Sunday, February 10, 2008

Centennial Challenges Allied Organization Summit; IPP and FAST Commercial Flight Services

The NASA IPP (Innovative Partnerships Program) Events Page lists the following:

Mar 10-11, 2008: Centennial Challenges Allied Organization Summit, Washington, DC

This is the third annual meeting of representatives from each of the five Allied Organizations (AOs), the non-profit organizations that administer and execute NASA's seven Centennial Challenges (CC) competitions at no cost to NASA. The goal of the meeting is to foster communication and support among the AOs. During the two-day meeting, each AO will provide a status on their organization, their competitions, and on affiliated activities. The CC program office will status the AOs of internal operations that affect them. Discussion will be held to share lessons learned from past experiences and to coordinate future competition plans.

There are some interesting non-prize IPP sections in the 2009 NASA Budget proposal. For example, right after Centennial Challenges is FAST, which I think would be a new $2M program, if it gets funded:

Facilitated Access to Space Environment for Technology Development and Training (FAST)

The Facilitated Access to Space Environment for Technology Development and Training (FAST) program objective is to mature technologies for future space flight use, especially those technologies that need to be proven in the microgravity environment. FAST will provide access to commercial microgravity flight services to advance NASA technologies, reducing risk levels and enabling more verification and validation of these technologies for space flight missions. FAST also facilitates the procurement of commercial space services by NASA to support the development of future space flight-certified technologies.