Saturday, April 09, 2011

Space Access '11: NASA Ames Space Portal - Bruce Pittman

This talk covered a wide variety of topics; I'll concentrate on those related to prizes.

The Space Portal is interested in the Google Lunar X PRIZE.  NASA awarded ILDDs for lunar data purchases.  The total value is $30.1M; and some of the money can be earned through work on Earth towards the lunar data demonstrations. 

They are also developing a Lunar Orphan Flight Test (LOFT) list of lunar science and engineering instruments that NASA developed but never flew.  Their goal is to "loan" these instruments to people that can use them on the Moon.  There would be no requirement to return the "loaned" equipment, of course.  This is still an idea in development.  They are also doing other work related to the Moon.

Bruce also discussed the Regolith Excavation Challenge sandpit.  The sandbox now has internet controlled rovers, and is used for education.

Q: The ILDD data purchases have gone to Google Lunar X PRIZE teams, and a specific to the Moon.  Are any other data purchases planned?

A: They are exploring the idea, perhaps for NEOs.