Tuesday, November 30, 2010

But Different

You've probably seen the classic video:


Well, the sequel, from QuantumG, has a prize theme:

I'm ok with the prize, as long as it stipulates that the winner has to fly a really big rocket.  Now that I think about it, why don't we have a prize for building a really, really big rocket instead?

All that payload nonsense?  I don't care.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Prize Roundup: Pongsats, Masten Updates, ISEC Honorable Mention, NW Startup, More

Here are some updates from the last week or so:

Pongsat contest for Sacramento students - Space for All

LaserMotive To Present at NW Startup DEMO - LaserMotive

ISEC awards its second “Honorable Mention” for the 2010 Artsutanov Prize - The Space Elevator Blog

Some thoughts on an orbital launcher - Unreasonable Rocket

We Snuck in Business Week! - Team Phoenicia

Popular Science’s Best of What’s New for 2010: Xombie - Masten Space Systems

Masten Space Systems and Space Florida Sign Letter of Intent - Masten Space Systems

There's a discussion on the letter of intent with a few more details at the NASASpaceflight.com Masten Space Systems Update page.  There's also a promise of more Masten updates:

We'll have a couple updates on the vehicle currently undergoing integration testing and some staffing updates (we're growing!) soon...

Competitions Galore: And the Winner Is... - The Huffington Post

@TeamPrometheus: Motor casings got sent to wrong address! Delay until we can get some more sent from U.S. Rockets. Not Jerry's... http://fb.me/OkSMeEPT

Students: Real World Design, Thatcher Environmental Research, Spirit of Innovation, Space Sports Competitions

Spirit of Innovation Awards - Check out the aerospace exploration, cyber security, and clean energy competition launch message from the Conrad Foundation, with information on a deadline extension, Webinar sessions, and more.

The Oregon Space Grant Consortium Educational Resources Blog's Competitions section has updates on a number of student competitions.  Here are some example competitions mentioned recently there:

2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest

From the massive Gulf oil spill to the continued decline of Arctic sea ice, satellites and other observing instruments have proved crucial this year in monitoring the many environmental changes -- both natural and human-induced -- occurring on global, regional and local scales.

The 2011 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, sponsored by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, challenges high school students (grades 9-12) to conduct innovative research on our changing planet using the latest geospatial tools and data ...

Eligible geospatial tools and data include satellite remote sensing, aerial photography, geographic information systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS).

Teaching From Space: Spaced Out Sports Design Challenge - NASA Stennis Space Center:

“Spaced Out Sports” is a national student design challenge geared toward grades 5-8.  The purpose is for students to apply Newton’s Laws of Motion by designing or redesigning a game for International Space Station (ISS) astronauts to play in space. ... The top three (3) teams' games will be played on the ISS and recorded for a future broadcast.

Real World Design Challenge - Here's information on the 2010-2011 Challenge (PDF):

The challenge is to design the exterior geometry and internal structure of an airliner wing using aeroelastic tailoring methods to minimize the objective function by varying specified design variables without violating constraints.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Prize Roundup: SOIA Announcements, Sparkfun, Etsy Vote, Zooniverse Award, Nanosats, Rice Business Plan Competition, more

Texas Astronomical Society General Meeting - The University of Texas at Dallas - Comet Calendar:

This month our speaker will be  Neil Milburn, VP of Program Management, Armadillo Aerospace

There's more information at the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas.

Google Lunar X PRIZE Roundup #37 - Luna C/I

Video of Laser-Powered Quadrocopter Endurance Flight - LaserMotive

Here's information about the 2011 Rice University Business Plan Competition. This year's event includes many prizes including the following space-specific ones:
  • $50,000 NASA “Game Changer” Commercial Space Innovation Prize
  • $20,000 NASA Earth/Space Life Science Innovation Prize
  • $20,000 NASA Earth/Science Engineering Innovation Prize
  • $15,000 Heinlein Prize Trust Space Commercialization Prize
@unrocket: Ready to test...drive out dislodged stuff in oxidizer tank (unused 2 yrs) substance unknown there fore. Unsafe no test today 8hr drive!!!
@ FLspacereport: Florida non-profit group offering suborbital flight to prize winner. http://bit.ly/dmF8Qo

@MichaelBelfiore: Nanosats: has the time come? http://bit.ly/dsRdIc

@Etsy: 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF! Voting is now open for your fave semi-finalist from @NASA + @ETSY's Space Craft Contest! http://www.etsy.com/nasa

@TeamPrometheus: Sparkfun just agreed to sponsor Team Prometheus! http://fb.me/M2oIvy0C
@NASA_Lunar: Congrats to the Zooniverse (home of @moonzoo) for winning the Physics.org President's Prize People's Choice award! http://bit.ly/aS4dL7

@ConradAwards: SOIA Important Announcements - http://eepurl.com/bAeKD

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Prize Roundup: Unreasonable Prize Plans, Government Prize Forum, Kiwi2Space Engine Test, More

Team Phoenicia/Techshop Nanosat Launcher Challenge Seminar Presentations - Team Phoenicia - I'm updating the links on the right in the "NanoSat Launch Sites and Teams" section to point to this.

Ways to save the world... and more Rockets - Unreasonable Rocket comments on the Nanosatellite Launcher Challenge Seminar, Unreasonable plans for that challenge, Unreasonable weekend plans, and Lawrenceville Plasma Physics.  Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge team SpeedUp's President Bob Steinke is on the LPP team.

This was tweeted yesterday:

@NASAPrize: At Potomac Forum on Govt use of prizes and challenges at Williar Hotel in DC, talking about NASA's prize challenges

Here's more information on yesterday's forum:

Implementing OMB Guidance on the Use of Challenges and Prizes to Promote Innovative, Accountable and Open Government - Potomacforum.org

Updated information for EuSEC - Europe’s first Space Elevator Challenge - The Space Elevator Blog

Check out the new look:

@dmasten: Getting close to flight test. http://twitpic.com/35y1ws

More progress. http://twitpic.com/3608vk

More About That Second Contract - Jon Goff at Altius Space Systems

@fineri: Pictures of the engine test here: http://picasaweb.google.com/kiwi2space/RATTWorksL600PolyurethaneFuelTest#

Polyurethane hybrid fuel test carried out tonight, video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unuiuBln3yU

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Prize Roundup: Robo-Ops Challenge, Sagan Essay, NSS Podcast, Armadillo Burst Guess

@nss: Check out this podcast just released by incoming NSS Public Affairs VP Lynne Zielinski on student competitions: http://bit.ly/co7wrB

@NASA_Ames: @NASAKepler + @SETIInstitute have posted all Sagan Essay finalists. What's your fav? Winner announced 11/9! http://bit.ly/dncERX

@wikkit: (1/2) Tomorrow we burst the first 48" tank. Guess burst pressure, win Armadillo shirt sz XL and patch. Guesses to wikkit@gmail.com, in PSIG.
(2/2) Sheet is Al 5059-H136, 0.25", spun to 24" internal radius by AMS, TIG welded together. Burst at ambient temp. Hint: http://is.gd/gSIz2
NASA/NIA to Sponsor Student Planetary Rover Challenge - SpaceRef:

NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace or NIA in Hampton, Va., have launched a new planetary rover engineering competition called Exploration Robo-Ops Student Challenge.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Prize Roundup: Nanosat Seminar, Earth Science Contest, Challenge.gov at Google, more

@EarthPic: Earth Science in Action Classroom Contest Winners announced. Congrats and thanks to all who entered! http://bit.ly/c13I3m

@ConradAwards: Students...Want to learn more about the Spirit of Innovation Awards? http://ow.ly/36o8u
@ChallengeGov: Excited for this morning's #ChallengeGov event at @Google DC. Thanks to @WebManagerU & @AdCouncil for co-sponsoring! 

If you check the ChallengeGov twitter link above, you'll see several pages of tweets about the event.  NASA's Jeff Davis represents the space field.

iGEM 2010 ~ Synthetic Biology Design Challenge! - Maximizing Progress

KCSP Closure party - The Space Elevator Blog participates in the Kansas City Space Pirates send-off:

So, what does KCSP have in store for the future?  I’m going to leave that for a blog update on their part.  Suffice it to say that they have new challenges they are taking on, but they are staying close and true to their robotic roots.

Nanosat launcher seminar update - RLV News

Briefs: Astrobotic update; Lunar city design contest - RLV News

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Prize Roundup: Nanosat Launcher Seminar, Starting a Startup, Micro-G Challenge, More

@LunaCI: Google Lunar X PRIZE Roundup #36: http://bit.ly/cJFux6 The GLXP loses a leader, but his dream lives on...

Here's more about the Nanosat Launcher Challenge Seminar, which is scheduled to take place today:

@rocketrepreneur: After a nice full 12hr day at the Altius office, I made the drive out to DIA, on my way to the Nanosat LV Seminar tomorrow.

@NASAPrize: Going to Nano-Sat Launch Challenge seminar at Tech Shop in Menlo Park, CA on Saturday. See http://techshop.ws/Upcoming_Events.html

Team Phoenicia/Techshop Nanosat Launcher Seminar: Final Update - Team Phoenicia

If you can't go, don't forget this from an earlier Team Phoenicia post:

We will be posting the Nanosat Launcher Challenge Seminar presentations on youtube to the Team Phoenicia channel.

@ISS_Research: 1/3 NASA’s seeks proposal submissions from 5th-8th graders for 2011 Kids in Micro-g challenge, due 12/8.

2/3 The crew will perform winning experiments onboard ISS: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/nlab/experimentchallenge.html
3/3 To learn more about entering the 2011 challenge, contact the ISS Payloads Office at jsc-iss-payloads-helpline@mail.nasa.gov.

Five Control Loops - Jon Goff at Altius Space Systems shows what it's like to juggle multiple jobs in the processing of starting a new space business.

@ikluft: 1 yr ago: 1st place in Lunar Lander #XPrize awarded to @MastenSpace on Capitol Hill. My pics: http://is.gd/gJO4I #newspace

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Prize Roundup: Nanosat Launch Seminar, Centennial Winners Keep Going, ZeroG Pictures, More

As the Nanosatellite Launch Challenge Seminar this weekend approaches, the news continues:

Team Phoenicia/Techshop Nanosat Launcher Challenge Seminar: Gathering Questions - Team Phoenicia:

The FAA-AST has asked Team Phoenicia to gather questions that the community would like answered for their part of the challenge.

Nanosat Launcher Challenge Seminar: Agenda Change (11/1/10) - Team Phoenicia

Getting closer - Vog Rockets

@TeamPrometheus - Getting ready to go to the conference for the NASA Centennial Challenge Nanosat contest! Go! Team Prometheus!

Several past Centennial Challenge winners are keeping themselves in the spotlight.  LaserMotive is getting a lot of press and staying active:

@LaserMotive: Regardless of how our pitch is received, I overcame my mental glitches and delivered a good presentation today.

Copter sets a laser-powered record - Cosmic Log

Laser-Powered Helicopter Breaks Records, Is Pretty Cute - Discover

Nov 2nd Update: Joining “The Vault” - Altius Space Machines

NASA’s Quest to Send a Robot to the Moon - The New York Times features Armadillo Aerospace in part of this article.

@paulsrobotics: Moonraker will be dropping the first puck this Friday @ Worcester Sharks! Buy tix through me to support FRC190. Check out the #omgrobots

Of course there's plenty of prize news from other sources, too:

@GoZeroG: 2010 Weightless Photo Competition http://conta.cc/aBapiz via #constantcontact

@sedsusa: The SEDS-USA Video Contest is finished. Thanks to everyone who submitted! Comment on your favorites - http://bit.ly/c6nNxe

CPM TV Pre-Launch Test Phase Begins - Synergy Moon on Google Lunar X PRIZE Teams page

@arielwaldman: Science Hack Day SF is looking for prizes and/or sponsors! Anyone able to help? http://sf.sciencehackday.com/