Saturday, March 06, 2010

Weekend Twitter Space Prize Roundup

Here's a stack of tweets I gathered over the last week or so, interspersed with a few comments.

@InnoCentiveCEO: NEw $20K NASA Challenge: Coordination of Sensor Swarms for Extraterrestrial Research Very cool!

The deadline on that new NASA InnoCentive competition is April 26. From the challenge overview:

... but a much more revolutionary idea is the concept of Sensor Swarming, where the swarm itself exhibits ’emergent behavior’ or ’intelligence’. This Challenge asks solvers to develop and simulate a high performing sensor swarm coordinate protocol.

Check InnoCentive's NASA Innovation Pavilion to keep up to date on all of their NASA challenges.

InnoCentive has many other innovation competitions. Here's one:

@InnoCentiveCEO: New $100K Competition: Predictive Data Analysis Teams Eligible!

@jetlab: Watch Students Compete Using Lego Robotics: Watch school teams test their software-enabled Lego robots via a...

This is on the Southern California NASA Explorer Schools Robotics Competition, part of FIRST. The competition will be held on Tuesday at JPL.

@glxp: Anousheh Ansari's new memoir, "My Dream of Stars", is now available on Amazon:

Here's a look back at the NASA Centennial Challenge recognition ceremony:

@Doug_Comstock: Check out images of all winning teams and allied organizations from last week's CC recognition event.

... and here's a 3-tweets-for-one collection from the winner of the 2009 Beam Power Centennial Challenge, showing that they're looking into business applications for their technology:

@LaserMotive: Tom is heading to San Diego today for a UAV conference. Power beaming could enable 'eternal' UAVs.

Here's the UAV conference website:

Day one of the UAV conference went well. Tom spoke to a number of people about power beaming for UAVs, and they were very interested.

The neXt PRIZE blog has been active lately. This brings our attention to the most recent post there:

@Pomerantz: A new blog post my from colleagues in Prize Development: "PRIZE Development - Where It All Begins..." #XPRIZE

The post compares the X PRIZEs to X CHALLENGEs:

... An X CHALLENGE, on the other hand, is a prize of up to $2.5M, awarded for solving a well-defined technical problem that has no clear path to a solution or is perceived as difficult. Unlike an X PRIZE, which seeks to stimulate or catalyze an entire market (including the social and regulatory aspects of that market), an X CHALLENGE seeks to produce a breakthrough technological or behavioral solution to a specific market need.

I'm sure most of you have seen this news:

@Odyssey_Moon: Odyssey_Moon Chief Scientist Paul Spudis says >1.3 trillion lbs of water at Moon's north pole @GLXP

The mass isn't the only consideration. Here's a comment from Dr. Spudis at NASA Watch:

The ice we're seeing is nearly pure and is located within the interiors of craters with diameters of 2-15 km. It's at least a couple meters thick, with maybe 50 cm of dry regolith on top of it.

To a mining engineer, it's almost the perfect ore body.

Dr. Spudis gives more details here: Ice at the north pole of the Moon - The Once and Future Moon (Air and Space Smithsonian Magazine)

Here are some updates from a couple of N Prize teams (Team Prometheus is also participating with Team FREDNET in the Google Lunar X PRIZE):

@TeamPrometheus: We have aquired a 24' Box Truck for Missiom Control.

@ValkyrieFed: We will be at the Montreal Twestival, March 25th, at the Bain Mathieu!

The next few tweets show what some of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge teams are doing after the competition:

@unrocket: Have to build new tethers and cat pack, then fly blue ball again. Hoped to be ready for FAR on the 6th, now thinking 20th, taking my time.

@glxp: - The @unrocket folks are here with Blue! Here is the venue #spaceup

This video made me think that maybe Masten Space Systems should have taken the name of one of their NG-LLC competitors, SpeedUp:

@wikkit: Two hours of work in two minutes: taking apart #ngllc winning rocket Xoie in December:

@wikkit: The sexy aeroshell design I came up with didn't survive today's analysis. This whole having an atomsphere thing, it's tricky.

The link in the following tweet is to a COSMIC LOG article, "Inventors take the prize", that covers the Lemelson-MIT Collegiate Student Prize Program:

@Pomerantz: I'm partial to incentive prizes, but the other kind work well, too! (via @b0yle)

@Eurospaceward: Abstracts due May 15 for the newly announced Pearson and Artsutanov SE Prizes, paper deadline July 1, 2010. Contest details:

Here are more details from the ISEC Prizes page:

ISEC has created these prizes to foster research about topics related to building a Space Elevator. ... The Pearson Prize is open to all college undergraduate students currently enrolled in a two or four year undergraduate curriculum. Papers submitted for the Pearson prize must have a specific theme as its topic. For 2010, this theme is "Space Debris Mitigation". ... The Artsutanov prize is open to all entrants and papers can be on any space-elevator related subject.

The winner of the Pearson Prize will win a cash award of $1,500 while the winner of the Artsutanov Prize will win a cash award of $2,500. In addition, the winners (one per paper in case of multiple authors of a single paper) will be invited to the 2010 Space Elevator Conference to present their papers and to receive their award. ISEC will reimburse the winner's travel and hotel expenses ...