It's the time of year for full-year roundups. Here are some featuring space prize teams in the mix:
13 Stories in 2010 that defined space exploration - Evadot
My 2010 Review - QuantumG's blog shows an evolving view of space possibilities.
A review of NewSpace developments in 2010 - RLV News
It's also the time of year for predictions about next year:
Predictions for 2011 - NASASpaceFlight.com - In the mix, Jon Goff follows up last year's accurate predictions with another set that features some predictions in the areas of prizes and prize teams. For example:
At least three new Centennial Challenges will be announced, with at least one of them regarding small payload return from ISS or propellant depots.
NASA has considered prizes in both areas (for an example from several years ago, see slide pages 18 and 20 here (PDF)), so that's certainly a possibility. Small, and hopefully frequent, ISS payload return could be a good (although potentially quite ambitious, depending on the rules) prize subject considering the expected increased activity and 2020+ lifetime for the ISS, potential commercial space growth in areas like space stations that may increase the market for things like small lab sample returns, and the need to go after affordable return capabilities to match affordable launch encouraged by efforts like the Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge. Propellant depot and similar technology is also important for many areas like satellite servicing, in-space ISRU markets, and ambitious exploration missions. Of course there are many other great subjects for space prizes, so we'll have to wait to see what NASA comes up with before we see how accurate those predictions are!