Saturday, May 28, 2011

Prize Roundup: OSIRIS-REx, 8-Band Research, CanSat, Mars Rover Challenge, More

NASA has selected the OSIRIS-REx mission to examine asteroid 1999 RQ36 and to bring a sample of it back to Earth as its next New Frontier mission.  The Planetary Society plans to be involved with the mission, including running some contests: 

As stated in the OSIRIS-REx Concept Study Report, Planetary Society "publishes OSIRIS-REx scientist- and engineer-authored articles; creates radio stories and holds interviews with OSIRS-REx personnel; collects names to be imprinted on a microchip and flown to RQ36 and back; runs the contest to name RQ36; holds a Planetfest at the time of asteroid sampling; and features images of RQ36 on the Planetary Society web site, and runs a 'choose your favorite OSIRIS-REx image' contest." 

The latest Space News has an article about DigitalGlobe's 8-Band Research Challenge, which encourages researchers to find new ways to use the data products of DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 satellite 

in topics such as Land Use/Land Cover, environmental monitoring, coastal habitat mapping, feature extraction and mapping, natural resource mapping and monitoring, or other related disciplines. 

The winning papers are now compiled here (large PDF).

It's a big time of the year for student competitions!  The @Lunabotics competition continues later this morning, the Mar's Society 2011 University Rover Challenge will be held from June 2-4 at the Mars Desert Research Station, and the 2011 CanSat Competition in Texas is planned for June 10-12. Mapping Dark Matter - NASA Watch - Also see the SpaceHack page.

Update May 29:

Laurentian students win NASA Lunabotics - CBC News

Draft Rules Available for Review! - Sample Return Robot Challenge (WPI)