Thursday, September 30, 2010

Prize Roundup: Altius Milestone, Student Astronomy, Prometheus Sponsors, Virtual Worlds, Asteroid Competition Hints, More

@RobinSnelson: Vote to give this idea 50K: Rebuild an astronomy observatory for student and community education. #pepsirefresh

@rocketrepreneur: NASA Authorization Bill passes, Altius signs its first contract, and I had a good time meeting with LM and ULA friends today. Good day.

@TeamPrometheus: Has added DIY Drones to the sponsor list! Thanks, Chris.

Has added Big Red Bee to the sponsor list! Thanks, Greg.

Has added Featherweight Altimeters to the list of sponsors! Thanks, Adrian.

@unrocket: Machine to round then brake cylinder hone.

Low melting temp metal to fixture odd shape parts in the mill. Cleaning up weld scale on sealing surface.

Green Flight Challenge: Elektra One Progress - CAFE Foundation Blog

If you can't get to other worlds using spacecraft yet, try the Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge.

British Entreprenuer Julian Ranger Backs Astrobotic in Google Lunar X Prize - Parabolic Arc

Follow this link to see some more hints about the Planetary Society's planned HUMAN MISSION TO AN ASTEROID COMPETITION.

WSJ tech prizes now and in future - RLV News

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Prize Roundup: SEDS Videos, Waste Limitation, Mars Education, North Dakota Sats, More

@nss: Student video contest: NSS will help judge & provide prizes.

From the SEDS site:

SEDS-USA is now accepting entries for the SEDS Video Ad contest. We challenge you, your friends, or your club to develop an awesome ad for SEDS-USA that shows the world what our organization is all about!

NASA's Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge - NASA NES Teacher's Corner

Mars Education Challenge: Challenging Today's Students to become Tomorrow's Martians - Explore Mars:

The goal of this program will be to challenge science educators around the United States to develop ingenious ways to fit Mars science and exploration into the classroom.

@paulsrobotics: WPI_Robotics #WPI Moonraker, 2k9 FRC Robot, & some RBE class bots at the #makerfaire in NYC this weekend! Stop by & say hi! #omgrobots

@unrocket: Off to FAR to work on the site

Sitting in voyager cafe proteus taxis by must be mojave

101F at FAR mojave did not get the summers over memo

From NASA Centennial Challenges:

For those interested in competing in the three new challenges - the new Allied Organizations will be posting competition rules and plans for team registration sometime after they are selected in October. The actual competitions will probably not begin before 2011.

NASA Selects High Schools To Compete In New Challenge; Winning Software Designs Will Program Satellites on the International Space Station - NASA

ND Satellite Research Contest - University of North Dakota Department of Space Studies:

Through funding provided by Space Grant, Pablo de Leon and UND students will build an actual size satellite that will hang from the ceiling of the Heritage Center. ... Choose one of the satellites. Determine its relevance to North Dakota. ... The one who establishes the best ND connection to the satellite selected will win a prize of $250!

Here we have our quandary: [you] are going to get there first... - Team Phoenicia

@teamprometheus: Thanks to the people that donated to the team we received the new flight control unit for the rocket today! It's...

@conradawards: Check out our new website---

Google Lunar X PRIZE Roundup #29
Google Lunar X PRIZE Roundup #30 - Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration

Monday, September 20, 2010

Space Prize Roundup: Optimus Prime Award, Space Shows, N-Prize Interview, More

Interview with Paul Dear of the N-Prize - RLV News

@pkhomer - Was just visited by Buzz Aldrin! Yup. For real. My head is still spinning!

@NASAGoddard - 3rd-8th graders, make a short video about spinoff tech and you could win the coveted NASA Optimus Prime Spinoff Award

@doug_comstock - NASA and Hasbro partner for Optimus Prime award. Students do videos how NASA techs 'transform'.

Here are NASA's main links for the NASA Optimus Prime Award:

Contest Details
Spinoff Technology Choices

@fineri - Spanking new website up at,thanks to @expertnz for donating their time & resources to make this happen!!choice!

Dr. Bryan Laubscher to appear on the 9/12/2010 Space Show - The Space Elevator Blog

Here's the podcast: Broadcast 1422 (Special Edition) - The Space Show

Just to mix things up a bit, instead of giving you the Space Show link, here's a link from The Space Show's Way Outside The Box Ideas And Plans Blog for Friday's interview of Tim Pickens. One of the subjects is the new Google Lunar X PRIZE team, the Rocket City Space Pioneers:

TIM PICKENS, Friday, 9-17-10

It looks like Armadillo is keeping busy this weekend ... but how did it turn out?

@armadillogadget: after 5 rocket racer runs we are about to pull out for a couple mod tests.

25 minutes to launch...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Keeping Up with Lunar Lander Challenge Teams

Armadillo flies Super Mod
Armadillo Super Mod altitude goals
Super Mod take off and landing view - all from RLV News

Jon Goff gives some background on his company:

@rocketrepreneur: Ok, finally got my Business of Altius Space Machines post up: Now back to packing and sleeping, then way too much driving

The Business of Altius Space Machines - Selenian Boondocks - Here's some information about one of the enabling technology product lines from Altius Space Machines:

Reusable First-Stage NanoSat Launcher
This is a topic area I’ve been working on for quite some time now, but particularly over the past year or so. There are many competitors in this market area, especially with the announcement of the NanoSat Launcher Centennial Challenge, but most of them are looking at expendable systems based on solids or other components.

Another product line involves reusable micro reentry vehicles. Micro reentry vehicles were considered by NASA Centennial Challenges (see slide 20 here (PDF)), but that hasn't happened (yet?). With NASA's new emphasis on the ISS, potential market growth from new platforms like DragonLabs and commercial space stations, NASA's new technology focus that includes landings, and the need Jon describes to fill the RLV technology gaps left by trends like suborbital RLVs and smallsats, a micro reentry vehicle seem to me to be a good subject for a future space prize (as well as Jon's technology business!).

@unrocket: motor bottom

Pressure Fed Upper Stage.
Stainless Chamber bottom on the way. - both from Unreasonable Rocket


Video of Armadillo's Super Mod flight on Friday - RLV News

Something Wonderful Is About To Happen - Team Phoenicia (via RLV News) - This post has a lot of hints in the tags. Those include "California Space Authority", New Mexico Spaceport Authority", and "Nanosat Challenge". They also include "Vog Rockets", which Google search suggests is, "Vog Rocket Builders". Vog Rockets includes the following posts that give a couple more hints about their plans:

The Start of Vog Rockets
New Rocket Mockup Picture

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Space Prize Twitter Roundup: High Altitude Balloon, Wikisat, AstroFingernails, NASA RealWorld, More

Check out the recent NSE-5 video and other information from Team Prometheus. You can see more from their twitter, especially the September 4 tweets:

@TeamPrometheus: I uploaded a YouTube video -- Team Prometheus NSE-5

NSE-6 is a much bigger project! We need all the help we can get. Please donate and help our team get into space!...

New website going up! Under construction! Check it out.

NSE-5 flight profile in 3D!

@nprize: Just noticed Wikisat's video update:

@pkhomer: Why they need new gloves: Astronauts' Fingernails Falling Off Due to Glove Design : via @NatGeoSociety

I'm too late on this one, which is from yesterday:

@SpaceAdventures: Anousheh Ansari speaking tonight at TEDxMidTownNY

@dmasten: Got the fiberglass intertank mockup in yesterday. Reassembly of Xoie into Xaero now at full speed.

Here are a some twitter identities I ran across yesterday. I'll find a spot for them in the twitter lists on the top left panel of Space Prizes blog and twitter page:

@RASCAL2011: exciting news coming! not one but TWO! RASC-AL competitions this year. space exploration and planetary rover...more info soon!


@RWIWChallenge: register 2day & join FREE NSTA Web Sem. 2 learn more about how 2become part of RealWorld-InWorld Design Challenge: #nasa

NASA RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge

Jon Goff is now @rocketrepreneur.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Space Prize Roundup: Masten Members, NYC Maker Faire, NWEN, New Huntsville Team, More

Here's some updates from some NASA Centennial Challenge winning teams and team members:
New crew lineup at Masten Space - RLV News

Transitions - Selenian Boondocks

@wikkit: As requested by @QuantumG, a short video of the short pulsejet run. It seems almost as loud as the rockets.

Cryofrost grows around cables like a tree around a wound.

@paulsrobotics: Moonraker will most likely be on display in the #WPI Robotics booth at the NYC Maker Faire! Look out for us if you're in the area!

LaserMotive Makes NWEN First Look Forum Top 20 - LaserMotive

There's been a lot of activity with current and future space prizes, too. For the Google Lunar X PRIZE:

Google Lunar X PRIZE Roundup #28 - Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration, covering a wide swath of time

You've probably already heard about the new team:

New Google Lunar X PRIZE Team: Rocket City Space Pioneers! - Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration

Rocket City Space Pioneers announce entry into Google Lunar X Prize competition - Huntsville Newswire

Dynetics Chases Google Lunar X Prize - - photos from the Huntsville Times

Orion Propulsion, now part of Dynetics, was part of the LunaTrex team. Draper Laboratory is also part of the Next Giant Leap team. I might speculate that the Rocket City Space Pioneers could work mainly with a different part of Draper - their Huntsville office.

Space entrepreneurship forum at Congressional Black Caucus conference - RLV News

Google Lunar X PRIZE Summit to be Held on the Isle of Man - X PRIZE Foundation

Here's some other news: - RLV News

Some progress... - Unreasonable Rocket
An Orbital Vehicle Part 1 - Unreasonable Rocket

Student Rocketeers Wanted For World's Largest Amateur Launch - Team America Rocketry Challenge Opens Registration -

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Prize Roundup: MICI Presentations, MoonBots Winners, More X-Hab Finalists, More

@doug_comstock: Congrats to X-Hab proposers Oklahoma St, Univ of Wisc, and Univ of Maryland. Now let the competition begin!

NASA Selects University Finalists for Inflatable Loft Competition - NASA (so you can see the title)

@tedprize: Jill Tarter reports on last month's SETIcon

@peterdiamandis: James Cameron is flying aboard Zero-G to raise money for X PRIZE. Oct 9; VNY; Almost sold out. 3 seats up for bid...

@unrocket: So many projects so little time, Just re-did my printed STL motor model to have GPI prototype quote using DMLS, a better process.

Getting back to rockets. - Unreasonable Rocket:

The potential NASA nanosat launcher prize may change my path, but I'm still thinking the year or so out goal is a reusable vehicle that can go to 100Km and back. It will be much smaller than the Masten and or Armadillo plans. It will also look more rocket like. ...

@nasamici: MICI finishes NASA Strong Tether Month - meet the man who built a tether to try & win $2 mill

Not too late! MICI Presentations from NASA Lunabotics still viewable

@nasaprize: Two lunar lander prize winners (Masten Space Systems and Armadillo Aerospace) selected for NASA CRuSR work

X PRIZE Foundation and LEGO Group Announce Winners in "MoonBots" Educational Contest - X PRIZE Foundation

USST Epic Crash Footage from the Japanese Space Elevator Association's 2010 Competition - on YouTube