NASA's Centennial Challenges Collaborates With Foundation

Oct 12, 2005

NASA announced its intent to collaborate with the X Prize Foundation on two planned Centennial Challenges Prize competitions.

Implementation of the collaboration is contingent upon NASA obtaining necessary statutory authority for Prizes; inclusion of necessary resources in the Centennial Challenges budget to fund the purses; final negotiation and execution of an agreement between the agency and the Foundation.

The Prize competitions from the collaboration will be related to suborbital launch vehicle technology development. The Prizes are envisioned to be greater than $250,000 each. The Foundation will administer and execute the competitions at no cost to NASA, with the agency providing Prize funding to the winning contestants.

NASA and the Foundation are working toward signing a non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement to formalize collaboration on the two competitions. The competitions were tentatively named the Suborbital Payload Challenge and the Suborbital Lunar Lander Analog Challenge.

"We look forward to working with the X Prize Foundation over the coming months to define the rules for these competitions," said NASA Centennial Challenges Manager Brant Sponberg. "These Prizes are intended to accelerate the development of the suborbital launch industry while also demonstrating technologies and capabilities relevant to other NASA activities."

The Suborbital Payload Challenge will reward the first team that demonstrates a reusable suborbital rocket to altitudes or speeds of interest to science researchers. Once demonstrated, such a capability could support NASA and other research payloads.

The Suborbital Lunar Lander Analog Challenge will reward the first team to build a vertical take-off/vertical landing suborbital vehicle capable of reaching a speed consistent with the energies required to land and launch from the moon. This Prize is intended to stimulate development of technologies and capabilities for lunar and suborbital space flight.

"We look forward to the possibility of offering these cash purses at the annual X Prize Cup in New Mexico," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman of the X Prize Foundation. "NASA's cash purses will complement other Prizes we intend to assemble from corporate sponsorships around the world."

NASA's Centennial Challenges promotes technical innovation through a novel program of Prize competitions. It is designed to tap the nation's ingenuity to make revolutionary advances to support the Vision for Space Exploration and NASA goals. NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate manages the program.

The X Prize Foundation is a not-for-profit educational organization using competitions to create innovative breakthroughs in space and related technologies for the benefit of mankind. The Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace built and flew the world's first private spacecraft to the edge of space to win the $10 million ANSARI X Prize.

Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

Explore further: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco

Related Stories

Dream is over for Virgin Galactic space tourist

Oct 04, 2011

Venture capitalist Alan Walton has trekked to the North Pole, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and skydived over Mount Everest. A hop into space to enjoy a few minutes of weightlessness would have been the ultimate ...

Change in space for NASA: Renting the Right Stuff

Jan 31, 2010

(AP) -- Getting to space is about to be outsourced. The Obama administration on Monday will propose in its new budget spending billions of dollars to encourage private companies to build, launch and operate ...

Space tourism yet to fly, 5 years since 1st flight

Oct 03, 2009

(AP) -- When a private spaceship soared over California to claim a $10 million prize, daredevil venture capitalist Alan Walton was 68 and thought he'd soon be on a rocket ride of his own.

Canadian Team Announces Launch Date For International

Aug 10, 2004

The Canadian da Vinci Project Team has notified the ANSARI X PRIZE of its intention to launch its rocket on October 2nd, 2004, marking its official entry in the international, commercially-funded space race ...

Recommended for you

Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

10 hours ago

A spacecraft that carries a sensor built at the University of Michigan is about to crash into the planet closest to the sun—just as NASA intended.

Dawn glimpses Ceres' north pole

12 hours ago

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.