Saturday, February 07, 2009

Update on Florida's Reusable Space Vehicle Industry Prize Program (RSVIPP)

I haven't run across news on the Florida RLV Prize since early last summer when the bill was signed. Since I consider this as potentially one of the most important and exciting prize developments out there, I was interested when I ran across the following:

Reusable Space Vehicle Industry Prize Program

That link just goes to another collection of links that I'll reproduce in full here, interspersed with some excerpts and my comments. It's still a work in progress, but it looks promising. Some of the content seems to have been borrowed from Google Lunar X PRIZE documents, so it's hard to say what will really be in the final document.

Reusable Space Vehicle Industry Prize Program (RSVIPP) Work Plan and Meeting Schedule

The Grand Prize will be awarded to the first team to launch at least seven humans to an altitude of 185 kilometers in a repeatable and safe fashion.

This strikes me as about the right level of difficulty for a $40M prize, but I'm no rocket engineer.

... Additionally, prize money or other incentives may be offered in the future to the Team or Teams that do the best job of reaching out to the public. ... For Teams registering on or before June 30, 2009, the registration fee shall be $10,000. ...

RSVIPP Application


Each PRIZE competition qualifying flight must carry at least three people. The vehicle must
be built with the capacity to safely carry a minimum of seven persons ... The same vehicle must complete two flights satisfying all competition requirements within a 14-day period (measured from touch-down to touch-down). ... No more than 10% of the vehicle's first-flight non-propellant mass may be replaced between the two required flights. For multi-stage vehicles, the 10% figure applies to the combined stages. ... TEAM is required to accommodate and carry a SF-provided package that includes two externally mounted cameras, two internally mounted cameras and the associated video recording and transmitting hardware. This package also includes position and acceleration sensors.

RSVIPP Task Force Meeting Agenda for 12-11-08

Comments for 12-19-08 Meeting by F. Alvi

- Shouldn’t we require launch from Florida?
- Similar requirement for future launches if a commercial vehicle is finally designed?
- Stipulate a reduced fare for x seats on the first y flights to be sold to Space Florida?

I'd expect some kind of Florida-specific requirements of this sort for the prize, since Florida taxpayers would be footing a good chunk of the prize money.

Meeting Highlights for 12-19-08 Meeting

Names mentioned for consideration are: Space Shot Florida; Florida Voyager, Sunshine State Prize and Sunshine State Space Prize.

The prize name might be something they could have a contest on to drum up interest and get ideas (but do leave room for a sponsor's name, too). The same goes for logos, etc.

There's discussion of COTS, Shuttle, and ISS, so I'm not sure they're completely settled that it will be a suborbital prize.