Centennial ChallengesPage 2 of 4

NASA Astronaut Glove Challenge Set for Next Week

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nasa_logoNASA PRESS RELEASE

The 2009 Astronaut Glove Challenge will be held on Nov. 19 at the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville, Fla., near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

The $400,000 prize challenge is a nationwide competition that focuses on developing improved pressure suit gloves for astronauts to use while working in the vacuum of space. The competition is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EST on Nov. 19 and conclude with an award ceremony at approximately 5 p.m.

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Masten, Armadillo to Receive Awards on Thursday

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NASA PRESS RELEASE

NASA will award $1.65 million in prize money Thursday to a pair of innovative aerospace companies that successfully simulated landing a spacecraft on the moon and lifting off again.

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Regolith Excavation Challenge Ends With $750,000 in Prizes Awarded

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wpi_moonraker

CALIFORNIA SPACE AUTHORITY PRESS RELEASE

MOUNTAIN VIEW – Nineteen teams pushed their robotic competitors to the limit and three teams claimed a total of $750,000 in NASA prizes for their hard work and innovation at this year’s Regolith Excavation Challenge held at NASA’s Ames Research Center on Moffett Field.

After two days of intense competitive drama, organizers conferred Paul’s Robotics of Worcester, MA, with the first place title, second went to Terra Engineering of Gardena, CA, and Team Braundo of Rancho Palos Verde, CA, took home third.

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Terra Engineering Vaults Into Second Place in Regolith Challenge

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Terra Engineering’s rover dumps a load of regolith into the collection box.

Terra Engineering has lept into second place in the Lunar Excavation Challenge, guaranteeing that this year’s $750,000 prize purse will be full claimed.

The team’s rover collected an unofficial total 270.6 kilograms of simulated lunar soil. This lept the Gardena, California-based team ahead of Braundo Rancho, whose rover collected 263.75 kilograms earlier on Sunday. Paul’s Robotics of Worcester, Massachusetts continues to lead with 439 kilograms.

The first place finisher will claim $500,000 with the second and third place teams claiming $150,000 and $100,000, respectively. To qualify for prizes, teams had to excavate at least 150 kilograms of regolith.

One team – Moon Diggers B of San Francisco, California – remains to compete.

Latest Excavation Challenge Standings – 2 Teams to Go

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Results as of 7 p.m. PDT.

  • 18 teams competed
  • 2 teams still to compete – Terra Engineering and Moon Diggers B
  • 6 teams excavated soil
  • 2 teams qualified for prize money – Paul’s Robotics and Braundo Rancho
  • 11 teams excavated no soil
  • 1 team disqualified during set up – Moon Diggers A

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Video: E-Rex Lunar Excavator Collects Regolith

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The E-Rex rover collects simulated lunar soil during the Regolith Excavation Challenge. The vehicle dumped 75 kilograms into the container, half of what was required to qualify for a prize. It collected more soil before it got stuck and the 30-minute collection period ran out. The team will return to Little Rock, Arkansas without any prize money.

Paul’s Robotics Leads Regolith Challenge with 4 Teams Remaining

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Paul’s Robotics remains in the lead for $500,000 in cash in the Regolith Excavation Challenge with four teams remaining to compete. The two qualifying teams thus far:

Paul’s Robotics (Worcester, Massachusetts) – 439 kilograms
Braundo Rancho (Palos Verdes, California) – 263.75 kilograms

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Missed It By That Much! Regolith Excavation Challenge Video

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Technology Ranch’s rover did fine in excavating regolith; however, it frequently missed the collection box due to a failure of the on board video cameras. The team from Arroye Grande, California finished with 26.45 kilograms – a good showing but far short of the 150 kilograms required to qualify for prize money.

Regolith Excavation Challenge – Another Team Qualifies

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A second team, Paul’s Robotics of Worcester, Mass., has qualified for prize money in the Regolith Excavation Challenge. The team from Worchester Polytechnic Institute excavated 439 kilograms of simulated soil, which puts it in the lead for a $500,000 cash prize from NASA. The second place team will received $150,000, with $100,000 going to the third place team.

There was some controversy over whether the robot had excavated soil outside the assigned area; however, the judges looked at the markings in the test bed and confirmed that there was no problem with the effort.

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Video: Regolith Excavation Challenge

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