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NASA’s Challenges Program Seeks Input For New Competitions


February 8, 2006, NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program has released draft rules for six new prize competitions. NASA is seeking external comments and collaborating organizations to help finalize criteria and to initiate these challenges.

The program promotes technical innovation through novel prize competitions. The six prize competitions encompass a range of capabilities and technologies. NASA has released a Request for Comments asking potential competitors and interested parties for comments about the detailed rules and achievability of the competitions.

The competitions are: Fuel Depot Demonstration Challenge; Human Lunar All-Terrain Vehicle Challenge; Low-Cost Space Pressure Suit Challenge; Lunar Night Power Source Challenge; Micro Reentry Vehicle Challenge; and Station-Keeping Solar Sail Challenge.

“Offering these prizes allows us to engage a lot of people we may not otherwise reach to solve technical problems that will help enable us to achieve the Vision for Space Exploration,” said Scott Horowitz, NASA’s associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.

NASA also re-issued an Announcement of Partnership Opportunity today that solicits collaborating organizations that can administer one or more of the competitions or contribute to prize purses.

“Today’s releases represent the initial step towards some of our larger prize competitions,” said program manager Brant Sponberg. “We want to know what adjustments we should make to draft rules and what collaborations we should use to ensure these competitions are challenging, achievable, and valuable to both NASA and the competing teams.”

The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate manages the program. For more information about the program on the Web, visit:


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