NASA Centennial Challenges
NASA Centennial Challenges started in 2005, and have included:
- Lunar Vertical Lander Challenge, in conjunction with the X-Prize Foundation and Northrup Grumman -- a series of test vehicle flights on Earth with certain lunar-equivalent flight distance and time requirements, won by Masten Space Systems ($ 1 million) and Armadillo Aerospace ($ 350,000) in 2008 and 2009.
- Lunar Regolith Excavation Challenge -- robotic vehicles excavating simulated lunar materials on Earth, with $500,000 won by a team from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
- Moon Regolith Oxygen (MoonROx) Challenge -- to extract oxygen from simulated lunar regolith, ran from 2005 to 2009 with no winners.
- Lunar Glove Challenge -- won by Peter K. Homer (total of $ 450,000) and Ted Southern ($ 100,000).
Currently ongoing challenges:
- Night Rover Challenge -- a solar powered robot which can use a battery which can stay alive on batteries for a long time in simulated harsh environments like the lunar night, with $ 1.5 million in prize money, still being organized
- Sample Return Robot Challenge -- to navigate rough terrain and retrieve geological samples, with registration ended already in 2011 and the competition to begin in the summer of 2012.
There are additional challenges being considered by NASA.
spacesettlement.com > Missions, Plans, Concepts > Research and Development Partners > NASA prize competitions
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