NASA Opens $2 Million Third Phase of 3D-Printed Habitat Competition

HUNTVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — Future missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond will require innovative options to shelter our explorers, and we won’t be able to carry all of the materials with us from Earth. NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, a Centennial Challenges competition, seeks ways to create or develop the technologies needed to create such habitats on-site, and challenges citizen inventors to lead the way. Today, NASA and challenge partner Bradley University of Peoria, Illinois, announce the opening of Phase 3 of the competition for team registration.

“The ideas and technologies this competition has already produced are encouraging, and we are excited to see what this next phase will bring,” said Monsi Roman, program manager of NASA’s Centennial Challenges. “The solutions we seek from our competitions are revolutionary, which by nature makes them extremely difficult. But this only fuels our teams to work harder to innovate and solve.”

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Cube Quest Challenge Team Spotlight: Ragnarok Industries

Heimdallr Cubesat (Credit: Ragnarok Industries)

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — Ragnarok Industries is busily working on its Cube Quest Challenge entry, a 6U smallsat named Heimdallr. The spacecraft will feature electric propulsion to reach lunar orbit, explains Luigi Balarinni, chief executive officer and co-founder of the firm.

A big plus in their design and building of Heimdallr is partnering with a diversity of space industry companies, furthering their objective of advancing CubeSat applications in the near future.

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Cube Quest Challenge Spotlight: Team Miles

A plume from thruster testing of Team Miles’ CubeSat. The Miles mission will be flown autonomously by an onboard computer system and propelled by evolutionary plasma thrusters. (Credit: Team Miles)

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — For Team Miles and their CubeSat entry, it’s about propelling citizen science to the moon…and beyond.

The breadbox-size Miles is a 6U satellite built to navigate into deep space.

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NASA Offers Prize Money for Winning 3D-Printed Habitat Ideas

centennial_challenges_icehouse
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is offering $1.1 million in prize money in Phase 2 of the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge for new ways to build houses where future space explorers can live and work. The three-part competition asks citizen inventors to use readily available and recyclable materials for the raw material to print habitats.

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NASA Challenge Aims to Grow Human Tissue to Aid in Deep Space Exploration

A stack of active tissue culture flasks in a temperature controlled compartment. (Credit: NASA)
A stack of active tissue culture flasks in a temperature controlled compartment. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA, in partnership with the nonprofit Methuselah Foundation’s New Organ Alliance, is seeking ways to advance the field of bioengineering through a new prize competition.

The Vascular Tissue Challenge offers a $500,000 prize to be divided among the first three teams that successfully create thick, metabolically-functional human vascularized organ tissue in a controlled laboratory environment.

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NASA Cube Quest Challenge Reaches First Milestone

CubeSat
CubeSat

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The first milestone of NASA’s Cube Quest Challenge has been reached, as teams competed in the first of four ground tournaments in August. The five highest-scoring competitors will each be awarded $20,000.

Cube Quest is a competition to build flight-qualified, small satellites capable of advanced communication and propulsion near and beyond the moon. Teams that achieve top performance at high-speed data communications, navigation and survival after achieving lunar orbit or a minimum long-distance range from Earth compete for an unprecedented $5.5 million prize purse in NASA’s first ever in-space challenge. Cube Quest is part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program, which accelerates technology by engaging non-traditional sources in competition.

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NASA Centennial Challenges Program Eyes Deep Space CubeSat Prizes

CubeSat
CubeSat

NASA has issued a request for information (RFI) on two CubeSat challenges it is eying for the moon and deep space:

The Centennial Challenges program seeks input on two challenges being considered for start in 2014. The two challenges described in this RFI are based upon feedback to an earlier CubeSat Challenges RFI (http://go.usa.gov/BBSj ) released in February 2014. The challenges build, deliver, and operate flight-qualified small spacecraft capable of advanced operations near the moon and beyond.

The purposes of this RFI are: (1) to gather feedback on the two updated challenges being considered, the overall challenge structure, draft rules, and prize amounts and (2) to determine the level of interest in potentially competing in these challenges.

The first challenge will award up to $3,000,000 in cash prizes to registered competitors that are able to meet or exceed technical objectives for 1) propulsion, 2) communication, and 3) longevity while in lunar orbit. The second challenge will award up to $1,500,00 in cash prizes to registered competitors that are able to meet or exceed technical objectives for 1) communication and 2) longevity beyond lunar distances. Up to $1,000,000 will also be awarded for successful competition of Ground Qualification Competition reviews.

The proposed challenges are NASAs first prize competitions to demonstrate and compete in deep space and would be carried into trans-lunar trajectory of the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) on the first launch (EM-1) of the NASA Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion planned for Fiscal Year 2018 or on non-NASA vehicles that the competitor secures.

Miami Resident Designs Winning Nano-Sat Launch Challenge Logo

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL., July 13, 2012 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida – the State of Florida’s spaceport authority and aerospace economic development agency – announced the winning logo for the Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge today after tallying votes via Facebook and the Space Florida Website.

The winning logo was designed by Mike Poller from Miami, Florida.

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Space Florida Conducting Contest for Nano-Sat Launch Challenge Logo

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. — June 7, 2012 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida – the State of Florida’s aerospace economic development agency – has released a call for entries to the community to design a logo for the Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge.

The Nano-Sat Launch Challenge is being managed through the Space Florida Small Satellite Research Center (SFSSRC) and will take place in 2013. The purpose of the Challenge is to bring forth innovations in propulsion and other technologies, as well as operations and management relevant to safe, low-cost, small payload delivery systems accessing Low Earth Orbit. These technologies will benefit future launch systems and emerging commercial space capabilities in government, commercial and academic sectors. The Nano-Sat Launch Challenge will support NASA’s Centennial Challenge Program.

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Space Access 12: Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge Discussion

Percy Luney
Vice President, Space Florida

Space Florida is administering NASA’s $3 million Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge through a new non-profit, the Space Florida Small Satellite Research Center. Luney was at Space Access 12 to solicit ideas and and answer questions from attendees on proposed rules set to be released for public comment on Tuesday. (more…)

Space Florida Small Satellite Research Center to Manage NASA Nano-Sat Challenge

NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA has signed an agreement with the Space Florida Small Satellite Research Center of Cape Canaveral, Florida, to manage the Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge, one of the agency’s new Centennial Challenges prize competitions.

The Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge is to launch satellites with a mass of at least 2.2 pounds (1 kg) into Earth orbit, twice within the span of one week. The new challenge has a NASA-provided prize purse of $2 million.
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NASA Awards CAFE Green Flight Challenge Prizes

, Pipistrel-USA.com leader Jack W. Langelaan (right, in suit) celebrates with his team after winning the $1.35 million CAFE Green Flight Challenge.

Pipistrel-USA.com received a check for $1.35 million this afternoon for winning the CAFE Green Flight Challenge, a NASA Centennial Challenge prize funded by Google for the demonstration of fuel-efficient aircraft.

eGenius, of Ramona, Calif., was awarded a second-place prize of $120,000. The team also won a $10,000 prize for the quietest aircraft in the competition.  Erik Lindbergh, the grandson of Charles Lindbergh, presented the smaller prize, which was funded by Jean Schulz, the widow of Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. The competition was held at the Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, Calif.

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NASA and the Cleantech Open Partner in Night Rover Robotics Challenge

NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA has selected The Cleantech Open of Redwood, Calif., to manage the agency’s Night Rover Challenge that will culminate in a competition in fall 2012. The event is a new Centennial Challenges prize competition seeking revolutionary energy storage technologies for future space robotic rover missions. NASA is offering a prize purse of $1.5 million to challenge winners.

The Night Rover Challenge is to demonstrate solar energy collection and storage systems suitable for rovers to operate through several cycles of daylight and darkness. During daylight, systems can collect photons or thermal energy from the sun. During darkness, the stored energy would be used to move the rover toward a destination and to continue its exploration work.

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Registration Opens for NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge

NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass., are seeking teams to compete in a robot technology demonstration competition with a potential $1.5 million prize.

During the Sample Return Robot Challenge, teams will compete to demonstrate a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain without human control. The objective of the competition is to encourage innovations in automatic navigation and robotic manipulator technologies. Innovations stemming from this challenge may improve NASA’s capability to explore a variety of destinations in space, as well as enhance the nation’s robotic technology for use in industries and applications on Earth.

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NASA Seeks Sponsoring Organizations for Centennial Challenges

NASA IPP Solicitation — Through this Opportunity Notice (NOTICE),  to support prize competitions conducted under Centennial Challenges program (http://www.nasa.gov/challenges ) of NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Challenges are:

  • Strong Tether Challenge
  • Power Beaming Challenge
  • Green Flight Challenge
  • Sample Return Robot Challenge
  • Night Rover Challenge
  • Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge.

Read the full solicitation.