Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nanosatellite Launch Challenge Draft Rules: Comments and Excerpts of Interest

Space Florida has released the draft rules (PDF) for the Nanosatellite Launch Challenge.  Current comments (PDF) from the interested public, including some who you may know, are also available.  Citizens in Space notes a part of the draft rules that allows systems that were designed or developed by a government, but considers that not to be a real problem for those who want to encourage private design and development since governments haven't been much interested in nanosatellite launchers.  I will also note the following excerpt from the rules that makes it even less likely to be a problem from that perspective:

Teams using Launch Vehicles based on U.S. Government or foreign government designs must certify to SFSSRC that these designs are available to all other competitors, and their vehicles will be available for commercial launch operations after the Challenge.

As mentioned in an earlier post, the total prize purse has been increased to $3M, spread across 3 potential awards.  In the area of prize funding, I also think the following section is interesting:

The SFSSRC, in cooperation with other Challenge sponsors, may offer Bonus Prizes to incentivize additional activities associated with the Challenge objectives. Initial Bonus Prizes are listed below. Other Bonus Prizes may be added before the Challenge is expired.
7.2.1 Space Florida will provide an additional $______ cash prize to a Team that wins the Challenge by staging both of its winning Challenge Launch Attempts from Florida. This includes the use of Cape Canaveral Spaceport or the Cecil Field Spaceport as a launch base for expendable or reusable Launch Vehicles, or as an integration site for Launch Vehicles carried aloft for air-launch.