Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Unofficial Regolith Excavation Forum and CSA Spacebound! Newsletter

Regolith Excavation team ACME Robotics has started an Unofficial Regolith Excavation Challenge Forum similar to those used by the Automotive X PRIZE, the Google Lunar X PRIZE, and others. Currently it has categories like rules, robotics, and announcements. Here's their blog post announcing the forum, and here's a press release on it.

It's good for these challenges to have active official and unofficial news and communications tools like these, and I hope we see more of this type of thing from participants in, or just people interested in and supportive of, the other Centennial Challenges like MoonROx, General Aviation, and Astronaut Glove that don't have (as far as I know) this type of help.

They also have a map of the teams. Although the official teams haven't been announced, some teams have announced their intention to enter, and the Regolith Excavation blog has mentioned that all of the teams that competed in 2007 plan to return this year. It will be interesting to see how this map develops.

Meanwhile, page 5 of the Winter 2008 California Space Authority newsletter SpaceBound! has an article on the 2008 Regolith Challenge and the MoonROx Challenge. Here's a little bit of information from the article about 2 teams I haven't heard of before:

New to the competition this year are Toy Garden, led by Charles Sink, and a team led by William Cushman. Charles Sink is a self taught toy designer and prototyper with 19 years of experience designing innovative high tech remote control and microprocessor driven robotic toys. A number of his creations have been licensed and made available on toy store shelves by nationally recognized toy companies. William Cushman, Ph.D. is a research scientist, formerly employed by the US Navy and now in the private sector focused on product development and solving production problems.