Dragon, and Northrop Grumman has one on the James Webb telescope.

There are other exhibitor categories that span the high-tech world: communication, education, design, entertainment, play, green tech, health, transportation, robotics, and security. The security exhibit also has space-related exhibits, including one on NPOESS.

If you follow the Human Powered Vehicle prizes the exhibit on the 24-hour HPV record may bbe of interest.

Getting back to the original reason for this post, though ... a media alert was issued with the following information:

"Special Guests Include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Astronaut Barbara Morgan and the Endeavor Space Shuttle Crew".

"The Opening Ceremony will be followed by an X PRIZE Foundation announcement of its largest prize yet. Joining with an internationally-recognized partner, this “New X PRIZE” will motivate and inspire new generations, much like the previous ANSARI X PRIZE. For more information, please visit"

"X PRIZE Announcement 10:30am – 11:00am South Halls, J&K"

Update (Sep 2): I don't have any inside information on what the announcement will be, or who/what the internationally-recognized partner is. I will note that the Automotive X PRIZE draft rules have been out for a while, so it may have something to do with that. This post at Cosmic Log on the Lunar Lander Challenge has an August 31 update at the bottom on an X PRIZE Foundation briefing on the Automotive X PRIZE planned in a few days, so there is certainly a lot of activity with that prize. It would be interesting, since originally they were targetting $25M for that one, but recently most articles have been using a $10M figure as an estimate. The NextFest announcement said "the largest prize yet", so could they now have more than $10M (the prize amounts for the Ansari X PRIZE and Archon Genomics X PRIZE) for Automotive? It's all speculation on my part. It certainly would be cool, though, if we see a new space X PRIZE, whether bigger or smaller than the others, rolled out!