Friday, December 12, 2008

X PRIZE Foundation, NASA, and Change

Re-establishing NASA’s Leadership - X PRIZE Foundation document posted at the Obama transition team site

Here's the PDF.

Here's a similar article with Peter Diamandis as the author at the Huffington Post.

They have a number of recommendations related to NASA, commercial space, and ITAR, among others. Here's a section on prizes. Maybe it gives hints about the kinds of new space prizes the X PRIZE Foundation would like to manage if it had the opportunity?

Leverage Incentive Prizes
Incentive prizes have a lengthy track record of enabling radical breakthroughs for very low costs. Governments have long been the beneficiaries of the work done to win incentive prizes, from the Longitude Prize of the 1700s to the contemporary Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge and DARPA Grand Challenges. Additionally, NASA and its peer agencies can benefit even from prizes offered by external bodies, by becoming customers of the products and services that emerge from the prize competitors.

NASA should proactively seek to benefit from incentive prizes, both by offering prizes of its own and by seeking to actively engage in commerce with the teams who compete for and win prizes offered by others. To do so, NASA should supplement the prize purse funds available to Centennial Challenges, and should allow for the creation of larger value prizes such as competitions for suborbital point-to-point spaceflight, asteroid detection, end beamed power launching systems. Additionally, NASA should begin identifying both areas of need and contractual mechanisms needed to benefit from private companies participating in prizes such as the Google Lunar X PRIZE. Finally, NASA should seek out ways to benefit from and strengthen existing prizes such as the Google Lunar X PRIZE by funding related educational programs, prize purses, or other associated programs.

Is the new administration charged up about space solar power? - Space Politics - This mainly covers other transitition team subjects, but it's where I learned about the X PRIZE Foundation document.