Event

Lunar Regolith Excavation Challenge
10.17.09
 
You are invited to attend the 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge, a nation-wide competition under NASA’s Centennial Challenges prize program to promote development of new technologies by a “citizen inventor.” This year, 23 teams will compete for a $750,000 prize purse, provided by Centennial Challenges.

In this challenge, teams design and build robots to excavate simulated lunar soil, or “regolith.” Teams then test their robots in a box approximately 13 feet square and one-and-a-half feet deep containing eight tons of simulated lunar regolith. In order to qualify for a prize, a robot must dig up and then dump at least 330 pounds of regolith into a container in 30 minutes. The teams with the robots that move the most regolith will claim the three cash prizes.

The event also will feature exhibits and speakers focused on highlighting hands-on education projects, robotics and space exploration.

The Regolith Excavation Challenge is organized by the California Space Education and Workforce Institute and co-hosted by the California Space Authority in collaboration with the NASA Lunar Science Institute.

Admission is free and open to the public.

WHAT: The 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge robotic prize competition.

WHEN: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009. All times PDT.

Saturday, Oct. 17:

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Team competition. The audience will be able to view the competition via a closed circuit television in a tent outside Bldg. 503.

9 a.m. – 1 p.m.: The Livermore Unit of the National Association of Rocketry will launch rockets as high as 1,000 feet from Moffett Federal Airfield. Weather permitting.

Speakers:
  • 8 – 8:30 a.m.: Opening remarks Andrea Seastrand, executive director, California Space Authority Lynn Baroff, executive director, California Space Education and Workforce Institute Andy Petro, NASA Centennial Challenges Greg Schmidt, deputy director, NASA Lunar Science Institute
  • 10:30 – 10:50 a.m.: Maria Bualat, NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group
  • 12:30 – 1 p.m.: David Morrison, director, NASA Lunar Science Institute
  • 1 – 1:30 p.m.: Chris McKay, planetary scientist, NASA Ames
  • 2 – 2:20 p.m.: Joshua Neubert, executive director, Conrad Foundation
  • 3:30 - 3:50 p.m.: Kris Zacny, director of Drilling and Excavation Systems, Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation
  • 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.: Team Recognition Banquet (By invitation only) Lynn Baroff, executive director, California Space Education and Workforce Institute Jennifer Heldmann, planetary scientist, NASA Ames

Sunday, Oct. 18:

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Team competition. The audience will be able to view the competition via a closed circuit television in a tent outside Bldg. 503.

The announcement of a winner will depend on how quickly the teams finish. If all teams complete on Oct. 17 and there is a winner, they will be announced at the Team Recognition Banquet that evening. If the competition continues through Oct. 18, a winner will be announced approximately two hours after the last attempt is completed.

WHO: 23 teams from across the United States.

WHERE: Building 503 in NASA Research Park, Moffett Field, Calif.

For more information about the challenge, visit: http://www.regolith.csewi.org

For more information about NASA’s Centeniall Challenges program, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/offices/ipp/innovation_incubator/centennial_challenges