Thursday, June 25, 2009

Prize Roundup - June 24-25, 2009

@Regolith_Chal - NASA press release on new agreement with NASA Ames:

From the Ames Research Center press release:

NASA today announced that it has signed an agreement with the California Space Authority, Inc., (CSA) to collaborate on participatory science and public outreach using a simulated lunar surface environment.

Under the terms of a Space Act Agreement, CSA will establish an office at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., in NASA Research Park. This fall, NASA Ames and CSA, along with its sister organization, the California Space Education and Workforce Institute, will host the Regolith Excavation Challenge, a prize competition focused on developing improved lunar regolith handling technologies.

So long, and thanks for all the Moonpies - The Launch Pad - Mike Fabio is leaving the X PRIZE Foundation.

Announcing the 19th Team in the Google Lunar X PRIZE: Part-Time-Scientists - The Launch Pad

Links: Muggers Caught, Tehran Imagery, Ocean Celebration, UNHCR Donation - Google Earth Blog - The prize part of this is in the Ocean Celebration section, which includes awards won by the "Ocean in Google Earth" team:

Bring Back the Beach benefit dinner - Heal the Bay
Ocean Conservation Awards Gala - Aquarium of the Pacific

NAs Live TV - Nebula Aerospace

@fineri - - Initial sounding rocket layout,looked alot smaller on Rocksim compared to this view on solidworks!

@odysseymoon - Michael Doornbos interviewed Bob Richards about Odyssey Moon yesterday for his Evadot podcast series:

@OmegaEnvoy - Check out the latest press release and movie by 4Frontiers Corp. on our Expedition Arctic: .

@ - RT @marckboucher: Updates for NASA Power Beaming Challenge available at [delayed to late July/early August]

Note: The recent plan was for the games to start on July 14. From

The Space Elevator games have been delayed until at least the last week of July or first week of August. The games could be further delayed as technical and safety issues are being worked out in dry runs. Stay tuned.

IIIT-H launches into the future, practically - LiveMint - The “scientists” are students of the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad, or IIIT-H. And they are working on a trial launch of Mission Gaganyaan, which in 2009 became the first and only Indian entry to CanSat ...

KCC's places fifth in national competition - Kapi'o - Students on the KCC CanSat team competed with 24 other teams at the annual CanSat Competition in Amarillo, Texas from June 10 to 14. ... KCC was the only community college team to launch its satellite.

id Software, home of rocketeer John Carmack, is acquired - RLV News

Funding for Centennial Challenges threatened - RLV News

Senate doesn’t follow House lead on exploration cuts - Space Politics - Also unclear is the fate of some smaller programs, like Centennial Challenges and related innovation efforts that are feared to be on the chopping block despite their small ($20 million) price tag.

Note that the Centennial Challenges part of that set of programs is even smaller - $4 million - in the Administration's budget proposal. The whole set is probably one of the most productive parts of NASA, in my opinion - and the whole bunch is only about 1/10 of 1% of the NASA budget.

Here are some upcoming robot contests:

2nd International Autonomous Robotics Competiton - June 27 - 28, 2009, San Diego County Fairgrounds - A video explains how the competition is set up. Roomba's seem to be popular platforms for the "maze" and "desert" contests. I'm not sure I followed how to use NetBeans and a Java API to program the robot, though.

8th Annual MATE International ROV Competition - "The Next Generation of Submarine Rescue Systems - Massachusetts Maritime Academy -Buzzards Bay, MA - June 24-26, 2009

2009 Global Conference on Educational Robotics™ - Leesburg, VA - July 1st to July 5th - This includes conference sessions, the International Botball Tournament, and the Beyond Botball Tournament (Botball for college students and adults).

UK Micromouse 2009 - ThinkTank, Birmingham - Saturday, June 27

RoboCup 2009 - Stadthalle Graz, Austria - June 29 - July 5 - After Atlanta, USA and Suzhou, China RoboCup will be back in Europe in 2009. RoboCup, the largest and most important event for intelligent and autonomous robots, will take place 2009 in Austria for the first time. Since 1997 RoboCup has been the frontier of research in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Pushing forward the boundaries of what robots are able to do is a major driving force of RoboCup.