Sunday, March 22, 2009

Space Prize Roundup - March 22, 2009

Check out the new wheels for the Kansas City Space Pirates! - Space Elevator Blog

Interorbital Systems - SYNERGY MOON at Google Lunar X PRIZE Teams site - The video gives an overview of Interorbital Systems, part of SYNERGY MOON. It also includes some cool Mojave scenery for when the computer work and welding is done for the day.

Oddly enough, this one doesn't appear on the "Teams" page "Latest Team Announcements" list for March 20, but it's on the main page and the SYNERGY MOON page.

ARCA Stabilo engine tests completed successfully - ARCA at Google Lunar X PRIZE Teams site - Two videos are included. Also see ARCA engine test videos (RLV News) for links to more new ARCA material.

ZeroGravity Teacher Commended - Spaceports:

... While planning to tout ZeroGravity flights in Virginia, Seals got an unexpected honor from her native Wise County with a dedication of $1,000 to offset the $5,000 costs of the next teacher-to-zerogravity flight comeptition to be sponsored by the Southwestern Virginia Technology Council. Wise County specifically donated the money to honor Seals.

A competition will be held among the southwestern Virginia public school teachers to fly later this year. A significant part of the selection process will be based upon the merit of the zerogravity student experiement designed with the teacher's classroom students. The Teachers-in-Space Team of the Space Frontier Foundation will assist in the selection process.

Here are some recent Mars-themed SF award and contest links from the "Marooned - Science Fiction books on Mars" blog:

Joe Haldeman’s novel Marsbound gets honorable mention in 2008 Readers’ Choice poll

Nebula Awards ballot error almost discards Ruth Nestvold’s short story “Mars: A Traveler’s Guide”

Nominated for Nebula Award, Ruth Nestvold’s short story “Mars: A Traveler’s Guide” now online

Bookspot Central Book Tournament tips off, features three Mars novels

Robert J. Sawyer’s collection Identity Theft and Other Stories nominated for 2009 Aurora Award

EVA Interviews Rex Ridenoure, CEO of Ecliptic Enterprises - Out of the Cradle (also see RLV News for more related information) - This interview covers Rex's career, including a lot of involvement with space prizes (especially if you count Blastoff! as a predecessor of the Google Lunar X PRIZE as suggested by Peter Diamandis):

... Soon the firm was re-named BlastOff Corporation (from Spacelab!) and in just six months or so we had 50 employees, a baseline mission and system design, a rocket on order and a huge head of steam. Sadly, the dot-com bubble began to pop in late 2000 and the entire BlastOff effort came to a screeching halt ... The onboard RocketCam™ video from SpaceShipOne during its two Ansari XPRIZE flights also gave us quite a boost–globally. ... Within the first two days after the GLXP was announced in September 2007, I got calls from four different team leaders (all of whom I knew already) asking about whether Ecliptic could supply their team with onboard imaging systems. That sort of brand validation was very satisfying, to say the least! ... I registered Ecliptic as a “stealth” team at the end of 2007, with the notion that we’d participate for as long as it took to figure out how many other teams were competing and which ones we’d prefer to be part of. ... Now, Ecliptic is still a candidate supplier to several GLXP teams, and we’ve also covered the costs of filing the patent for the SCSG spinning lander/hopper concept and will control this intellectual property from now on. Ecliptic has no plans to field a GLXP team on its own.