Saturday, May 30, 2009

Prize Roundup - May 30, 2009

ISDC 2009 continues ... here are some likely places to start for updates:

RLV News

Calling all interns... X PRIZE has open positions! - neXt PRIZE

The Spaceward Press Release - Space Elevator Blog

What will I see? - Crazy Eddie blogger at Space Elevator Games (Crazy Eddie is the reason I put the Niven/Pournelle book cover image in a recent post on the Space Elevator Games. If you haven't read the book, an earlier post at the Crazy Eddie blog explains it all).

Anyway, the Space Elevator Games media console I mentioned a few days ago is described, and so are the various camera positions. Now we just need to get some photos of climbers in action from the air other than straight down ...? (How about a blimp as a camera platform?)

The Press/Visit/Follow section notes of the Space Elevator Games site notes:

We can use your help - Volunteer Information
Meet us at: 5/30 - 5/31,
Maker Faire #173, San Mateo, CA

(I think the original has a typo in the date, which I changed to what I think is correct here).

USST (one of the Beam Power teams) has a recent message: President's Message - May 2009

Team Registration to Open Soon - Regolith Excavation Challenge blog

Final rules available! - Regolith Excavation Challenge blog

@Regolith_Chal (Regolith Excavation Challenge twitter): - Gearing up for Maker Faire activities this weekend. Two excavators will be on display!

glxp: @Regolith_Chal cool! Hopefully a couple of #GLXP teams will be there as well. Be sure to stop by and say hi.

@bonnova (Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge team): Building Lauryad 2.

@glxp: Just had great discussions with @BobXPF and @PeterDiamandis about a #GLXP education initiative that you guys will LOVE. I am psyched.

@glxp: Just found out another #GLXP team has joined Twitter.... welcome @ARCAspace

@cswiki: Major new addition to CSWiki. Added folder "COMPANIES - Suborbital Vehicles" w/5 company pages now, more to come.

Three of the companies in the new CSWiki folder are/were (depending on what Masten Space Systems decides) Lunar Lander Challenge teams:

Armadillo Aerospace
Masten Space Systems
Unreasonable Rocket

Update: NASA IPP Events - May 30-31, 2009: Maker Faire, San Mateo, CA Started in San Mateo, California in 2006, the do it yourself (DIY) festival Maker Faire has since expanded to Austin and is the premier event for grassroots American innovation. IPP will have an exhibit featuring opportunities for innovators to help address NASA's needs through Centennial Challenges.

Since there will be so many participants involved with space prizes at Maker Faire - in addition to the ones above, I'll repeat this one -

@fitzwillie (Editor of Spent my lunch on the phone with LEGO, Google, and the Lunar X-Prize folks. Something cool is brewing. More at @makerfaire in two weeks!

here's the Maker Faire twitter: @makerfaire

Exciting lineup of talks and demos at Maker Faire - Here's an example:

Esther Dyson, daughter of Freeman Dyson and a technology analyst and investor, will talk about her fascination with space. Esther recently completed a five-month training as a cosmonaut in Star City, Russia, just outside of Moscow. She'll talk about her own experience training as well as her interests in the private space industry. Her talk, "What's a nice lady like you doing in (a) space like this?", will be Saturday at 1pm on Stage A.

There's a lot more of interest in the schedule. Here are just a few excerpts, mostly in fields where there are prizes I've covered:

11:00 AM - 11:30 AM Stage A
Amateur Rocketry and Amateur Radio in the Black Rock Desert Kevin Weiler What's it like to join two hundred rocket enthusiasts for three days in the middle of North America's largest desert playa as they put the finishing touches on their rockets and then send them off into the upper atmosphere on pillars of fire? And where does amateur radio fit into all this? Join Kevin Weiler, K6XXX, as he gives a close-up look at some of the temporary but rocket-crazy denizens of the Black Rock Desert. To see additional interesting things you can do with ham radio, go see the Foothills Amateur Radio Society booth at the Faire!

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM West Lot
Rocket Launch LUNAR Rocket Club Build and fly a real model rocket with the LUNAR Rocket Club! Visit our booth and see small, medium, and large model rockets. Talk with expert rocketeers about how easy and fun model rocketry is. Find out how model rocketry gives you a wonderful, rich experience in broad areas for everyone from ages 4 to 104. The sky is the limit!

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM Stage A
SETI@home Dan Werthimer Are We Alone? Chief SETI@home scientist Dan Werthimer will discuss the possibility of life in the universe, and how you can create the possibility of your computer detecting the first signal from a civilization beyond Earth.

6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Stage A
DIY Drones Chris Anderson , Jordi Munoz Making low-cost autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles, from planes to blimps.

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Screening Room
Mousetrap to Mars - Rube Goldberg Documentary Scott Bailey & Dave Vacanti Go behind the scenes of one of the world's most unique competitions -- The Rube Goldberg Machine Contest -- in which teams of engineers design and build overly complex contraptions that ultimately perform very simple tasks. Follow the teams of quirky characters in this fascinating and often hilarious documentary as they strive for imperfection and an appearance on late night TV.

FIRST LEGO League - Youth Robotics Learn and watch LEGO Mindstorms robots built by local youth. The autonomous robots will solve this year's FIRST LEGO League Game Challenge called, "Climate Connections"
Redwood 412

FIRST Tech Challenge -- Youth Robotics Learn and watch Tetrix robots built by local youths. The robots will solve this year's FIRST Tech Challenge Game, called "FACE OFF!" Demo robots will be available for you to try!
Redwood 413

Google SketchUp Google SketchUp is software that you can use to create 3D models of anything you like. We will be showing how to build models and add them to Google Earth.

Plug-In Hybrid Car Conversions The California Cars Initiative's fifth Maker Faire appearance turns a Prius into a 100+MPG plug-in hybrid by adding batteries and electronic systems. We're partnering with a company selling conversion systems, 3Prong Power, and local volunteer advocates. Plus we're explaining the next big thing: Conversions of large internal combustion gas-guzzlers.
Sequioa 614

Tesla Motors, Tesla Roadster San Carlos, California-based Tesla Motors Inc. makes electric vehicles with exceptional design, performance and efficiency, while conforming to all North American and European safety, environmental and durability standards. The Roadster has a 0-to-60 mph acceleration of 3.9 seconds yet is more energy efficient than a Toyota Prius. Tesla expects to begin producing the all-electric, zero-emission Model S sedan in late 2011.

Underwater Robotics (ROV) Jesuit High School is introducing high school students and individuals to the world of underwater robotics.
West Gate Grass J

AeroPac High Power Rocketry We are the association of experimental rocketry of the Pacific. We have many large rockets on display as well as video and printed material. We have a hands on visible rocket and rocket motor as well as having "dummy" propellant grains. We have various construction components as well as rockets in various stages of development. Demos of rocket design software as well as doing static burns of some high power rocket motors out in the parking lot while working hand-in-hand with the LUNAR group and its model rocket launches.
Fiesta Hall Rocket Room

DNA Spirit This exhibit will demonstrate a variety of ways to use hands-on model building to understand and appreciate the beauty of the DNA double helix structure, which encodes the complete genetic makeup of an individual. All models can be built in a short period of time using LEGO, knitting tools and cardboard.