Friday, July 24, 2009

The Next Few Days

I'll be travelling for a few days, so posting will be light, or perhaps stopped. I do expect to do some swimming, but I won't be at the shore depicted by this Panoramio honorable mention from March. The link includes all of the winners from that month, and as usual you can expand the pictures or drill down to the satellite/air photo imagery in Google Earth or Google Maps to see where they were taken. By the way, this one was not taken from the surface of Titan.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Space Prize Roundup: July 23, 2009: More Beam Power Tests, Newspace 2009 Video, Diamandis on I2I, Dutch Cansat, Astrobotic Heat, Conrad Sci Advisor

The news continues from the Space Elevator Games preparation and dry run week:

From the University of Alberta Space Elevator Racing Team:

Qualifications: Day 1
Qualifications: Day 2

... and from the Space Elevator Blog:

We're now live
King of the Road

The main event isn't far away ... August 5.

'incentive2innovate' (i2i) Conference Review - Peter Diamandis looks back at the I2I conference.

I ran across this interesting YouTube video: Team 9 QuADes - Dutch CanSat Competition - perspex chassis - When Team Quades was selected to participate in the Dutch CanSat-competition I saw the possibility to give my hobby, experimenting with 3d sofware, a purpose.What started as a fun pastime has grown into a enormous project. It took about 450 hours to build this animation and approx. 900 (!) hours of rendering.

team QuADes - I don't speak Dutch, but rocket hardware and obvious teamwork are spoken in a universal language.

Video from the Google Lunar X PRIZE Panel at NewSpace 2009 - Team Frednet at the Google Lunar X PRIZE Teams site offers video of a panel featuring a number of teams.

The countdown's on for humans to return to moon - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - This features Red Whittaker and David Gump from Astrobotic ...
Oakland firm refines rover designed to land on lunar soil, win $20M - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - ... and so does this: What's special about this prototype, said Astrobotic spokesman David Gump, is that it should be able to withstand the intense heat a lunar day exerts.

This is from an email mailing list notification from the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards:

The Conrad Foundation today announced Sigma Xi as the official Science Advisor of the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards. Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, will assist the Conrad Foundation by providing scientific guidance and mentorship to high school teams competing in the annual awards program.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Space Elevator Games Testing and Preparation

A lot of Space Elevator Games preparation activity has been taking place:

@segames - In the crew brief now - it's truly amazing how complicated this has become.
Getting ready for the next crew briefing - Everyone is here.

Lasing operations are done for the day. I talked to the NASA laser safety guy and he said that the USST testing went well.

The helicopter just arrived for tomorrow's testing.

Just finished going through the next review of Contingency and Go/No-Go procedures. They're getting pretty polished.

The official word - we're down to 4 teams. NSS, U Mich & McGill could not get everything ready so they will not be competing this year.

Ready for Day 2 of testing - Round 2.

Laser testing is done for the day. USST had the lion's share of the time and reported that all went well.

USST & KCSP are out on the lakebed doing laser tests. USST is assembling their climber now for more testing Wed and Thu.

Alberta team is here, but there equipment is not (yet). Should be here later today.

Status meeting went well - very professionally done. There are some issues, but mostly procedural.

Waiting for an 8:00am status meeting.

From the Space Elevator Blog:

Day 2 - Miscellaneous coolness
The University of Alberta Space Elevator Racing Team (UASERT)
Down to 4…
Right angle turns in mid-air
USST is here…

From the Space Elevator Games:

This Week’s Preview
Monday Summary

By the way, the 1st Japan Space Elevator Technical & Engineering Competition (JSETEC) isn't that far away - early August.

Prize Roundup - July 21-22, 2009: Flickr Moon, Lunar Lander and Lunar X PRIZE Updates, More Google Moon, NASA Lunar Science Forum, Aerial Robotics

New design overcomes intense lunar heat -David Gump, Astrobotic Technology - Is this related to the IPP Seed Fund award for CMU, Astrobotic, and LM?

International Aerial Robotics Competition - July 20-24, at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayag├╝ez

Check @nlsi - NASA Lunar Science Institute. I think I need to add it to the Twitter list. Here are some other tweats from the NLSI NLSI Lunar Science Forum:

@Regolith_Chal - Thanks @pomerantz for the shout out during your presentation during the @nlsi Lunar Science Forum! #lunarsci09

@Pomerantz - #GLXP team leader @Bob_Richards teases the announcement going out in the few hours--another new customer! Kudos!

3 Months to go and beyond. - Unreasonable Rocket ponders the 2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge deadline, and next year's challenge:

What happens after 2009? If the any of the 180 second prizes are un-won we will obviously attempt that. Beyond that we want to work toward a reusable sub-orbital vehicle.

NG-LLC update - RLV News
Armadillo Methane/LOX untethered flight - RLV News

@glxp - The X PRIZE Foundation is now a member of the Next Step in Space coalition!

More random moon stuff! The MyMoon Flickr contest: (thx @NLSI)

If you aren't already, check @Pomerantz and @glxp for lots more news.

Explore the moon in Google Earth - The Official Google Blog (posted by Anousheh Ansari)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Apollo 11 Landing Anniversary, Google Lunar X PRIZE, and Google Earth/Moon

Tour the Moon in Google Earth - The Launch Pad -

As you explore this new software package, we hope you’ll also take the Google Lunar X PRIZE tour. Simply download this file to your computer and open it the new Google Earth, and you’ll be whisked away on a tour of the lunar surface with X PRIZE Founder Peter Diamandis and with X PRIZE Trustee and second generation astronaut Richard Garriott. They will use the software to imagine what we’ll all be watching in the near future, projecting the preliminary designs published by our teams onto the lunar surface. This tour is a rough draft, and will be revised and updated as often as possible to give you the best information about this new race back to the Moon.

The Google Earth Blog is covering the overall release in detail:

More on Moon in Google Earth - ... Google put on a really slick media event here today. Having Buzz Aldrin, Andrew Chaiken, and Anousheh Ansari help promote the new Moon features was awesome. ...
Look at the Moon in Google Earth - Available Now!
What if the Eagle Landed on Earth? - pre-announcement

While we're at the Google Earth Blog, I'd like to point out the following contest news:

Links: Google Moon Monday, Tax Evasion, Panoramio Winners, Canada Wins - Here are the prize items extracted from that post:

Panoramioa winners - The May winners of the monthly Panoramio photo contest have been announced.

Canada Wins National Geographic Contest - In the world championship of National Geographic's geography contest, Canada came in first place. US was 2nd place, and Poland 3rd.

By the way, the picture for this post is one of the Panoramio contest honorable mentions.

@Pomerantz from the X PRIZE Foundation has a detailed stream of tweats on the Google Moon unveiling.

@SoldTheMoon (David Gump) - For Pittsburgh fans, Channels 2 and 4 will have features tonight on the third prototype of the lunar rover; Tribune-Review story hits tmw.

@Bob_Richards - Odyssey Moon is a proud member of the NextStepInSpace coalition for commercial spaceflight

Some journeys change mankind forever. Louis Vuitton Moon Odyssey campaign by Odyssey Moon partner WPP

@ARCAspace - GOOD NEWS: ARCA will launch the first Romanian object in space in September! More info to come. :)

@interorbital - Comment on the 40th from Randa and others:

@OmegaEnvoy - Today at 3pm @jasontweets will talk about the project then a live Q&A with FMARS crew at KSC Training Auditorium. #GLXP

@teamfrednet - The interview with our team on The Space Show is now available for download: #GLXP

@Regolith_Chal - Moonfest exceeded all expectations! @NLSI Stopped the traffic (literally). Booth was mobbed all day. Amazing demand for Lunar Exploration.

NewSpace 2009: Monday - Morning Session - Part 2 - RLV News - This includes the Google Lunar X PRIZE panel moderated by Nicole Jordan. Next Giant Leap, Synergy Moon, FREDNET, and Odyssey Moon were on the panel.

"Moon 2.0" Inspiring the Next Generation of Lunar Explorers - The Huffington Post (Larry Page and Peter Diamandis) - link from the X PRIZE Foundation news scroller:

We believe the time is ripe for private industry to assist in creating a new era of sustainable, international lunar exploration -- a "Moon 2.0." If the first version of mankind's journey to the Moon was about flags and footprints, Moon 2.0 is focused on a new standard of sustained participatory exploration and the expansion of new markets and economic opportunities. ... The Google Lunar X PRIZE is our solution to that problem.

Peter Diamandis: Key to Lunar Frontier in Private Hands - - ... the fact of the matter is private industry should be providing the transportation. NASA should be saying 'we'll pay $20 million per seat to orbit, and we will buy 200 seats a year.' ...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

NASA Ames Prize Roundup - July 17-18, 2009: NewSpace, Moonfest, Lunar Science Forum, Propellant Depots, Masten, Isle of Man

NASA Ames to Host Variety of Events During Moon Week - SpaceRef press release

The events include:

NewSpace 2009
Moonfest 2009
July 20: ... a live broadcast of a NASA Headquarters news briefing with astronauts from the Apollo program
July 20: ... join students of the 2009 International Space University (ISU) Space Studies Program for an International Astronaut Panel
NASA 2009 Lunar Science Forum (July 21-23)

NewSpace 2009 is happening now. I'm not there, but I made up for it today with a nice 23 mile bike ride, a good restaurant lunch, a family afternoon at a lake swimming and having fun, a 3 mile nature walk around the lake, and another bike ride (repeating the nature walk on fast forward). That's about 2 weeks of activity for me compressed into 1 day. Not only that, but I have a chance to go to EAA Airventure as part of another trip, although with the schedule I have to work with I'll probably miss VMS EVE.

I've already posted prize-related items on the NewSpace 2009 agenda; here are notes from RLV News from the actual first day:

NewSpace 2009: Saturday - Afternoon Session - Part 2 - This includes:
Orbital Fuel Depots: Fueling the Frontier
Jon Goff - Masten System - Moderator

NewSpace 2009: Saturday - Afternoon Session - Part 1 - This one includes
Space and Isle of Man
Bob Richards

Dave Masten, Masten Space Systems

Here are some prize and award plans for the NASA 2009 Lunar Science Forum:

DAY 1 Tuesday, July 21, 2009
4:20-4:40 Robert (Bob) Richards, Founder & CEO of Odyssey Moon Limited, Odyssey Moon: Preparing for Moon 2.0
4:40-5:00 William Pomerantz, Senior Director, Space Prizes, X PRIZE Foundation, "The Google Lunar X PRIZE"

6:00-7:30PM SHOEMAKER Award, David Morrison Presenting, Don Wilhelms Speaking

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lunar Prize Roundup - July 16, 2009: Astrobotic Seed Fund, BFD Regolith, Masten Picture, Lunar Pads, Futron, Odyssey Partners, Envoy Vidcast

It's all about the Moon today, given the Apollo 11 launch anniversary:

@Doug_Comstock - Innovations for Space Station research are being pursued through nine new Seed Fund public-private partnerships.

FY 09 Seed Fund Awards (PDF) - - Carnegie Mellon University , Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Astrobotic Technology get an award for "Thermal Management For Lunar Surface Systems". - RT: @wikkit: Masten Space Systems fall internship application deadline is in 10 days!
RT @
wikkit: pic Ken Brown of @mastenspace loads LOX on XA0.1B rocket, WK2 touch&go in bg
Masten Space flight 12 in
#Mojave today was test of auto-land software, necessary step to get rid of the tether
RT @
ikluft: Masten Space completed another vertical take-off/landing rocket tethered hover flight test in #mojave today, details coming

July 10, 2009 Beach Test - BFD (Big Freewheeling Digger) - I'm glad they clarified what the acronym stands for, because for a second there I thought ... anyway, I didn't know about the BFD site, so I didn't mention some posts in June:

beach day
Preparing for the 2009 Regolith Excavaction Challenge
2008 competition results

Spaceport America Installs Lunar Lander Launch Pads - Press Release from Spaceport America

Study Predicts $1.5 Billion Market for Commercial Lunar Services over Next Decade - The Launch Pad

Pomerantz - RT @Bob_Richards: Odyssey Moon is proud to welcome a powerhouse of new partners to its commercial lunar venture

OmegaEnvoy - Be sure not to miss tonight's @Spacevidcast with our very own @Jasontweets, 10pmEDT 2amUTC

New words for first Moon step win lunar meteorite - Space for All

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Falcon 1 Launch, GLXP Updates, Unreasonable Progress, Bridge and Seasteading Designs, ISPCS Spaceport America Tour, Beam Power, Supersonic Designs

The Launch Pad from the X PRIZE Foundation features some big news:

Congratulations, SpaceX - This covers the first successful Falcon 1 launch with a customer satellite, as well as the possible implications for Google Lunar X PRIZE teams looking for a ride.
Caution: May Cause Drooling - This includes the first untethered Unreasonable Rocket test flight, Omega Envoy Devon Island testing, and FREDNET Nanosat work.

RLV News has much more on the Falcon 1 and Unreasonable stories, most recently including:

Unreasonable untethered rocket videos
RazakSAT satellite is working; Falcon I launch comments

In the Going to FAR post (I still like that title!), there were 4 Unreasonable projects on the agenda, and first free flight was the 2nd part of the 3rd item in the priority list. Does this mean that all those earlier projects were also finished on this trip as well?

Links: New GE Enterprise, My Location, Fossett Crash Report, Bridge Winners - Google Earth Blog - Here's the prize part of that post on amazing bridge models combined with satellite imagery:

3D Bridge Winners - Google has announced the winners of their build a 3D bridge contest. Watch an HD Video of the winning bridges.

2009 Competition Results - Google SketchUp

Although this contest didn't require Google SketchUp, it did recommend it:

Seasteading ~ "Float Cities" Design Competition!
- Maximizing Progress
Seastead Design Contest: Winning Entries The Seasteading Institute

Interestingly, the International Symposium on Personal and Commercial Spaceflight has a "Hard Hat" tour of Spaceport America scheduled for Friday, October 23.

NASA Names College Winners in Supersonic Design Contest - SpaceRef

From the Space Elevator Blog:

The human side of the Games
Team LaserMotive

@segames - New testing and Games schedule now posted at More coming soon!

Status Update - The Space Elevator Games

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Quick Lunar Prize Roundup - July 11-12, 2009: Regolith Challenge, Ames MoonFest, NeutrinoFest, GLXP Updates

@Regolith_Chal - We will be exhibiting at the Moonfest event at NASA Ames on July 19. for event details.

NewSpace 2009 attendees: Note the MoonFest date and location. Here are some of the exhibitors:

Small Spacecraft Division, NASA Ames Research Center
Regolith Excavation Challenge - Information about the upcoming Regolith Excavation Challenge to take place at the NASA Research Park on October 16 and 17. Will make efforts to have an excavator on display. Will also seek to have a JSC-1A lunar regolith simulant sample on static display.

A Look at The 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge - Luna C/I

@OmegaEnvoy - Our project has consisted of moving a mountain one stone at a time. Today we'll move a boulder as we control out rover in the arctic! #GLXP

Getting @OE_Rover online in arctic. Pretty cool, just tested camera controls. #GLXP

RT @OE_Rover Systems are coming online slowly. Here's a pic before getting in the hab

@teamfrednet - Twitter special: Sneak preview of Picorover thermal tests with Joshua's cat as guest star: #GLXP

We've got a new team fan page on Facebook: - still a WIP but you can already join!

@NextGiantLeap - Just got back from "Neutrino Day" Met Tom Durkin of the SD Space Grant Consortium there, synchronicity!

Neutrino Day is a festival associated with the in-progress Sanford Underground Laboratory at the Homestake (former gold) mine in the Black Hills.

@Bob_Richards - Really enjoying the beauty of my home planet today. Preparing for a big week on the Odyssey Moon front.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Unreasonable FAR Plans

I'm going to have visitors for the next few days, so it's likely that I won't be posting, or that posting will be lighter than usual.

Going to FAR - Unreasonable Rocket - I don't think it would be going too far to say a lot of interesting things are planned for this trip. For starters, it's always good to see teams doing customer work as they try to win competitions.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Prize Roundup - July 9, 2009: FunDay, DOE, Singularity U, Zero-G, Google Earth, Diamandis Scholarship

Blogging strategies for non-profits in Boston - Boston Nonprofit Business Examiner (Jean Levasseur) - Friday Funday at The Launch Pad is used as an example of how to engage your audience and get them coming back regularly for more.

@PeterDiamandis - Tonight Singuarllity U is having an awesome panel on "Humanity's Grandest Challenges" at NASA Ames. 2 Noble Laureate & Larry Brilliant speak

The Students of ISU & SU (@singularityu) have secured a Zero-G flight for this Saturday. 4 seats remaining!! Anyone else want to go?

Great meetings with our friends at DOE about Progressive Auto X PRIZE -- Met with Cathy Zoi, John Lushetsky and John Shore. Great progress!!

Up at 5am (ouch), just landed in DC. Off to meet with friend Billy Tauzin (PhRMA) then on to DOE. Great summer day in nation's capital.

great X PRIZE dinner hosted by legend Bob Metcalfe @ his beautiful backbay home. goal to support XPLab@MIT. THX Bob!

@jeff_foust - Got an invite overnight from Google for "a very special announcement about the newest addition to Google Earth" on July 20 in DC.

Speakers include Buzz Aldrin, Anousheh Ansari, Andrew Chaikin, and "senior" NAItalicSA officials. That, plus the date, suggest it's Moon-related.

The obvious prize connection here is in the speaker list. Here's a Google Moon twitter account and its Bio (on the twitter list):

GoogleMoon - Something truly out of this world is coming, you WILL want to follow us...Promise. Clue - Facebook, Twitter & The Moon

The Google Earth Blog has a post on this: Google Earth Event on July 20th in DC - Expect the Moon

Here's more from the Google Earth Blog:

The picture for this post, which you can take as one loaded with religious symbolism, space symbolism, or simply as a starkly beautiful picture, is one of the winners from this contest (from the above link):

Panoramio April Photo Contest Winners - Check out the winners of the April photo contest from Panoramio. The winners get prizes of photo geotagging tools from the sponsor ATP.

@nickyjor - RT @SGAC: Apply today for the Peter Diamandis Scholarship to win a trip to South Korea for SGC'09

This one isn't about a prize or award, but it's an interesting question from Leroy Chiao:

@AstroDude - Can/Should we shrink Orion to crew of 4, 4m base?

Heinlein Nexus

I was at the Heinlein Centennial 2 years ago. In addition to Heinlein's work, this event featured prizes and space businesses. I just got an email on the 2 year anniversary of that date (07/07/07). The email promoted the Heinlein Nexus.

Here's the first newsletter:

This newsletter, the first of what we hope will be many, commemorates three significant events: The 102nd anniversary of Robert Heinlein's birth, the 40th anniversary of humanity's first footstep on another world, and the public unveiling of Heinlein Nexus.

One of those subjects is, alas, gone — but his legacies remain with us and must be cherished.
The second subject is but the promise of a shining moment, unfulfilled four decades later. That
must be corrected.
The third subject is about the future of both... and more. Welcome to the new worldwide Heinlein community!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Prize Roundup - July 7-8, 2009 (Part 2): HSF Question, DIME and WING, SpeedUp and KC Pirate Updates, NewSpace Agenda, UTS Wins, FMARS

From @NASA_HSF: Here's a question on the HSF Committee website that deserves some thoughtful responses:

Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Committee - Current Topic For Public Comment - To what extent should NASA rely on the private sector for human space flight-related products and services? (Closes July 24th)

One commenter starts with: Keep makeing X-Prizes ...

@Pomerantz - Middle School & High School students in the US: Want to do experiments in microgravity? (Please spread the word)

The link from Will Pomerantz is on the NASA Drop Tower Competition for Student Teams at NASA Glenn Research Center. The 2 components are "DIME" and "WING": "Dropping In a Microgravity Environment" and "What If No Gravity".

DIME Program Announcement (PDF)
WING Program Announcement (PDF)
DIME & WING Educators Resource Guide (PDF)
Experiment Design Requirements (PDF)

KC Space Pirates status report - Space Elevator Blog

@jeff_foust - What happened to the space elevator track at NewSpace 2009 next Friday? Was on the agenda yesterday, but not today:

There are more details on the NewSpace 2009 agenda than I saw the last time I checked. Here are a few involving people or events with prize connections - an updated look at something I posted about recently.

Saturday, July 18th
12:30-1:30pm VidVision Contest Lunch
2:15-2:55pm Orbital Fuel Depots: Fueling the Frontier - Jon Goff, Bernard Kutter, Dallas Bienhoff
3:15-4:00pm Suborbital Point-to-Point: Going Places or Taking Us for a Ride? - Paul Damphousse, Kelvin Coleman, A.C. Charania, Chuck Lauer, Randall Clauge

Sunday, July 19th
9:00-11:45am Business plan competition
11:45-12:00pm Isle of Man Presentation - Bob Richards

1:00-2:00pm NewSpace Policy: Accelerating development or picking winners? - Ken Davidian, Jim Muncy, Bruce Pittman, Doug Comstock
4:00-5:00pm NewSpace Case Studies- The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat - Ecliptic Enterprises, MirCorp, Masten Space System

Monday, July 20th
9:25-10:20am The Google Lunar X-Prize: A Look Into the Entrepreneurial Future - Nicole Jordan, Fred Bourgeois, Bob Richards, Kevin Myrick, Randa Milliron, Mike Joyce

Speedup "Hybrid Ignition Test" - RLV News
Briefs: Ribbon fuel contest results; Space prize roundup - RLV News

Tampa Space Program News Examiner - FMARS 2009 Crew Employing Google Lunar X-Prize Rover and Other Advanced Systems

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Prize Roundup - July 7-8, 2009:LRO Video, McKinsey, Explorers Journal, Singularity U

This week marks the launch of a new University... - The neXt Prize - Peter Diamandis introduces Singularity University.

Audio interview with Peter Diamandis - McKinsey & Company (What Matters site)

Prizes: a winning strategy for innovation - McKinsey & Company

@Regolith_Chal - Who WOULDN'T want to dig a big hole on the Moon? It's like a giant sandbox waiting for castles.

The link is to a YouTube video of the "Flyover of the First Images from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera".

Google Lunar X PRIZE Featured in Explorers Journal - The Launch Pad - The X PRIZE folks have a sneak preview linked.

The ... is connected to the ... - Unreasonable Rocket

Monday, July 06, 2009

Prize Roundup: July 4-6, 2009 - Astrobotic in RegEx, Multiple Lunar Lander Challenge Updates, More NewSpace 2009 Prize Activity

Astrobotic creates robot to win NASA Moon excavation competition - Astrobotic Technology, Inc (press release) -

Astrobotic Technology Inc. announced today that it has begun testing a robot designed to win a NASA competition for excavating simulated Moon dirt. ... The Astrobotic robot, developed in collaboration with the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, is about a yard on each side and two feet tall, with a laser scanner at its crown to measure distances inside the 13 ft by 13 ft competition area.

Here's the Moon Diggers site. It includes some video of their robot Sandra. You can see where Sandra got her name. It's a good name; I called my cat Sandy (officially "Sandstorm") because of her fur colors, fast wind-like movement, and paws that would get in my eyes like sand when she wanted me to wake up.

There are a bunch of Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge updates to report:

Unreasonable update - RLV News

TrueZer0 reports that Scott Zeeb will be working at Scaled Composites.

Tales from the Melting Pot: Scott Zeeb to Scaled Composites - The Launch Pad uses Scott's move as an opportunity to discuss the collaborative spirit and cross-pollination of many innovation prize teams.

Long hover flight by Armadillo vehicle - RLV News

In my previous post, I pointed out as many prize-related events at NewSpace 2009 as I could find. I already see that I missed one:

VidVision Contest Lunch - Saturday, July 18. Event will offer opportunity to support the 2010 VidVision Contest & view/discuss last year's winning videos

Space Elevator Day - Space Elevator Blog - This goes into more detail on the theme of one of the days at the conference.

@NextGiantLeap - @glxp Just sent in our NewSpace Heinlein BP... and finished making travel arrangements.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Prize Roundup: July 2-3, 2009 (Part 2) - Rocket Racing Financing, Masten LLC Plans, MiniSpaceWorld, NewSpace 2009 & Prizes, Prometheus Update, SF

The picture is from the NSS Space Settlement art calendar - July. Notice the flag - and related to that, I'll be celebrating the July 4th holiday tomorrow, so you get 2 prize roundups for the price of one today.

Masten Space tests - RLV News - This includes videos of recent tests and a note about Masten plans with respect to the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

Rocket Racing League Closes Multi-Million Dollar Financing - MarketWire press release:

The Rocket Racing League® today announced the closing of a $5.5 million dollar financing round, ensuring the next phase of development of the league. It also announced the appointment of a new President & CEO and the commencement of manufacturing activities for its next generation Rocket Racer®. ... July 2009 also marks the kick-off of the manufacture of the League's next generation Rocket Racer, an advanced design based upon the current ships already built, flown and FAA-certified in 2008, in a collaborative partnership with Armadillo Aerospace of Rockwall, Texas and Velocity, Inc., of Sebastian, Florida.

MiniSpaceWorld Design Contest - This is a new competition entry in SpaceHack:

The MSW Design Contest is a contest open for participants worldwide about imagining various parts of MiniSpaceWorld, a lively scale model exhibit about spaceflight and astronomy. Participants shall create a high-level content design including a theme description, map and graphical representations.

Here's a link to the MiniSpaceWorld contest itself: MiniSpaceWorld Design Contest - Overview

Sturgeon & Campbell Winners - Science Fiction Awards Watch
Locus Award Winners - Science Fiction Awards Watch

Here are some of the NewSpace 2009 events and speakers related to space prizes and awards:

A.C. Charania
Ken Davidian
Peter Diamandis
Art Dula
Jonathan Goff
Nicole Jordan
Michael Mealling
Bob Richards
Paul Spudis

Friday, July 17th: Space Elevator Day (including a session specifically on "Spaceward and the Elevator Games")

Monday, July 20th: GLXP Discussion (presumably with some of the above speakers with connections to the Google Lunar X PRIZE)

Heinlein Business Plan Competition
Finalists Selected for the Heinlein NewSpace Business Plan Competition - As I mentioned in an earlier post, this includes teams in, or with history in, other space prize competitions. I mentioned Flagsuit, LLC and Next Giant Leap. I didn't mention Aeronautic Enterprises because I didn't know about them, but this should give a hint: -

Aeronautic Enterprises/ Team Prometheus made the finals of the New Space Fronter Foundations Business Plan competition ... We will be launching a large rocket on the 11th and I will go to the NASA AMES Reasearch center for the New Space Convention 2009 on the 16th ...

Team Prometheus has been posting a lot more than that. Here are some. Don't be intimidated by the number of posts because most are short, a lot of it is imagery, and it's all iteresting.

Prize Roundup: July 2-3, 2009 - RegEx Comm Link, I2I, Win Ads, Masten Tests, Space Drink, SCAG Asteroid Deadline, Entrepreneur DEMOs, Nanotech Talk

Telerobotic Communications Link Update - Regolith Excavation Challenge - ... CSEWI will now be providing the portion of the communications link that will generate the required delay.

@Pomerantz - 2 entrepreneurs who announce their companies / products at the "DEMO" conference will win $1M worth of advertising:

Forbes video from the X PRIZE's recent i2i conference, part of their "America's Most Promising Companies" series:

From RLV News:

Briefs: UK space tourism; Guinness space tourism prize;
Briefs: Masten tests; British rocket test facilities refurbished
Briefs: Chartered Soyuz update; Tethered Armadillo - This reminds me of a scene out of "Terminator Salvation", but ...

Move An Asteroid 2009 Competition - I've posted on the competition itself already, but this stresses the deadline (July 26, 2009).

NANO-WIZARD TAKES THE PRIZE - Cosmic Log - I also mentioned this recently, but the linked post/interview/video go well beyond that. Also see A Nanotech Pioneer - Transterrestrial Musings.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

TARC Rules!

CONTEST RULES FOR 2010 - Team America Rocketry Challenge - While the flight goal remains flying an egg to a precise altitude (825 feet this year) and duration, the teams this year will be required to use a completely different type of recovery device to return the egg and altimeter: a streamer rather than a parachute.

Team America Rocketry Challenge 2010 Event Rules (PDF)

Rocketry teams excel in national competition -