Thursday, March 29, 2012

Prize Roundup: Tricorder Prize guidelines, Heinlein Centennial Retrospective, Gerst on Zero Robotics, Finer Rockets, Space Awards, Innovation Summit, more

This is supposed to be another catch-up post, but it turns out that most of it is fairly new, considering the time span of the gap I'm filling in.  I still plan one more catch-up post.  That will be on aviation prizes.

Competition Guidelines Are Live! - Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE - This is a draft version, and it's available for comments.

Here's a detailed, personal review recently posted by the Heinlein Society of the 2007 Heinlein Centennial, including some prize-related content such as a Heinlein Prize Trust presentation and a talk by Peter Diamandis:

Heinlein Centennial – Day One
Heinlein Centennial – Day Two
Heinlein Centennial – Day Three
Heinlein Centennial – Day Last +1

Statement of William H. Gerstenmaier Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations National Aeronautics and Space Administration before the Committee on Science, Space and Technology U. S. House of Representatives (PDF) - This includes a section on the Zero Robotics SPHERES Challenge competitions.

Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge - The start date was March 28 (yesterday), and it continues through April.

Rockets - Iain Finer keeps us up to date on 100kft Carmack Prize and other rocket work on the new blog The Sky Is No Longer The Limit.

Stephen Hawking Accepts Prestigious NSS Award on Society's 25th Anniversary - National Space Society Blog

NASA's Twitter Account Receives Award - NASA Watch

International Space Apps Challenge - NASA Watch

National Air and Space Museum’s Trophy Awarded to Burt Rutan and the Cassini-Huygens Flight Team - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

2012 JSETEC is in the works - The Space Elevator Blog - JSETEC stands for the Japan Space Elevator Technical and Engineering Competition.

The 2012 Conrad Foundation Innovation Summit Schedule of Activities at NASA Ames covered the aerospace part of the competition today.  That includes finalist presentations, a chat with Naveen Jain (one of the founders of Google Lunar X PRIZE team Moon Express), talks by Pete Worden and Rusty Schweickart, and more.  Friday is Clean Energy Day, and Saturday is Health and Nutrition Day.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

More Catching Up: Google Lunar X PRIZE Roundup

In my previous post, I mentioned some news from Google Lunar X PRIZE teams Phoenicia and Rocket City Space Pioneers.  This post will continue with some of the other teams in an attempt to catch up after I had a month and a half without posting.  I won't attempt the monumental job of covering all of the updates from all of the teams over that time period (some of the reasons I missed a month and a half of posts are still in effect!); see the Google Lunar X PRIZE team blogs page for that.

Nick from Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration has a series of fun posts at the Lunar and Planetary Science Institute's MyMoon on the Google Lunar X PRIZE team styles, complete with American Idol style judges:


Project at Carnegie Mellon is to put a robot on moon - The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports on a delay in Astrobotic's plans to accommodate a more ambitious mission - to the lunar south pole in search of resources like water and methane ice.

Can we colonise the Moon? - Cosmos Magazine includes Naveen Jain of Moon Express in this opinion piece on Australia's lunar policy.

SXSW Recap - Google Lunar X PRIZE Staff Blog

Barcelona Moon Team presents its team with the incorporation of China Great Wall Industry Corporation as a launch provider - Barcelona Moon Team Blog - One implication is that there will be no American components on their mission.

Reaching for the Moon - Moon Express Blog

New Website! - Omega Envoy Blog


Team FREDNET Wins NASA Task Order in $10 Million Lunar Landing Contract - Team FREDNET Blog

Astrobotic Technology Wins New Task in $10 Million Lunar Landing Contract - Astrobotic Blog

NASA Awards Moon Express New Task in $10M Commercial Lunar Data Contract - Moon Express Blog

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Space Access '12: A Conference Warmup Roundup

After a long break from posting on Space Prizes, my post backlog is a bit too huge to handle all in one post, so I plan to do some "roundup with a theme" posts.  This post's theme is the Space Access '12 Conference.  It's a good time for this theme, since the Space Show's lineup for this week includes Henry Vanderbilt, who will discuss the 2012 Space Access Society meeting on the radio show today.  The conference itself is scheduled to start April 12.  Many of the presenters at this conference are, or have been, involved with various space prizes (the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge being a prominent example).  Let's take a look at what some of this year's presenters with space prize backgrounds have been up to lately, borrowing heading links straight out of the Space Access '12 agenda.

Altius Space Machines, Jon Goff

New Moonandback Interviews - Altius Space Machines

Armadillo Aerospace

Second Flight of Stiga - Armadillo Aerospace gives a detailed and entertaining description of the flight and subsequent shovel-less shovel recovery.  The post ends with a hint about what to expect next from the team.
More on Armadillo STIG-A flight - RLV News
Florida team pursues Carmack Prize - RLV News
Briefs: Latest ATREX launch target; Project Ursa aims for Carmack Prize - RLV News
NASA selects expt. payloads for commercial suborbital flights - RLV News (This one is relevant to both Armadillo Aerospace and Masten Space Systems) 

Lasermotive, Jordin Kare

LaserMotive: Working the paths at the DoD - LaserMotive
LaserMotive Marks Five Years Pioneering Wireless Power Technology - LaserMotive
Student Science Fair Project Studying Power Beaming - LaserMotive

LaserMotive is also mentioned briefly in this Space Elevator Blog post: JSETEC ‘11

Masten Space, Dave Masten

Why Precision Landing? - Masten Space Systems
Masten's Xaero extended hover test - RLV News
SpaceUp San Diego review - RLV News - This includes a talk by Dave Masten.
Masten Xaero free flight - RLV News
Draper flies Masten's Zombie with GENIE guidance system - RLV News
Masten Space's XEUS lunar lander system - RLV News
Briefs: More on Xombie & Draper; Steve Brody pt. 3 - RLV News
Briefs: Q&A with Masten Space; Alaskan rocket launch - RLV News
Masten's Xaero did 61m free flight on Feb.17th - RLV News

Tim Pickens, Rocket City Space Pioneers GLXP Project

Fourth Graders Name Rocket City Space Pioneers' Lander "Spirit of Alabama" - Rocket City Space Pioneers Blog
Rocket City Space Pioneers Team Member Participates in Electric Car Competition - Rocket City Space Pioneers Blog

Team Phoenicia, Will Baird

Team Phoenicia Wins $1 Million Contract - Team Phoenicia announces an arrangement with Nova Rocketcraft, which is interested in the Nanosatellite Launch Challenge.
Team JURBAN Selects Team Phoenicia Engines for GLXP Lander - Team Phoenicia

You can also see a number of recent rocket test videos and component pictures at the Phoenicia blog.

Team Phoenicia set up the Nanosatellite Launch Challenge seminars.  One of the teams, Vog Rockets, links to one of Phoenicia's seminar recordings in this post: The Team Phoenicia/Techshop Nanosat Launcher Seminar Video: Vog Rockets 

Speedup, Robert Steinke 

Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, Sara Meschberger

2nd Annual SEDS High-Powered Rocketry Competition Announcement - SEDS

Unreasonable Rocket, Paul Breed

Quick Update... - Unreasonable Rocket - This post covers a lot of ground, including a possible "show and tell" topic at the SA '12 conference.
Ideas about business and a request for feedback... - Unreasonable Rocket