[SpaceProgram] Citizen in Space Challenge - experiments to fly on XCOR

Jerry Isdale isdale at gmail.com
Wed May 16 19:27:39 CEST 2012

The official announcement will be May 19th at Maker Fair. I'll be there and will try to talk with their team about our project.

Citizens in Space, a project of the United States Rocket Academy, will announce a space prize challenge for citizen scientists at Maker Faire, the nation’s largest festival of do-it-yourself science and engineering, on May 19. The announcement takes place on the Education Stage at the San Mateo Event Center at 1:00 pm.

Citizens in Space plans to fly citizen-science experiments on fully reusable suborbital spacecraft that are now being developed by US companies.

Citizens in Space has acquired an initial contract for 10 flights with XCOR Aerospace, the Mojave, California-based company that is developing the Lynx spacecraft. Citizens in Space will select and train 10 citizen astronauts to fly as payload operators. It’s also inviting citizen scientists to build 100 experiments to fly on those flights, which may begin before the end of 2013.

In addition to the general call for experiments, Citizens in Space will offer a cash prize for one experiment deemed to be of special importance.

“This particular experiment was suggested to us by a NASA researcher,” Citizens in Space project manager Edward Wright said. “It’s a field of research that could not be effectively pursued with previous science platforms, but it’s an ideal match for the capabilities of the new suborbital spacecraft.

“This experiment is not only of interest to space scientists,” Wright said. “It could potentially save millions of lives here on Earth. NASA challenged us to find a way to do this — and we’re challenging you.

“Thanks to rapid advances in technology, it’s now possible to build high-quality space-science hardware with off-the-shelf parts — stuff you’d find at Maker Shed or Radio Shack. We want to see what the citizen-science and Maker communities can do with those parts.

“This won’t be an easy challenge, but we believe the community is up to it. We hope you’ll join us at Maker Faire on May 19 to hear more about it.”

For more information, visit: http://www.citizensinspace.org.

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