Sunday, March 20, 2011

Space Conferences

Here's some information about upcoming space conferences, including some comments about space prizes and other topics.

International Space Development Conference 2011 - May 18-22, Huntsville, Alabama - This conference includes workshops on ISS Payload Integration, Commercial Crew and Cargo, and Space Launch System Mission Development.  As in past ISDCs, the NASA Space Settlement Contest winners will be honored.  There will be a Google Lunar X PRIZE Plenary, and 4 teams have already signed up.  The conference includes numerous speakers, exhibits, tours, and other activities.

ISSMars-DC Conference - April 6-7, George Washington University (DC) - ExploreMars, the group organizing the Mars Education Challenge and the ISRU Challenge, will investigate how the ISS can help lay the foundation for exploration.  Numerous prominent speakers such as NASA Administrator Charles Bolden are on the schedule.  Themes include use of the ISS as a Mars analog, an exploration technology development and demonstration platform, a market for commercial services that can later help exploration, and as a governance model for international exploration missions.

Civil Commercial Imagery Evaluation Workshop - March 29-31 - Boulder, Colorado - I noticed this conference about the time the 2011 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, which prominently featured the services of several prize-related teams, was in session.  While pleased with the advances that the 2011 NSRC demonstrated, I couldn't help thinking that they won't really have made it until these services are featured in more traditional conferences like this commercial remote sensing evaluation workshop.  The agenda includes government evaluation of commercial satellite imagery, sensors, and aerial remote sensing.  There is a gap between the commercial air photo and satellite remote sensing services, but can the commercial suborbital industry fill it?  

Space Access '11 - April 7-9, Phoenix, Arizona - This conference can be counted on to feature prizes, prize teams, and other facets of entrepreneurial space access.  Some teams with past, current, or likely future involvement with space prizes that are on the Space Access '11 schedule include Altius Space Machines, Armadillo Aerospace, KC Space Pirates, Masten Space Systems, Team Prometheus, SpeedUp, and Unreasonable Rocket.  FAA AST is also there; their 2012 budget proposal includes funding for a space access prize.

Smallsat (25th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites) - August 8-11 - Logan, Utah - I can never quite convince myself which is more exciting, the progress being made in small space access systems, or the progress being made in small satellites.  As usual, there will be a Student Scholarship Competition at the conference.

Reinventing Space 2011 - May 2-6, Los Angeles, California - This used to be called Responsive Space.  Now the emphasis isn't just on Operationally Responsive Space, but on Low-Cost ORS.  I guess I've always assumed that ORS is impossible without low cost.  This conference includes student presentations by award winners.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nanosat Mission Ideas, Wild Card Winner, FIRST, TARC Kit, More

March Madness -- Moonbuggy-style - NASA Great Moonbuggy Race Blog

Estes releases new Team America parts assortment packs - Rocketry Planet

Google Lunar X PRIZE Roundup #42 - Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration

Students Compete in Lego Robotics Challenge at JPL - Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Robotics ingenuity on the spot: FIRST competition draws student teams to WPI -

New chief executive officer for space company - on Odyssey Moon

Conrad Foundation announces first ever Wild Card Invitation Winner - Conrad Foundation

EuSEC - Looking for a few good teams… - The Space Elevator Blog

There’s an app for that! - The Space Elevator Blog

Economist: Beam it up - The Space Elevator Reference

@LaserMotive: LaserMotive will be pitching to the Space Angels Network March 31st in LA and Palo Alto:

@ac_charania: 1st Nano-sat Constellation Mission Idea Contest, 1st place: Integrated Meteorological/Precise Positioning Mission

Here's the Nano-satellite Constellation Mission Idea Contest site where you can find out more about the winners and other finalists.  In addition to prize money and publication, the finalists were invited to present at the 2nd Nano-Satellite Symposium in Tokyo.  The rest of that symposium has been canceled because of effects of the recent earthquake, but per A.C. Charania's tweets, a second Nanosat Constellation Mission Idea Contest is planned for 2012.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Prize Roundup: Prize Report, Electric Aircraft, LLC Pad, GLXP Panel, FAA Prize, Nanosat Launch Partner, More

The 2011 CAFE Foundation Electric Aircraft Symposium - CAFE Foundation - One of the presentations on the preliminary program is for 

Larry Ford, Vice President, CAFE Foundation, DEBUT: The Amazing Aircraft of the 2011 CAFE Green Flight Challenge

The X PRIZE Foundation lists several open job opportunities, including one for the Senior Director, Google Lunar X PRIZE.


Managing Innovation Prizes in Government - IBM Center for The Business of Government

Spurring Innovation via Contests and Prizes -

Air Force Launches Open Innovation Pavilion - Open Government Initiative (The White House)

FAA Seeks Funding for New Space Prize - Space News

Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge partner needed - RLV News

The robots in Google's race to the moon - New Scientist

@LunarPioneer: LROC announces The Moon and Me K-12 Art Challenge #LPSC42

@ISDC: We're featuring a panel with Google Lunar X Prize teams for our Saturday plenary...

@ikluft: Photo by @Rocket_Flyer of weeds growing in Lunar Lander Challenge launch/landing pad in #Mojave

@sedsusa: The SEDS 2011 High-Powered Rocketry Competition is under way! Contact info and full rules and details can be found at

Also see SEDS 2011 High-Powered Rocketry Competition.

@TeamPrometheus: Here is the kickstart link! Wish us luck and pledge if you can! If we dont make our goal we get nothing and you...

Friday, March 04, 2011

Prize Roundup: FAA Space Access Prize? Space Elevator, ISDC, NSRC Student Prize, More

FAA 2012 budget proposal includes space access prize - Space Politics

Here are 3 updates that mix in some other topics with information about competitions with a Space Elevator theme:

An oldie but goodie… - The Space Elevator Blog

Call for Papers for the 2011 Space Elevator Conference - The Space Elevator Reference

Moving Forward In March - LaserMotive

Need your help: A GLXP Panel at International Space Development Conference (ISDC 2011) - Evadot

Allure From Afar: 1st Prize Student Essay at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, 2011 - SpaceRef

NASA recruiting sponsors for new high-tech competitions - Network World / Layer 8

The following RLV News set includes a number of Armadillo and Unreasonable Rocket updates:

Briefs: Paul Breed interview Pt.2; Stig at sunset; REL update
Briefs: Blue Origin article; Stig + team; CSF hails NSRC
Packing up Stig
Briefs: Unreasonable interview; Andrews Space gets Reusable Booster study contract
Armadillo nosecone/parachute deployment test video
NSRC 2011: Monday afternoon - Suborbital provider session
Armadillo video of the Tube Rocket preparations

Contest by Make Magazine, Teachers in Space, and NASA

NASA Launches 2011 Nationwide Technology Space Competition for Education - NASA

Make Magazine Helps Develop Space Science Kits for Education - The Space Frontier Foundation

NASA MAKE Challenge - Make: Online

Make: Challenge Experiemental Science Kits for Space - Make Magazine blog:

Our first challenge is to develop inexpensive science kits that can be built in a classroom and sent on-board suborbital flights to conduct experiments. The experiments must fit within a Cubesat ... The winner of the NASA MAKE Challenge will be honored at this year’s Bay Area Maker Faire, and the winning kit project will be featured in MAKE magazine.