NASA Audio File

CENTENNIAL CHALLENGE PROGRAM ANNOUNCES THREE NEW COMPETITIONS - HQ
07.13.10
 
NASA has announced three new Centennial Challenges: the Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge, the Night Rover Challenge and the Sample Return Robot Challenge.   The Centennial Challenge is a program of incentive prizes to generate novel solutions to problems of interest to NASA and the nation. The program seeks innovations from diverse and non-traditional sources and the challenges are open to private companies, student teams and independent inventors. The competitors are not supported by government funding and awards are only made to successful teams when the challenges are met. The Innovative Partnerships Program has managed the Centennial Challenges program and is being incorporated into the Office of the Chief Technologist. In this program, NASA provides the funds for prize purses but the challenge competitions are conducted by private, non-profit organizations at no cost to NASA. 

HQ Contact:  Sonja Alexander, 202-358-1761
www.nasa.gov


ANDREW PETRO -
MANAGER, CENTENNIAL CHALLENGES

(CUT 1 - 00:29 ) “Three new challenges were announced in this year are the Nanosatellite Launch Challenge, which is to place a small satellite in Earth orbit and to do that twice in one week.  This is the first time that Centennial Challenge is going into space for real, so it’s a very exciting new development for us.  We hope that they’ll be lots of interesting innovations in launch technology coming out of this, as well as, possibly commercial nanosatellite launch capability.”   
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ANDREW PETRO -
MANAGER, CENTENNIAL CHALLENGES

(CUT 2 - 00:28)  “The second one is the Night Rover Challenge, which is an energy storage challenge.  It requires a rover-type vehicle that can operate using only solar power, but then operate in darkness using stored energy. And we think this is important, not only for NASA’s operations in extreme environments in space like on the moon, but also could be valuable for electric vehicles and renewable energy systems on Earth.”
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ANDREW PETRO -
MANAGER, CENTENNIAL CHALLENGES

(CUT 3 - 00:21) “The third one is the Sample Return Robot Challenge which is for a robot that can navigate in a field, find specific samples, and bring those back, and this is a major challenge in the technology of automatic navigation, and the robotic manipulation of samples.” 
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ANDREW PETRO -
MANAGER, CENTENNIAL CHALLENGES

(CUT 4 - 00:40) “We think the Centennial Challenge is a way to create a stream of new ideas and technology that we can use in our programs and might be also used in the commercial aerospace field.  And, in addition to technology and ideas,  it’s also a way to identify new talent.  We’ve seen new businesses formed in response to the challenges, and small business get a lot of recognition for their work in connection with winning prizes.  And, it creates a source of new  talent to partner with NASA to be vendors for NASA and for the broader aerospace industry.” 
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