[hackerspaces] Million Dollar Hacker Prizes

Ortega, Samuel A. {Sam}(MSFC-MP92) sam.ortega at nasa.gov
Wed Jul 13 21:55:11 CEST 2011

NASA has three new Centennial Challenge competitions starting in 2011.
The three new challenges have a Total prize purse of $5 million. NASA sponsors prize competitions because the agency believes citizen-inventors, student teams and private companies of all sizes can provide creative solutions to problems of interest to NASA and the nation.
The Night Rover Challenge is to demonstrate a solar-powered exploration vehicle that can operate in darkness using its own stored energy. The prize purse is $1.5 million. The objective is to stimulate innovations in energy storage technologies of value in extreme space environments, such as the surface of the moon, or for electric vehicles and renewable energy systems on Earth.
The Sample Return Robot Challenge is to demonstrate a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from wide and varied terrain without human control. This challenge has a prize purse of $1.5 million. The objectives are to encourage innovations in autonomous navigation and robotic manipulator technologies.

The Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge is to place a small satellite into Earth orbit, twice in one week, with a prize of $2 million. The goals of this challenge are to stimulate innovations in low-cost launch technology and encourage creation of commercial nano-satellite delivery services.
Centennial Challenges are extended to individuals, groups and companies working outside the traditional aerospace industry. Unlike most contracts or grants, awards only are made after solutions are successfully demonstrated.
All three are just beginning and should have rules out for public comment this year with team registrations happening later in 2011
There are three current Centennial Challenges:
-- The Strong Tether Challenge: Teams must demonstrate a material that is at least 50 percent stronger than the strongest commercially available. This competition is still open to new competitors and has a competition date of August 12, 2011 in Redmond, WA USA
-- The Power Beaming Challenge: Teams must transmit power wirelessly to a device, so it can operate in various situations. Currently teams have been transmitting ~8kw to power devices. This competition is still open to new competitors and competition will begin Jan. 2012.  It is a first to demonstrate competition.
-- The Green Flight Challenge: Teams will fly aircraft they designed to travel 200 miles in less than two hours using the energy equivalent of less than one gallon of gasoline per occupant. It is expected to attract electric, hybrid and bio-fueled aircraft. This competition is no longer accepting team registrations and will be conducted Sept 25-29, 2011 in Santa Rosa, CA with an Expo at NASA Ames Research Center on Oct 3rd.
For more information visit http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/Centennial_Challenges
Or send any questions to centennialchallenges at nasa.gov<mailto:centennialchallenges at nasa.gov>
Thank You,
Sam Ortega
NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program Manager

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