Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Prize Roundup: GLXP Roundup Restart, Nanosat Challenge, Water Rockets, More

The $3M Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge run by Space Florida has been issuing frequent updates recently.  Here are some of them:

Weekly Update 7.6.2012 - on a logo contest that is now over (see the winner on their main page)
Blog Comment by Jacob Chancery - looking for a team to help
Weekly Update 6.11.2012 - update on rules, team forum, and judges - The forum doesn't have a lot of activity (yet?), but it has started with posts from Microlaunchers and Team Prometheus, among others.

Discover the Future of Space Exploration with X PRIZE Founder Peter Diamandis - Omaze:

Conrad Foundation News - July Newsletter, 2012 - Spirit of Innovation Challenge

24 hour Water Bottle rocket challenge - NASASpaceFlight.com topic, including a video, on an attempt to break the record for most water rockets launched globally in 24 hours

GOOGLE LUNAR X PRIZE ROUNDUP #3 - Nick Azer at MyMoonSpace brings back the GLXP roundup series, starting the counting at 1, presumably because it's at MyMoonSpace and not Lunar C/I

Not Science Fiction, Science Reality, in the Palm of Your Hand - Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE blog

Nokia Sensing X CHALLENGE - Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE blog

Changing the Conversation about the Economic Development of the Moon - Dennis Wingo features the COTS approach and prizes in this discussion.

Annual Space Elevator Conference Set for August 25-27 - Space Elevator Reference - This is at the Museum of Flight, and includes competitions like RoboQuest for kids and the Strong Tether NASA Centennial Challenge

International rocket challenge nets silver for U.S. teens - USA Today

@unrocket: Making larger canards for guided rocket test.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

ArduSat, Southern Stars and SkyCube

I'd like to continue the story I started in my post about NanoSatisfi, ArduSat, and Prizes.  In my previous follow-up, I noted that they had reached $82,453, exceeding their second goal of $75,000 which would add capability such as another CubeSat.  Now their Kickstarter campaign is done, and they've reached $106,330, which is quite a bit more than the baseline level to fund the project.

In their latest update, they point out another Kickstarter campaign for a CubeSat: SkyCube: The First Satellite Launched by You!  SkyCube is a project of Tim DeBenedictis and Southern Stars. They are looking for $82,500 to fund the SkyCube, and so far are up to $10,344.  Here is their summary of SkyCube: 

A nano-satellite that lets you take Earth images and "tweet" from space, then inflates a visible balloon, and de-orbits cleanly.

 They plan to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket using payload integration services of Spaceflight Services.  You can find more about the SkyCube project at the above links and at SkyCube Project Status.  This tells more of their story, including a substantial sponsorship and the following item about competitions that fits nicely with the Space Prizes theme: 

We're pleased to announce that Southern Stars and SkyCube won 2nd place at the Life 3.0 forum sponsored by Funders and Founders on May 31st, 2012, out of 25 startups competing before a panel of venture capitalists!

ArduSat is also excited about their fellow CubeSat Kickstarter team because 

What is great for us is that they will build an iPhone App to show simple data from SkyCube and - drumroll – ArduSat!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Prize Roundup: Night Rover Update, International Rocketry, Jobs Prize, More

An X PRIZE for Jobs: Can We Radically Reinvent How We Create, Finance and Find Jobs in America? - Huffington Post - Peter Diamandis asks "what would your rules be for an X PRIZE intended to incentivize new ways to create, finance and find Jobs in America?"  You can answer at Design Your Own Jobs X PRIZE.

Hiring Entrepreneurs, Not Employees: Incentive Prizes Foster Disruptive Innovations - Forbes

French Students Win 2012 International Rocketry Challenge - AIA

The Night Rover Challenge website has gotten an overhaul.  Here are some blog posts and upcoming events from them:

The Future is a Funny Thing, or Why I wanted to launch the Night Rover Challenge - Joshua Neubert
Welcome to the Youth Ambassador Program - Shannon and Mikayla
Challenge America Summit: Public Forum - October 19-20, San Francisco - The panel includes Anousheh Ansari, Cristin Dorgelo (currently Assistant Director for Grand Challenges at the OSTP), and other prominent figures.

Videos: "Why Explore Space?" - Space for All

Ex-Google VIP Joins Private Moon Race Team - Space.com

Comic-Con fan gets Lynx ride via Warner Brothers and The Big Bang Theory - RLV News

Successful 48+ Hour Laser-Powered UAS Demonstration - LaserMotive

Here's a short twitter conversation that may be of interest: 

@FRCteam348: you guys should announce next years challenges soon! Don't you know some people look forward to these things!?!  

@NASAPrize: Patience :) Won't be long now!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Crowdfunding Space Prize Teams

As I mentioned in my previous post, NanoSatisfi is funding a cubesat project with a number of prize aspects with a Kickstarter project.  By the time of that post, they had already achieved their original funding goal, and were attempting to reach $75,000 by their deadline of July 15 for additional satellite capabilities (possibly a pair of separate cubesats or a single 2CU cubesat).  This is just an update to note that they are now up to $82,453, and thus have reached their second funding goal.  Here's an update from them on what that means: Update #8: We are deeply humbled and inspired by you!.

During the Climber/Beam Power NASA Centennial Challenge, I often covered the Kansas City Space Pirates team, one of the most prominent teams in that competition.  Now the KCSP team is moving on to a new record-breaking challenge, to keep a small plane flying for 48 hours using beamed laser power, in the spirit of what Climber team LaserMotive achieved.  They are using an Indiegogo Fundraiser to raise funding for this project.  As of this writing, they are at $2,442 with a goal of $6,000.  Here is the actual fundraising page: Dawn of Laser Powered Flight.

Google Lunar X PRIZE team Omega Envoy is using Kickstarter to raise funds for a CNC milling machine: Earthrise Space Inc. Launches Kickstarter Project - Omega Envoy GLXP Teams page.  They have quite a way to go to reach their goal of $200,000.  Many of the funding rewards involve scale models of their lunar rover made using the CNC machine, but the biggest reward, for $10,000 or more pledged, includes having your DNA taken to the Moon.  Naturally that last bit assumes they succeed in getting their rover to the Moon.  Even if they don't, the highest pledge level includes a lot of other unique rewards.  Here is the Kickstarter page: Student Built Lunar Rover Prototype for Google Lunar X PRIZE.  This is also covered at PopSci: For $10,000 on Kickstarter, Google Lunar X-Prize Contender Will Land Your DNA on the Moon.

Final Frontier Design's spacesuit kickstart a success - RLV News on a Kickstarter success for one of the winners of the Astronaut Glove NASA Centennial Challenge