Sunday, December 02, 2007

Mars Sample Return Mission Design Contest

Here's a page on the Mars Drive Mars Sample Return Mission Design Contest. This is late; I hadn't heard of the contest until now. Entries were due in February, but I'm not sure what the status is on judging the entries ... is the jugding still in progress, did someone win, or is the contest going to continue into 2008? I don't know, but I thought I should present the link anyway.

The cash value part of the prize at stake is modest in comparison with the Planetary Society Apophis Mission Design Competition for asteriod tagging, but there are other rewards, too:

Contest Prizes

1st Prize -

All expense-paid trip to present at the ISDC 2008 Conference
$500 Cash purse
Showcased on all MarsDrive partners sites
Submission to the AIAA
Recognition at the annual Mars Society International Conference

2nd Prize -

$100 Cash purse
Showcased on all MarsDrive partners sites

You can see a number of entries to the contest here.

Here's some insight into the contest judging:

Mission Selection Designs will be selected from submissions by a panel of leading experts in various areas of expertise including:

Astrobiology: Dr. Christopher P. McKay, Planetary Scientist with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames.
ISRU: Dr Robert Zubrin, founder of the Mars Society
Science/Engineering: Louis Friedman, President of the Planetary Society