Prize Concept Ideas Received
 

As of December 9, 2009

Title of Challenge: Prospecting for Subsurface Ice in Lunar Regolith

What is the objective of the prize challenge?
  1. Show capability to recognize and dynamically sort ice impregnated regolith from "dry" material.
  2. Design and display a sampling device capable of gathering test material from beneath the regolith surface.
  3. Show capability to dig both depth and volume sufficient to harvest largest possible volume of subsurface regolith from the NASA "sandbox" arena.
What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner?
  1. Contestants must provide a sensing system capable of distinguishing a single ice impregnated simulant sample vs. "dry" material from (4)1 kg samples. The sampling device/mechanism must be shown to be mountable upon the contest rover/robot.
  2. Contestants must prove ability to gather either a discreet or sorted 100 g sample from a depth of 20cm in the regolith sandbox. This device must be mounted on the harvesting robot.
  3. The contest machines are required to not only harvest the largest possible volume of material at depths between 10 cm and 30 cm, but show a mechanism whereby the sorting capability would be applied to retain or reject the regolith at given depths. Surface material to a depth of 10 cm must be discarded prior to a subsurface harvest. Only the subsurface material shall be deposited to the collection box.
What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $500,000, $150,000, $100,000 for first, second and third prizes.

What is the format for the challenge? Dynamic sort of ice impregnated regolith; This portion of the contest must necessarily be conducted in a temperature controlled environment using a subsample of the regolith sandbox. This phase of the competition may be conducted while the sandbox trials are going on simultaneously by rotating teams through the two separated test areas. This task must use the same power limitations established in the 2009 regolith challenge (15 amp, 40 Volt) Failure to successfully achieve this task shall reduce the purse to the winner by 30%.
Title of Challenge: Untapped Source of Electricity production

What is the objective of the prize challenge? This technology uses the vehicles to generate power to the City. This can be achieved only if the Vehicle is in momentum. This can generate power 24/7 based on the traffic in the city this project is not compatible in rural areas. This technology can prove to be a good source for electricity generation and it is highly reliable source of energy. As long as the vehicles are there we will never run out of power.

People have already paid for the fuel and running there vehicles in the cities all these years, we will be wasting the potential of the fuel and the vehicle if we are not deploying this technology. Deployments of this technology dose not need any fossil fuels to generate Power.

Developing and adopting this technology can revolutionize the world we are leaving in. What ever the technology and fuel source today it may be using. My idea is to generate more out put out of the fuel used from all kinds of vehicles on road.

There are two kinds of technology which can be used for power production both technologies can co exist, one involves modification to the vehicle one without any modification to the vehicle.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? As i have not developed any prototype i cannot accurately show the performance. But according to me this should provide high performance with proper tuning. People have already paid for the fuel and running there vehicles in the cities all these years, we will be wasting the potential of the fuel and the vehicle if we are not deploying this technology. There is no spending on fuel to generate power.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? It will be 1 to 2 Million US$ and also it depending on how widely the technology be used.

What is the format for the challenge? It would be the first-to-demonstrate with no competition with a predetermined schedule.


Title of Challenge: Life saver for copters

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The Performance of this idea will definitely be helpful. But as it is not being implemented i cannot say anything about the actual performance. This acts as a life saver for the passengers and the pilots who are dying due to tail router failure and also the loss of machinery. The Chopper can stay in the air as long as the main roter engines are working there will be no failures in the tail rotors. Save the Helicopters from crashing and rotating uncontrollably, when the tail roter fails.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? As i have not developed any prototype i cannot accurately show the performance. But according to me this should provide high performance with proper tuning.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? It would be 10,00,000 US$ also you can prize it on how this technology be used to save the lives and the copter & would like to work closely with the aviation industry.

What is the format for the challenge? I can expect competitors from the aviation industries; I think it would be the first-to-demonstrate.


Title of Challenge: Automated Assembly Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Develop a robotic system that can fully assemble a duplicate of itself from supplied components, download a copy of its programming to the duplicate and activate the duplicate. The robotic system must also be able to assemble other items that would be useful from an in-situ resource utilization standpoint, from supplied components.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Two milestones must be achieved. First, within two hours, the device must assemble at least one copy of itself from the developer supplied components, and activate it. Second, it and at least one of its copies must assemble and activate a useful machine such as a small grader. The resultant machine must be complete and functional. The fastest assembly and activation of the machine wins.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $500,000 to $1,000,000

What is the format for the challenge? A format could be a build off between teams at a given location. The teams would supply their own components for the robot copies. The prize organization will supply the components for the small grader. The parts list and schematics for the grader will be made available to the teams beforehand.


Title of Challenge: Longer Trips and Intelligent Energy

What is the objective of the prize challenge?
  • Convert the heat from the engine into electrical energy.
  • To use the heat generated for the shuttles´ engines to generated energy.
What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Convert the heat from the engines into electricity and then store it. This energy would be very useful if an electric motor is invented for use only when it is in the space. Not much energy is required to travel in space. Travel could be longer and this energy can ensure the success of the mission trip.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Non-monetary reward for the winner

What is the format for the challenge? First to demonstrate competition without a predetermined schedule


Title of Challenge: Personal Space Capsule

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To produce personal small single human fitted totally vehicle / craft that is able to float or fly run by the sun energy, water or an other material man made. Totally fitted for a human body, large or small but big enough for room to move. Must be safe from radiation, heat, water or cold and have ability to move faster if an emergency is detected.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The project would be something never built before or unique to mankind.


Title of Challenge: Air Crash and Black box Locater

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The purpose of this idea will definitely be helpful to locate or to create search and rescue of air crashes. All the air crafts should be fixed with dark and bright colored sprayers like Red & Orange, which are used during the air shows. When there is a crash or chances of crash this sprayers should disperse color automatically in the interval of 1 to 2 minutes for approximately 1 to 2 hours. Doing this will enable us to track the aircraft faster. Normally the white and black smoke gets dissolved in the clouds and the atmosphere easily. This color should be floatable. Implementing this enables us to track the crash from satellite photos. The color displacement should be in 2 to 3 places in different locations of the aircraft. "You can use this in small quantities with different color if attached to the black box enabling you to locate it quickly just by seeing the colors in the surroundings of the crash."

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? My milestone is to reach the disaster site at the earliest and may be we can rescue some people who can stay alive with immediate medical attention. Every one might have seen the performance of the color in the air shows.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? It would be 10,000 US$ you can prize it on how this technology be used to save the lives.

What is the format for the challenge? I can expect competitors from the aviation industries; I think this would be the first-to-demonstrate.


Title of Challenge: Space junk collector

What is the objective of the prize challenge? All these years with so many of the satellites and rocket lunching the space missions have left so much junk in the space which can knockdown the useful satellites. To avoid this a satellite craft with robotic arms should be sent to the space to collect, group, Pack and store them on the surface of the moon storing them in the moon can enable the NASA in reusing them in the future missions with a moon base. The Space junk includes the leftovers of the rockets, the non working satellites and any man made flying junks.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Cut down in the spending for the tracking of space junk, Avoid disasters due to space junk.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? It would be 10000000 US$ you can prize it on how this technology be used to save the expensive equipments out there. Would like to closely work with the team in building this project.

What is the format for the challenge? I think this would be the first of this kind to construct demonstrate and deploy.


Title of Challenge: Gravity Measuring Device

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Prove that gravity can be measured by a mechanical oscillator, when the force of the spring doesn't change and the mass of the oscillating members do.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The ability to write an equation to accurately measure gravity by proving it will work by comparing to precision tuned tuning forks, tuned to the same frequency on Earth, and sending one to the moon and placing the other in orbit.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? 10,000.00$

What is the format for the challenge? Cost, Machining and Precision Tuning


Title of Challenge: Lunar Lander Challenge Level Three

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Expand and mature the capabilities of Lunar Lander technology pioneered in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, further increasing their applicability.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Winning vehicle must meet the performance required from Level Two (i.e. two flights of 180 second duration between two pads) of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge without refueling the vehicle between the two flights. Vehicle is allowed to use staging if desired; however, the same 25kg payload must be carried on both flight legs.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Total purse of $1,500,000, divided into $1,000,000 First Place and $500,000 Second Place. Winners also receive opportunities to use vacuum test chambers and/or similar test facilities at NASA centers.

What is the format for the challenge? First to demonstrate, at a facility of the team's selection.


Title of Challenge: Crewed Lunar Lander Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Expand and mature capabilities of Lunar Lander technology pioneered in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Winning vehicle must meet the performance required from Level Two of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge with additional payload requirement of carrying a simulated Astronaut as payload. To accomplish this, Teams much carry a 250 kg payload in the form of a "test-flight dummy."

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Total purse of $1,500,000, divided into $1,000,000 First Place and $500,000 Second Place. Winners also receive opportunities to use vacuum test chambers and/or similar test facilities at NASA centers.

What is the format for the challenge? First to demonstrate, at a facility of the team's selection


Title of Challenge: Permanently-Shadowed Crater Exploration Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Demonstrate the capability to remotely explore permanently shadowed craters, such as those around the south pole of the Moon.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Demonstrate a robotic vehicle system capable of traversing up to the rim of a permanently shadowed crater and either descending into the crater, or sending sensors or sub-rovers down the crater floor. Systems on the crater rim can derive power from solar energy, but any systems sent into the crater must be powered by non-solar means (e.g. batteries, tether, beamed, et cetera). Any sub-robot or sensor systems that descend into the crater must maintain communications with a control station / power station that is located on the 'crater rim'. All communications between mission control and the robot(s) will include a ~3 second time delay. In addition, communications between the operator and the robot(s) will be intermittent, to simulate communications via a satellite in lunar orbit (e.g. ~10 minutes of communications followed by ~50 minutes of loss of signal, to simulate a lunar orbiter in a highly elliptical orbit). The robot must navigate around the crater, conducting certain TBD scientific experiments and be able to determine and transmit their location when queried.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A total purse of $1,000,000 divided into a $750,000 First Place and a $250,000 Second Place.

What is the format for the challenge? First to Demonstrate at a provided "crater" facility, possibly located at a NASA Field Center.
Title of Challenge: Beamed Power Propulsion Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? This challenge will demonstrate an important new method of propulsion known as "Beamed Power Propulsion". During this challenge, a team will demonstrate a rocket propulsion system which derives 100% of its power from a remote source which beams energy to the rocket (microwave or laser) which then converts it into rocket thrust for a significant period of time. Once successfully achieved, this Challenge should provide a sufficient demonstration such that this new launch technology will gain attention for further research and funding.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? To win, Team must build a launch vehicle capable to deriving 100% of its power from a remote source which beams energy (microwave or laser) to the rocket, which then converts the energy into rocket thrust for a significant period of time. Team must provide the microwave or laser system (which can be leased, borrowed, or acquired). Vehicle must have an inert 10 kg payload. Vehicle must produce a thrust-to-weight > 1 for a period of 100 seconds. 100% of propulsive energy must be derived from a ground based power transmitter which is at least 100 meters from the vehicle.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A total purse of $1,250,000, divided into a $1,000,000 First Place and a $250,000 Second Place

What is the format for the challenge? First to Demonstrate at a location/facility of their choosing, possibly located at a NASA Field Center or US DOD facility.


Title of Challenge: Suborbital Science Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Demonstrate low-cost, repeatable, routine launch access to altitudes of 50 – 100km for scientific research purposes.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Fly a reusable sub-orbital rocket above 200,000 feet 3-times in a 3-day period. The vehicle must carry a 25 kg scientific payload exposed to the ambient atmosphere for photographs or other environmental research. Team can only replace 10% of the dry mass between any two flights. Parallel competition could be held for students to design the payloads (with a 'house' payload that will be used if no student team wins this parallel competition).

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A total purse of $1,500,000, divided into a $1,000,000 First Place and a $500,000 Second Place. Possibility or offering guaranteed contracts at fixed cost to augment the purse.

What is the format for the challenge? First to demonstrate, at a facility of the team's selection


Title of Challenge: Orbital Debris Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Team's vehicle must rendezvous with and image a piece of Orbital Debris as a pre-cursor mission to debris clean-up. In this case, imaging is an analog for debris mitigation (via change of orbit or de-orbiting) for future missions.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? To win, Team must build, launch and maneuver a privately built satellite (e.g. Cubesat) to co-orbit and image a piece of orbiting space debris. In advance of the launch, Team must choose a piece of Orbital Debris in Low-Earth orbit. Team's satellite must rendezvous with the pre-identified piece of orbital debris and match orbit, and take sufficient photographs and/or video over a period of 3 minutes to demonstrate station-keeping within a distance of 100 meters without approaching closer than 10 meters. The satellite must then maneuver away from debris sufficiently to avoid any future interaction (i.e. creation of further debris).

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A total purse of $2,000,000, divided into a $1,500,000 First Place and a $500,000 Second Place. Possibility or offering guaranteed contracts at fixed cost to augment the purse.

What is the format for the challenge? First to Demonstrate


Title of Challenge: Sports in Space Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To develop a new sport that can be played onboard the ISS or other space stations or spacecrafts. With longer and longer durations in space and the many hours of exercise that are required, the boredom factor could become significant without options such as those this challenge attempts to elicit. Competitors must consider astronaut safety and potential damage to the station. The sport they develop should require only a minimal amount of equipment. Any equipment used must be safe for use on orbit (for example: must not disintegrate, outgas, or create foreign object debris, cannot be sharp) and must not take up much room. The new sport will have to provide some of the athletic conditioning the astronauts need while they play it, and it must be fun. It would be considered a bonus if the sport is entertaining from a spectator's point of view. The weightless environment will add a challenging, but exciting dynamic to the competition. Ideally, a version of the sport can be played in similarly space-restricted environments on Earth as well.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Entries will be judged by how well they satisfy several criteria: safety, athletic conditioning, equipment suitability, and creative use of weightless environment. For the top entries that meet all of these objectives, the final deciding factor will be how much fun the sport is. This should be ultimately decided by the astronauts on the ISS after testing them out.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Up to five finalists will receive $25,000 and the grand prize winner will be awarded an additional $250,000. Amounts can be adjusted based on available budget.

What is the format for the challenge? This challenge will be for multiple competitors in a head-to-head competition. Entries will be called for and due on a specific date. Competitors must provide any equipment required to play the sport at that time.


Title of Challenge: LEO FUEL Depot

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Demonstrate possible and lead into operations.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Receive, measure, and supply oxygen and water.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $100,000 for water two days, and $200,000 for oxygen two days, $200,000 and contract w/NASA for orbital fuels and a reasonable starter loan.

What is the format for the challenge? Receive 10 Kg, store two days and two months, and fill another tank with less than one percent loss, or fill same after masses are measured.


As of December 2, 2009

Title of Challenge: NEO deflection technology, phase I

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Perform a simulation of landing on an NEO with a propulsion device and delivering a thrust to change the body's orbit. Test craft will maneuver autonomously via thrusters to a landing target area, land, anchor, and fire three sequential pulses of >100 N of thrust, each 10 second in duration and separated by 30 minutes.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner?
  1. Landing at the target area.
  2. Anchoring to an unknown surface securely.
  3. Successfully delivering the required thrust to the target area.
What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? 1-3 million for completion of all tasks, scaled prizes if none are successful.

What is the format for the challenge? Similar to the recent Lunar X prize


Title of Challenge: In-Space Cryogenic Depot Demonstrator Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To demonstrate long-term cryogenic fuel storage in a simulated LEO environment, or closely simulated space-environment.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner?
Milestone A: Liquid oxygen storage of 100kg in a device under simulated benign conditions (assuming perfect sunshade) receiving a constant power stream for testing purposes. Winner: Lowest boil-off rate over one week.
Milestone B: Liquid oxygen storage of 100kg in a device under simulated LEO conditions (simulation of 90-minute orbits) receiving a constantly interrupted power stream for LEO environment simulation purposes. Winner: Lowest boil-off rate over one week.
Milestone C: Liquid hydrogen storage of 100kg in a device under conditions of Milestone A.
Milestone D: Liquid hydrogen storage of 100kg in a device under conditions of Milestone B.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? USD 500,000 to 1,000,000 divided over all four milestones

What is the format for the challenge? Similar to current NASA Centennial Challenges (e.g. Lunar Lander Challenge)


Title of Challenge: Wormhole Travel

What is the objective of the prize challenge? There are a lot of problems with our transportation. Some of these may be greenhouse gases, slow transportation, and shortages of food as an effect of these problems. We need to develop new ways to take us where we want. They attempt to solve these problems using wormholes.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? They would determine the winner by seeing which wormhole could be used for the fastest travel by computer simulation.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? 1st Place is 10 million dollars, 2nd Place 100 thousand dollars, 3rd Place 50 thousand dollars.

What is the format for the challenge? People would be competing head to head at the competition.


Title of Challenge: Lunar Regolith Processing Robot

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The objective will be to construct a robotic machine able to process simulated lunar soil (regolith) and extract and isolate oxygen, water, and potentially other useful substances that can be used by a future lunar colony.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner?
The construction and successful exhibition of a working machine that is able to:
  • Receive simulated regolith
  • Process the simulated regolith and extract and store the maximum possible amount of oxygen and water for a given (big enough) volume of regolith (the water need not be drinkable)
Bonus objectives for extra prizes:
  • Process the water and make it drinkable
  • Extract and isolate additional substances
  • Fabricate building blocks using the regolith leftovers after extracting the oxygen and water
  • Function autonomously, without human supervision
What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A $500000 prize for the 1st place, $100000 for the 2nd, and $50000 for the completion of each bonus objective.

What is the format for the challenge? Similar to the Regolith Challenge. Different teams exhibit their robotic machines and they are tested in a suitable environment. The winning team is the one whose machine extracts the largest amount of water and oxygen out of the given volume of simulated regolith.

Title of Challenge: A Heavy Lift (100T+) Elevator to Micro-Gravity

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To coordinate, recognize, identify and catalog participants and potential contractors.

Which NASA Mission Directorates are likely to benefit?
  • Technology to lower the cost and to encourage the development of commercial transportation capabilities to space or infinite beyond (IB).
Lesser:
  • Exploration and operations related to Near-Earth objects (NEO's).
  • Research and operations related to the International Space Station.
  • Habitation systems.
  • Logistics and packaging for space operations.
What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Proposal – to achieve the highest number of points of idealized objectives through a point award system with one dozen preliminary finalists leading to a select triad finalist group. (First, Second and Third Place with no actual weight placed on placement through cash or otherwise other than acknowledgement. Goal: To get the best bang for the buck for NASA and not just the "lowest bidder syndrome.")

What is the format for the challenge?
Primarily: 1.) Ground to Microgravity distance (minimum) and include 2.) Space-born Counterweight System distance (set by NASA Factors of Safety, pertinent to each competitors proposal), 3.) System Freight (Weight) Capacity (minimum established by NASA), 4.) Cost to Operate (per Pound or Kilogram) and Maintain (open for competitive claims), 5.) Safety and Security, 6.) Income, Franchise and Commercial Potential, and 7.) (or more) additional criteria decided by NASA

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The winning Triad split $9 Million USD or 7.5 Million Euro. Each member has the ability to trade part of their cash Prize for Lifetime use of the Space Elevator by their management and employees (including immediate family - transferable). The amount of cash for this benefit exchange – tbd – but would not exceed 50% of Prize money.


As of November 17, 2009

Title of Challenge: Surviving Near-Earth Thermal Extremes

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The objective is to fabricate a 70kg mobile surface system including solar power generation and storage, computing, communications and cameras that can operate in the thermal regimes at the moon's equator for three lunar thermal cycles.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winning surface system will transmit 500 one megapixel color pictures via wireless communication and turn a mechanically braked shaft with a given torque profile repeatedly on each of three simulated day periods. The competition will be held in a cryogenic thermal vacuum test with parameters equivalent to conditions experienced at the moon's equator. Conditions will include vacuum at 10^-4 torr, -175C, +115C, 1400w/m^2 solar simulator, radiation cold sink and a thermally equivalent solid lunar surface. An official run will include a dwell at "day temperature" for two hours, a ramp down period of 2 hours and a cold dwell for 20 minutes. This will be cycled three times to simulate three lunar thermal cycles. Teams will be required to locate a set of thermocouples on components selected by the judges to verify that components have reached the low temperature before the cold dwell begins.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $1 million cash plus a $2 million un-competed contract to commercialize solutions

What is the format for the challenge? The competition would be first-to-demonstrate. NASA provides competition testing environment. In order to qualify for NASA's test chamber, teams must expose their entries to -175C for twenty minutes followed by showing capability to turn a shaft, send pictures and generate and store solar power


Title of Challenge: Space Bike

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Astronauts need to exercise to counteract the effects of weightlessness. They also need a little fun in their lives. This challenge addresses both issues by proposing the development of a "space bike" that would allow them to "fly" around in a weightless environment and get a little exercise while doing it. The bike would use an astronaut's pedaling or stair stepping action to power small fans for propulsion. Pedal effort would be adjustable for an adequate work out and fan thrust would be scalable to appropriate levels for the environment. Effort expended by the user would be recorded to evaluate the value of the exercise. The bike could also be used tethered or anchored when it is not desired to have astronauts flying around the cabin. Specific weight and size limitations would have to be met.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Entries could be screened by evaluating them based on weight, size, stow-ability, range of pedal force, ease of use and potential for success. Top three (more or less) could be sent to the ISS for testing by astronauts in a weightless environment. The astronauts would pick the winner(s).

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $15,000 possibly split between the top placing winners.


Title of Challenge: Theoretical and feasible method of safely moving an asteroid safely into Earths Orbit

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Pick a sizable asteroid with suitable resources and create a detailed method that can be applied to bringing it into Earths Orbit

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Logical and feasible explanation of the whole process

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Fame, novel.

What is the format for the challenge?Report, videos, calculations


Title of Challenge: Significantly decreasing price per kilogram delivered to orbit

What is the objective of the prize challenge?
  • Propose a technology which can be easily integrated with modern launch vehicles to significantly enhance their payload capability.
  • The technology may have high investment costs and be as ambitious as possible but must demonstrate the ability to lower price per kilogram delivered to orbit within a period no longer than two years after first implementation.
  • The technology must be based on state-of-art and require nothing more than an innovative integration of existing technologies.
  • The technology must be able to be implemented in such a way that no significant modifications to modern launch vehicles are required.
  • The technology must meet all aviation standards for: pollution output, safety of operation, reliability and re-usability.
What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winner is determined by the person or company with the technology that can provide the largest decrease in price per kilogram delivered to orbit.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner?
1st Place - 70% Reduction in Price Per kilogram - $100M Reward
2nd Place - 50% Reduction in Price Per kilogram - $50M Reward
3rd Place - 30% Reduction in Price Per kilogram - $20M Reward


Title of Challenge: Multipurpose Lunar Habitation Module

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Create a cheap, innovative habitat for long term lunar missions, able to hold multiple scientific experiments, and at least a crew of four members during normal scientific phases.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The completion of the design, and testing in an earth environment reviewed by NASA in a judging style contest. Points of interest would include easy to deploy and launch, number of crew members, scientific research capability, medical/first aid capabilities, fuel containing system for landers, storage space, innovation methods for electricity generation, electricity requirements for usage, ability to house up to six crew members, low resupply mission requirements, external/exposed facility and internal experiments, biological experiments, able to work functionally with one crew member, and cost to launch. The next points, which may be repeated form the last section, are crucial to long term missions, and the habitation MUST be able to achieve all of the following requirements: capable to last at least two months without a resupply mission from earth, can be repaired by crew members without a supply mission, water recycling and storage able to last two and a half months, food storage able to last at least two months, waste elimination system, and medical and first aid capabilities without a launch from earth being required. Every point listed in this document should be met as innovative as possible.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A prize amount of ten million dollars ($10,000,000.00) would be awarded to the winner.

What is the format for the challenge? The contest format would be a multiple party entry contest, so that anyone who has a plan may enter. The plan is first submitted as a proposal, including text and illustrations, in a format of how each contestant or group will achieve the points of judging. After being reviewed by NASA, the proposal is accepted or denied. If accepted, they may begin building their Lunar Habitat. The final design must be built and tested in an environment close to that of the moon like the Arizona Desert, as this is the place NASA has tested experiments for lunar missions, like the Lunar Electric Rover. The location will be provided by NASA. The lunar habitat will be deployed in the same manner it would be deployed on the lunar surface. Testing will be performed by the members who will live in the module. These points include setting up the actual habitat, performing experiments inside the habitat, and subjecting the habitat to problems that may occur on the moon like electricity failures, and internal environment failures. The crew members must be able to correct these problems with materials onboard the habitat, without using any external help. They must be able to survive two weeks inside this module, with half of the usual supplies that would be provided on the lunar surface, to counter the smaller amount of time in the habitat during the judging phase. The teams are rated on their ability to match all of the points listed earlier, to deploy and live in the habitat, perform experiments within the habitat, and innovations in their methods for achieving the goals of the contest.

The Name of the problem: Module artificial (unledgible). (Space Module with Artificial Gravity) The Purpose of the making the module with artificial (unledgible) is an increase to length of stay of the person in condition, where natural (unledgible) is absent or less than on the Land. Necessary to create the module with (unledgible) revolving camera, which will happen to in motion by itself, not repulsing from most module and from external ambience. The Amount of the prize 500 000 dollars. There was this will be an event with multiple rival in head-to-head competitions. The Time lag for preparing - one year. The Rivals in this instance can be a combinations of any types. The Area of the work: spaceship and cosmic machines, cosmic vein and health


Title of Challenge: Lunar Landing Pad Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To develop robotic systems capable of creating landing pads on the lunar surface.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Testing the landing pad under rocket motor load should produce no surface ejecta above a minimum size. Landing pad materials should be limited to JSC-1 or equivalent lunar stimulant. Robots must be electrically powered.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Similar prize levels to Regolith Challenge.

What is the format for the challenge? Robots fuse landing pads from stimulant to a diameter similar to Lunar Lander Challenge Level 2 landing pads. Time limits, if any, should be generous. Pads are then tested with either tethered or free-flight rocket motors, preferably from a NGLLC winner. Ejecta from the pad is captured and measured for size and total weight. Winner must not exceed minimums for either measurement.


Title of Challenge: Ocean-Based Algae Biofuel Production System

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The prize challenge will test best methods for using fresh water plastic bags at sea to maximize oil production from algae, assessing methods described at http://rtulip.net/ocean_based_algae_production_system_provisional_patent

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? System operation in field with maximum oil production using renewable energy sources.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? This proposal has potential to replace a large proportion of fossil fuel and deliver benefits for energy, climate, water and food security. The competition winner would have a leading role in a large new pelagic energy industry.

What is the format for the challenge? A first-to-demonstrate or head-to-head competition could be offered.


Title of Challenge: Myriad Economical Mars Micro-Rovers

Overview
Micro-rovers could explore interesting sites discovered from orbital surveys. Using myriad small rovers, the cost of any given rover is low enough that landing in risky, but scientifically-interesting areas is justifiable. This compliments the high-stakes "big-package" missions of current rovers. The purpose of the contest submission is to propose a compact and economical micro-rover design.

Mission Outline
These micro-rovers should be small enough that a dozen or more could be launched in a single "typical-sized" mission. They would be slightly smaller than the Sojourner rover (minus Pathfinder). These rovers would be dispersed to various target areas of Mars determined by a panel of scientific and mission experts. The rovers would have at least two instruments: a remote sensing package, and a thermometer. The spectrum-based remote sensing capability would be similar to the mounted camera system of the MER rovers (the pole itself is not necessary). However, the band-width requirements may be scaled down, or at least adjustable down to low resolution and/or high compression, to keep the rovers economical. A possible but optional addition would be either a small microscope or a contact spectrometer. The spectrometer may assume a longer integration (contact) period than prior rovers as a trade-off for size.

Design trade-offs to consider include but are not limited to:
  • Solar power versus alternative power for high-latitude areas.
  • Innovative movement modes, such as rolling-sphere, wire wheels, or hopping.
  • Can solar panels be made to double as a directional antenna "dish"?
  • Can different components be economically swappable for different landing destinations?
What is the objective of the prize challenge? Produce a very economical and compact design for approximately 12 micro-rovers designed for cursory surveys of interesting Mars landing sites.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The submitted designs will be graded on the following criteria. The earlier-mentioned criteria have a higher weighting than the later ones. The rovers shall:
  1. Meet the minimum requirements stated above
  2. be economical
  3. be compact as launch cargo
  4. be light-weight
  5. manage communications band-width well
  6. be reliable
  7. carry additional useful scientific instruments
  8. be flexible
What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The winning group or individual would receive $500,000 USD if the agency accepts the design and begins a formal project based on the winning proposal. An additional $100,000 shall be awarded for each rover that is able to function properly for at least one Earth month. An additional $20,000 would be awarded for each rover that is able to function properly for at least three total Earth months. (This price structure assumes 12 rovers. If more or fewer are sent, then the reward shall be adjusted accordingly.)

What is the format for the challenge? A winning design will be selected from among many competitors after the end of the contest deadline.


Title of Challenge: Range Technology Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Support U.S. spaceport and launch industry competitiveness by demonstrating the capability of new range systems to provide basic government-required range safety services (tracking, command/destruct, telemetry). DOD and FAA would work with NASA to define the basic requirements for FAA-licensed spaceports that currently do not include government-approved range safety systems.

There are currently a handful of developmental and commercially available range safety systems that could provide services to commercial launches. In addition to supporting new spaceports, such systems could provide a lower cost alternative to existing range systems, some of which are viewed as overly complex and expensive. This challenge would bring these alternative systems together during a single launch event for a side-by-side comparison.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winning system would be the one that successfully meets the basic government-established requirements at the lowest operating cost.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $5 million. (Plus a potential FAA "certification" that the system meets basic requirements.)

What is the format for the challenge? Side-by-side competition.


Title of Challenge: Space suit breathing mechanisms and air supply

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To minimize suit size and weight by developing a new way of supplying air to the astronaut while maintaining maximum maneuverability and air supply.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Air supply unit's weight must be at minimum 20% lighter, safer (must be capable of withstanding sudden impacts, varying temperatures and pressures), and last at minimum 25% longer than current air supply units. Integration with the space suit itself is a plus.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Suitable cash prize amount will be $1,500,000

What is the format for the challenge? First to demonstrate without a predetermined schedule.


Title of Challenge: Remote NEO Surveying

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To determine the mineral composition of a M-type Near Earth Object of at least 1 kilometer diameter. While constructing a probe and doing a fly by could get the job done, it is anticipated that less expensive techniques, such as spectrometry from a satellite in Earth's orbit or from a ground-based telescope, may be feasible as well (and not require the construction of separate hardware for each NEO surveyed).

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The production of an estimate, to within 10% accuracy, of the mineral content of a NEO whose largest dimension is at least 1 kilometer and whose Tholen classification is M-type, where the data can be verified in some fashion (either the data can be checked against independent measurements, or the methods can be independently verified). (The minimum size is both to discourage unlikely-to-succeed attempts to measure tiny objects, and because larger objects are more likely to be worth follow-up missions to acquire any useful minerals present. Likewise, M-type objects are believed to be the most likely to have economically interesting contents, and thus to attract follow-up missions if surveyed. NEOs are, as the Augustine Commission pointed out, a plausible near-future target for NASA's missions before reaching the Moon or Mars; in particular, a follow-up mission to capture a NEO and return it to Earth orbit would be useful for proving NEO deflection technology, but would be even more feasible if the NEO had been surveyed and found to be worth mining in its own right.)

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $5 million should be enough to get serious attention, though this might not cover the entire cost of the surveying mission. More importantly, and possibly enabled by the fact of this survey being performed by a non-government entity, a commitment from the US State Department that it will seek to modify current treaties to allow the US government to grant and recognize mining claims to NEOs, and generally establish the legal framework for such. (Of course, said claims should only be issued to those who are actually about to exercise them. Surveying NEOs to find which ones are worth mining is a necessary first step in this process.) This commitment may be hard to secure, but it would be in NASA's interests (to say nothing of the potential competitors') to pursue it.

What is the format for the challenge? First to demonstrate, with no predetermined schedule.
Title of Challenge: Find a Rock Worth a Billion

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Award professional and amateur astronomers working anywhere around the world for discovering NEO asteroids high in precious metals near the size and weight that a space shuttle can retrieve and return in its payload bay that NASA could then sell on the metals market to fund its missions and operations.

A NEO asteroid a few meters in diameter was recently discovered, and this small object was tracked to impact on the Earth at its predicted location. So I challenge professional and amateur astronomers around the world to look for NEO asteroids the volume of 3.5 cubic feet square to perhaps twice that size, on discovery NASA and observatories around the world can track the NEO for trajectory and analyze the it for its mineral content, the search would be to find very high mineral content of specific very valuable precious metals.

If everything is just right NASA can plan a Space shuttle mission to retrieve the object and bring it back to Earth in its cargo bay. The ideal would be to find a nugget containing primarily Gold, Platinum, or Rhodium weighing, 50,000 lb, or less which is the maximum payload capacity of the Shuttle, http://www.space-shuttle.tv/.

A rock this size would weight 730,000 troy oz. and be worth on the world market at current prices 0.8 to 2 billion dollars. Of course, samples of this NEO would worth a great deal more as collectors' items, ore from the worlds FIRST space mining operation would be quite valuable!

It would have little impact on the world metals prices, as the amount is too small; the annual worldwide production of gold is 50 million troy ounces per year, http://money.howstuffworks.com/question213.htm. And the special historical and cultural significance would make nuggets from the asteroid more likely to be traded as collectors' items for museum and private collections and jewelry rather than being traded in the worlds future markets.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? If a found asteroid results in a NASA retrieval mission then the prizes will be rewarded.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The prize should be LARGE as the odds of finding this object are extremely small, $100 million in cash and the winner also gets a special extra-large, the largest, nugget retrieved from the asteroid when it broken up for sale. There should also be a $1000 reward for any new NEOs reported to NASA while the contest is running.

What is the format for the challenge? NASA should have a web page where information about NEOs reported to the competition are tracked.


Title of Challenge: Robotic In-situ Production of Construction Materials from Simulated Lunar Regolith

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The object of this challenge is to advance technology for use of in-situ space resources for building habitats and other structures on the Moon and other astronomical bodies.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The contestant should make a machine that does the following: Given a cubic meter of simulated lunar soil, the device should produce a structural longeron two meters long no less than two centimeters thick and ten centimeters wide, able to withstand the placement of a 16kg mass in its center (the approximate weight of a person in lunar gravity) while supported only at its most distant ends (allowing 2 cm overlap with the supporting structure). The test weight must be supported for one hour. The device, including its photovoltaic or solar dynamic power supply, should fit in a four-meter by two meter by two meter package, deploy itself, gather the simulated regolith, and produce the longeron without physical assistance by the contestant. Commands may be sent to the machine, but any communication back from the machine should be subject to a simulated two minute communications lag. The longeron produced must be made entirely of the provided simulated materials; the machine must not supply any webbing, glue, matrix, or other materials. The longeron should be produced in 48 hours. It is suggested that the contest be held at 12,000 ft or above to enhance the intensity of sunlight, reduce exposure to moisture, and otherwise provide an environment in the direction of that found on the surface of the Moon, Mars, or a near-Earth asteroid.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Suggest a $1M first prize for fulfilling all the objectives. In the event that two or more respondents produce successful machines, the machine producing the longeron able to support the most weight over the qualifying weight of 16 kg should be judged the first prize winner. Second and third prizes of $300.000 and $200,00 would be awarded to the next two contestants, in order of the amount of weight supported. Alternatively, the first three places could be awarded according to the number of successful longerons produced in the time period.

What is the format for the challenge? This would be a head-to-head competition at a particular site starting at a particular date and running for 48 hours.


Title of Challenge: Microlander Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Contestants will build and fly miniature vertical takeoff vertical landing rocket vehicles, similar to scaled down Lunar Lander Cup vehicles, which would simulate lightweight low cost asteroid or comet landers for sample return or surface sensing missions.

Initial conceptual specifications are:
  • 25 kilogram maximum gross (fueled) mass, including 1 kilogram payload
  • Unrefueled round trip flight between two landing pads, 50 meters apart, with minimum 30 second flight time per flight (60 sec total), translation at altitude of 10 meters or higher. Some part of the vehicle ground envelope would have to be within 1 meter of the pad center point after landing on each flight.
  • Green propellants (LLC acceptable list, approximately)
What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Successful completion of flight from pad A to pad B and return flight to pad A without refueling. Prizes would be awarded for multiple winners who are successful, with a tiebreaker being minimum empty weight of the vehicle, excluding the payload.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Conceptually, something in the range of $75,000 for first place, $50,000 for second place, $25,000 for third place and $20,000 for fourth place. More prizes will encourage more participation. Additional minor prizes ($5-10,000) might be awarded for particularly innovative concepts, best student entry (or best two student entries), auxiliary functions such as maneuverability demonstrations of the vehicles in separate demonstration flights, etc.

What is the format for the challenge? At a test range and time and date to be determined (probably 2 years after challenge is announced, and a second round a year later if all prizes aren't awarded first time), competitors would bring their vehicles and draw random 1-hour time slots to fly. To qualify as a winner they would have to position, prepare, fuel their vehicle, and complete the two flights within one hour of the start.


Title of Challenge: Trans-dermal Waveforms for Pain Relief Without Drugs During Spaceflight

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Develop a panel of trans-dermally injected waveforms that are applicable for pain relief during spaceflight. In a closed environment in which water is recycled, pharmaceuticals given to one person may be inadvertently consumed by another as the recycled water is consumed. Even common analgesics (pain killers) may have unattended consequences. Extensive research in former Eastern block countries has established that certain micro-current waveforms, injected by contact with simple electrodes similar to those used for EKGs, may stimulate the body into producing natural pain fighters, which can reduce shock and stress from pain or trauma without use of drugs. Other usage of such waveforms is well documented, but this technique has been FDA cleared only for pain relief at this time. Similar effects have been observed for "soft" laser and pulsed magnetic fields, both of which may be incorporated into the trail.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? In-vivo test subjects, including human volunteers, could report subjective relief of pain, backed up with readings from laboratory apparatus which measure the presence and concentration of naturally induced pain fighters in the blood, including nitric oxide, as well as changes in vasodilatation.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? As FDA-approved equipment exists at modest cost, the issue is understanding the physiology. This is a task of moderate complexity, but the equipment component is moderate. $250,000 to $500,000 for the winner should suffice, along with the rights to license the resulting intellectual property.

What is the format for the challenge? A panel of test waveforms with known statistical result can be administered to subjects before launch, and similar waveforms reexamined in orbit in order to determine which aspects of the waveform (pulse repetition rate, waveshape, pulse intensity) produce different or superior results in orbit.


Title of Challenge: Creating smart materials to enhance space suit designs

What is the objective of the prize challenge? What are the milestones?

Create a material whose compression and expansion can be electronically controlled, responding to embedded pressure micro-sensors within the material.

First challenge: To create a hollow tube which can change its internal compression and expansion at different levels along its length.

Second challenge: To create a hollow tube which can maintain a constant internal compression along its length, regardless of bending or outside pressure.

Third challenge: A glove that maintains constant internal pressure, regardless of internal movement and outside pressure (from vacuum to 0.25 atm)

Fourth challenge: A whole body "skin suit" that maintains constant internal pressure, regardless of movement and outside pressure (from vacuum to 2 atm)

What is a suitable cash prize amount for the winner? USD10,000 to several million. (As the difficulty increases.)

What is the format for the challenge? First to successfully deliver each sample, meeting all that challenge's requirements.


Title of Challenge: Annual-X. An annual spaceflight challenge to encourage novel spacecraft design

What is the objective of the prize challenge? What are the milestones? An annualized version of the original USD10 million Ansari X-Prize challenge, for a reusable piloted spacecraft. Conducted at the Mojave Spaceport (or similar location) each year during a one month window. Teams must perform two successive qualifying flights above 100km (62mi) by a reusable piloted vehicle. If two teams qualify, the team with the highest qualifying flight wins the prize. If none qualify, the prize jackpots next year.

What is a suitable cash prize amount for the winner? USD 10 million per year.

What is the format for the challenge? Head-to-head. Highest flight wins.

What is the timeframe for this challenge? Annual. Ongoing.


Title of Challenge: The Arthur C. Clarke Memorial Cup. An biennial race around the moon and back by piloted solar-sail powered spacecraft.

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To promote the development of solar sail powered spacecraft. To promote human space flight. To promote public interest in and excitement about space travel.

Once launched, the challengers must complete at least one full unpowered orbit below 1000km (540 nautical miles), then travel around the far-side of the moon and return to below 1000km by means of solar sail propulsion only. Races to be held every two years.

What is a suitable cash prize amount for the winner? USD50 million every two years. If launch costs drop, the prize can be reduced.

Because the technology doesn't yet exist, the biennial prize will accumulate. Eventually it will reach a level ("a jackpot") that will encourage participation.

What is the format for the challenge? A race. First across the line wins.


Title of Challenge: Stepping stones to space resources. Returning samples of volatiles from asteroids or comets to the International Space Station.

What is the objective of the prize challenge? What are the milestones? A multi-stage challenge to encourage development of technology necessary to conduct deep space missions to near-Earth asteroids and comets. To provide scientifically useful material on the composition of asteroids and comets. To provide useful resources to other space users (including NASA).

Stage 1: Extracting one kilogram of volatiles from a non-terrestrial and non-lunar source, such as an asteroid or comet, returning the sample to the International Space Station.

Stage 2: Extraction of ten kilograms of volatiles by drilling into a non-terrestrial and non-lunar source, returning the sample intact to the ISS. To be considered intact, the sample must be kept biologically and cryogenically isolated.

Stage 3: Extraction of one hundred kilograms of volatiles, conditions as in stage 2.

Stage 4: As Stage 3 - Plus additional extraction and processing of volatiles, using the volatiles as fuel to return the main 100kg sample.

Stage 5 (Non-Prize): NASA contract to supply the annual oxygen and water requirements of the International Space Station, from non-terrestrial sources. NASA contract to supply a NASA-operated in-orbit refueling station with processed fuel, from non-terrestrial sources.

What is a suitable cash prize amount for the winner? Approximately USD50-100 million for each stage. (Cost of launch is likely to be a significant factor.)

What is the format for the challenge? First to successfully deliver a sample, meeting all the requirements


Title of Challenge: Magneto-HydroDynamics from rocket motor

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Rocket motors are extremely compact energy converters; MHD is an efficient way to produce electricity. Combining both would give a unique powerful electricity source for high power laser, microwave beams, radio wave heating of petroleum fields, electrical ground sounding… A 100 kg thrust motor may produce 1 MWe, the motor part would be a "boiler plate" system for a flying rocket system, so it could open a market at an early stage in the production of a space launcher. That would be peculiarly interesting for large motors for big launchers.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The first milestone would be to produce an MHD converter for short service duration; a second point would be a dedicated rocket motor with plasma seeding products (calcium…)

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A $3 millions prize for a small demonstrator could be interesting. There could be up to 3 prizes, may be $2 M + 2 x $.5M.

What is the format for the challenge? The first would get the firs prize and so on.


Title of Challenge: Picking Complementary Organisms for Closed Systems (Project PeCOCS (Peacocks))

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Select three or more different organisms which could live together and be mutually supportive (complementary) in a closed ecosystem, such as a small biosphere, or eventually, a module suitable for space flight. Construct and populate that system, and determine that it is viable for at least 100 days. Extra points would be awarded for producing a system that creates an output useful to humans, such as food or purified water.

The world contains almost limitless species, which, if carefully chosen, can produce self-sustaining ecosystems and outputs that may are better tuned for life in space. Understanding the interactions of species in this way could simplify the transportation of species for colonization efforts, and also decrease the need for constant replenishment of distant outposts.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Survival of the participants in the ecosystem for 100 days, and direct measurement of the system outputs, with weighting appropriate to the value of the output in space or a colony.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $150,000 could be divided among winners, which should cover most of the costs of participation. In lieu of cash, appropriate scholarships, named for the winning team, could be seeded for students in the various contributing disciplines. A certificate of acknowledgement would be presented to all participants for inclusion in their resumes or college admission applications.

What is the format for the challenge? The various biospheres would be constructed and maintained locally, as they require tending for 100 days. Proctoring during operation of the experiment and measurement of the outputs could be administered by designated local volunteers, perhaps using elements of the existing NASA civilian outreach teams. Measurement of system outputs could be conducted in the presence of a proctor and witnessed via an Internet videoconference. Assignment of the value of system outputs in space or in colonies could be determined by a committee of volunteers from NASA and academia. A video presentation showcasing the winning systems could be produced and aired on the Internet and NASA Select.


Title of Challenge: Create Legislation, Law Changes, That Will Allow NASA To Self Fund

What is the objective of the prize challenge? NASA should be allowed to mine asteroids and sell the ore to fund its own operations. Define the best, most efficient, or most transparent changes to existing regulations or uses of business reorganization and entities that will allow NASA to profit and fund it's operations from the ore that it mines from space.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The entries should be judged by a board of politicians and business law experts, a board selected by NASA made up of people who have been friends and advocates to NASA.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A cash prize is not required; NASA should publically acknowledge the contribution of the winner and also award that winner a nugget from the first booty, which will be quite valuable.

What is the format for the challenge? This would be a head to head competition after a minimum number of entries have been passed.
Title of Challenge: Build a Rocket Boleadoras to Capture and Mine Asteroids

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Create a net, like a fishing net, and small rocket of network of rockets to capture and mine asteroids, a Boleadoras for asteroids. Demonstrate your expertise with computer AI, motion control, and rocketry to deploy a net around an asteroid and neutralize its inertia, then deliver the asteroid to a neutral gravitational location where the Space Shuttle or other ship can rendezvous with the mineral rich rock and return it Earth safely.

There has been a LOT of speculation and theorizing in recent years about how the Earth might be impacted be a large asteroid and faced with such a challenge how NASA might act to mitigate such a catastrophe. Probably most of this speculation has been based in false impressions, imposing high gravity physics on objects in LOW gravity environments.

The bottom line is for this prize concept we need a tool for space mining that can capture SMALL asteroids, most of these will be intercepted in low gravity space where only inertia needs to be neutralized and many best candidates would nearly follow the Earth's orbit around the sun.

Build a Boleadora to neutrals in the asteroids direction of travel and then deliver it to a gravity neutral rendezvous point. Making it a Boleadora is just a suggestion use what ever means will preserve the booty that can be demonstrated by the acceptance tests described below.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Test #1 will be for the Boleadora to intercept a large cannon ball fired high into the air and deliver it to a location at a distance that would require a rocket fuel burn similar to what would be required to reach the space rendezvous point.

Test #2 would be to capture a released balloon up to 10 feet in diameter and deliver it to a nearby base location with minimal damage.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? 100 thousand dollars at successful completion of the tests and 1 million in space ore after the booty has been divvied up.

What is the format for the challenge? Whoever can complete the challenges first.


Title of Challenge: Open Source Rocket

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To create an "off the shelf" and "open source" flyable, reusable liquid propulsion rocket laboratory for use by educational institutions (certainly universities, but vo-tech schools, community colleges, and high schools might be suitable, too).

The vehicle should operate under the FAA's amateur rules (i.e. maximum 200,000 lbf-sec total impulse, but likely much smaller). In addition, the complete technical data package should be published under "open source" rules that allows anyone to build and operate one. Any subsequent modifications to the basic design would also be open source, in accordance with the relevant rules of open source standards.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Screening Criterion: Demonstrate repeatable flight maneuvers (some variation on the Lunar Lander Challenge flight profile) with a flight vehicle. The flight profile should be long enough to eliminate very small rockets, and complicated enough to demonstrate the controllability that the LLC competitors did.

Evaluation Criteria: Lowest aggregate cost (bill of materials, labor, propellants, etc.) for a "to be specified" number of full duration flights. The specified number should be large enough to eliminate the use of components of marginal operational durability, but small enough to be affordable to the competitors and manageable by the judging schedule.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Cash Prizes: $200,000 for each of the first five independently designed vehicles that meets the screening criterion. Additional money awarded by meeting the evaluation criteria: 1st place (i.e. lowest overall cost): $250,000, 2nd place: $150,000, 3rd place: $100,000, 4th place: $50,000

What is the format for the challenge? Two part format:
  1. Operations (see above): Repeated flights, demonstrating reusability, reliability, and a predictable cost structure. These flights would have to be under the appropriate regulatory provisions of the FAA, so the operating site might vary, depending upon the design.
  2. Technical: Analysis of the bill of materials, labor used, propellant / expendables used, etc. to verify the aggregate costs of construction and operation.
There should be perhaps two years from announcement until the competition window opens. Once open, the window should stay open, and judges go to the competitor's (regulatorily satisfactory) site for evaluation.


Title of Challenge: Low Maintenance , Low Cost, High Reliability Power Generation Plant for moon based operations.

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To create a concept and working prototype for a moon based (could be space beamed) power generation facility that meets low maintenance and high reliability metrics while supplying plenty of power for the needs of moon based exploration, life support, excavation and other activities.

The point of all of this is that there are many more technologies that could meet the energy demands of moon-based operations (possibly in combination) than NASA can direct resources to test out. For instance, there is space based solar, fusion, mechanical, thermal, chemical, and probably other technologies that need to be explored more fully. The key is that it should require as low amount of man hours to maintain as possible, even if the original technology costs is quite high.

I just found out about this on the last day to submit, so forgive the hurried submission, but I hope that you can see the value in testing these concepts out.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Power output in watts per dollar (installation, operation, waste disposal) per man/hour maintained over 20 years expected life. Power storage capability could be offered as a bonus or tie breaker. The goal is to get as an end product, a high power factor at the lowest installation and operational costs.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $1 million first, $500k 2nd, $350k 3rd

What is the format for the challenge? The format of the challenge would be to create periodic tests at the entrant's facilities that meet judging guidelines. The test facilities would therefore be at the expense of the entrant. Opportunities to test would be granted in a one month window once a year for three years, and then every 6 months after that point.


Title of Challenge: Queuing Energy Collected from Space (QECS, pronounced "kicks")

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Two fold: to raise awareness as to the possibilities of energy from space, and to enlighten and educate the general public on the science and missions of NASA. This can be accomplished with a relatively simple approach: queue a module attached to the Space Station to collect, store and beam energy down to a location on the Earth that would light up an array of bulbs that could be viewed over the internet. This queuing would be done by groups of people assembled to watch the Space Station pass overhead, each holding a laser pointer that they would shine at the Space Station. Obviously, it would take a relatively large number of people assembled together to effectively send a signal that could be detected at the Space Station, and these folks would need to know the exact time and location that the Space Station would pass overhead. Yet that is precisely the point; the general public does not even know they can watch the Space Station pass overhead, and the concept of beaming energy to Earth with real time feedback would be captivating. The publicity this type of contest would generate would serve as an effective educational tool, with the added social benefit of creating Space Station Watch Parties. What a kick this would be for the public!

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? A photon detector on the Space Station would measure the intensity of the signals from Earth, and at some level of energy it would then trigger an energy beam (exact type TBD but presumed to be microwave or laser) to a location on the ground in an attempt to energize the light bulb array (perhaps directly proportional to the energy received by the photon detector). Viewing the light bulb array via the internet on an outdoor screen set up next to the Space Station Watch Party would provide feedback as to the effectiveness of both the up-going laser signals and the down-going energy. The winner would be the Watch Party team that was most successful in energy transfer in both directions. This contest would need to run over a period of time to allow for multiple tries in numerous locations, due to a variety of things such as weather, the track of the Space Station over areas of the earth, and the location of the light bulb array on the Earth (it may be remote).

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Cash prize given to all registered and participating members of a Watch Party team (say $100). If a crowd of 2000 people gathered, that would be a total of a meager $200,000 if they were to win. If this idea catches the public fancy and they begin using stadiums in larger metropolitan areas, the amount could go up, but the opportunity to gather public support for NASA and our nation's space program would be well worth the cost. It would also be beneficial to have multiple winners; it is not unlikely that there will be international participation.

What is the format for the challenge? Watch Party teams would be assembled to watch the Space Station fly overhead. People would register at a web site set up by NASA where they could analyze the exact time and date for an overpass where the Space Station would be most visible and have the greatest elevation (relative to the horizon). Volunteers would be chosen to lead these teams, choose an assembly area, and get the outdoor screen and internet feed set up. NASA would be responsible for mounting the photon detector and the device to collect and beam the energy down to the earth, and it is envisioned that the design and location of light bulb array be the responsibility of the Watch Party teams, as this will help in the educational aspects of this challenge and serve to raise public awareness and acceptance of energy beamed from space. Watch Party team members would be responsible for their own laser pointers (no large lasers allowed). At the right time, date, and location for the overpass, team members would all gather and shine their laser pointers in unison at the Space Station and watch for results.


Title of Challenge: NASA Suborbital Point-to-Point Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To accelerate the development of suborbital point-to-point transportation.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Four point-to-point flights by a rocket powered vehicle in four hours, carrying different 50 kg payloads on each flight. An adult human may be carried in lieu of the required 50 kg payload on any flight.

Minimum aggregate distance: Level 1, 100 km: Level 2; 200 km; Level 3, 500 km.

Tie-breaker would be dispatch reliability: how close to the pre-announced time of flight did the flight actually take off?

Maximum of two bonus prizes, each worth 10% of the Prize for that Level, awarded for more than two different origin and/or destination points; i.e. A - B - C would be worth more than A - B - A, and A - B - C - A would be worth more than A - B - C.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Prize tiers similar to the recent successful Lunar Lander Challenge:
Level 1 1st Prize, $500,000 2nd Prize, $250,000 Bonus, $50,000 per locale
Level 2 1st Prize, $1,500,000 2nd Prize, $750,000 Bonus, $150,000 per locale
Level 3 1st Prize, $3,000,000 2nd Prize, $1,500,000 Bonus, $300,000 per locale

What is the format for the challenge? Format similar to the recent successful Lunar Lander Challenge: Competitors fly from and to origin and destination points of their own choice, subject to judges' approval. Prize is run during a prize season. Whichever competitors qualify by the close of the season take home the Prizes. If no competitor qualifies during a prize season, the Prizes are not awarded, but roll over to the following.


Title of Challenge: Innovations in Home Construction On the Moon and Mars

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Living on moons and others planets is dangerous because of radiation and asteroids; also terra forming would be a long difficult, expensive process that would inflict unacceptable irreparable damage on the geology of the planet. On the other hand living below ground would be safe and could also be terra-formed by robots before humans arrive.

Enlist the armies of the world to create a bunker buster bomb that can drill down into the regolith and explode creating an underground warehouse.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Competitors should demonstrate their capabilities on Army bases like many weapons are demonstrated for the military.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? 10 million and the promise of a contract with NASA. What is the format for the challenge? The first competitor to demonstrate the capability of creating a cavern fitting NASA's detailed requirements for a cavern allowing lives quarters for operations on the moon. For example if a nuclear war head is used it should be a clean nuclear bomb and demonstrations should result in no increased nuclear radiation.


Title of Challenge: Sample Return Lander Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Continuation of very successful Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

Develop a vehicle with performance good enough to successfully land from Lunar orbit to Lunar surface and then return back to lunar orbit, all without refueling on the Lunar surface.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? There should be two levels (as were in Lunar Lander Challenge).

Easier level 1 should take a vehicle to fly for minimum of 180s from starting pad to simulated lunar surface pad (like in NG-LLC) 50m apart and then at least part of the vehicle (i.e. some parts, like tankage, part of engines, or full vehicle stage could be left on "lunar pad") should safely return to starting pad, also flying for min. 180s, without being touched by any human or device on the lunar pad (thus without refueling there, all the fuel for return journey should be taken from starting pad.

Harder level 2 should be like level 1 (same times, same pads) but no part of vehicle could be left on lunar pad (i.e. 2 180s flights on one fuel load and then full vehicle dry mass must return).

In both levels vehicles must carry there and back a 25kg payload.

In both levels second leg flight should start in 100 minutes since prize winning attempt started (Unlike LLC, which there could be a situation when teams successfully flies and then is unable to return their vehicle to the staging area due to struck car carrying the vehicle).

In both levels prizes should be given one a year. If two teams qualify for a prize in a single year then tie breaker should be based on which team succeeded in smaller number of prize wining attempts in that particular year (any started prize wining attempt is counted except those halted by unpredicted external conditions like weather).

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Level 1 should be 2 million (a little step up from NG-LLC level2 of 1.5 million), Level 2 should be 4 million.

What is the format for the challenge? Similar to Lunar Lander challenges. i.e. either designated 2-3 day competition event at one place each year (like LLC 2006, 2007, 2008) or about 8 week period where teams demonstrate their vehicles on their own ground (like LLC 2009)


Title of Challenge: Image the Solar System

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The winner would build and demonstrate a camera and imaging system that could be placed on the USA's Earth imaging systems now used by the Internet, Google Earth for example, and spy satellites could be pointed in the opposite direction of the current cameras on these satellites.

The result would be a high-resolution map of all of the objects in the solar system, and to allow Internet access to that map similar to Google maps and the creation of software allowing people to tour the solar system in high detail.

In addition to this there should also be sensors allowing the determination of the mineral content of small objects approximately 1 to 3 meters in size allowing people to search the heavens over the Internet to find small asteroids of high value so that NASA can retrieve these objects for mining operations to fund their costly operations.

Finally it might also be advantageous, if currently feasible, to include sensors which could determine how much heavy water and or hydrogen, and other readily fissionable elements and plasmas maybe on asteroids to determine their likelihood of going nuclear should they be found to be NEOs or Earth colliding asteroids.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winner would be able to demonstrate highest resolution images of objects in the HIGHLY variable light conditions around Earth, the Moon, the Sun, and outer space. NASA's experts on imaging would have to determine these detailed specifications and as-well for the other sensors.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? 5 million.

What is the format for the challenge? Head to head competition yearly until a win surpasses ALL of the requirements determined by NASA.


Title of Challenge: The Jerrie Cobb Lunar Exploration Prize

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To land a woman on the Moon and return her safely to the Earth.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winner will be the first private American organization to accomplish the objective.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $1 billion.

What is the format for the challenge? $1 billion cash prize for first private American organization to land a woman on the Moon and return her safely to the Earth.


Title of Challenge: Low-Cost Space Suit Prize

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To stimulate the development of low-cost spacesuit technology. Contestants must demonstrate a low-cost emergency spacesuit suitable for short-duration suborbital flight. (An "entry-level" spacesuit.)

(Note: This prize idea was originally submitted at the first Centennial Challenges workshop, chosen by NASA, and included in a White House budget request. Unfortunately, the Centennial Challenges program was not funded by the Senate that year.)

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Because cost is difficult to measure across organizations, the winner will be determined by measuring the amount of labor (man-hours) required to build a spacesuit that meets specified basic minimum requirements. Labor is generally the primary cost component in aerospace products of this type and therefore represents a useful proxy measurement.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $500,000 (repeated annually).

A possible alternative prize would be a guaranteed contract to purchase N copies of the winning suit.

What is the format for the challenge? $500,000 cash prize for the company that can demonstrate a spacesuit meeting specified requirements for short-duration suborbital flight, built in the shortest amount of time (man-hours) from standard commercially available parts and supplies. Contest to be repeated annually.


Title of Challenge: The Liberator Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To stimulate development of small cost-effective, safe and highly operable reusable launch systems capable or performing rendezvous with objects in low Earth orbit.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Launch a rendezvous mission to the ISS three times in one week via a system that reuses the same dry mass components and would be capable of sustaining this service for a period of at least one year.

NOTE1: No docking would be involved in this challenge, only a rendezvous with a defined point relative to the ISS and at a safe distance away from it.

NOTE2: The launch system would not be required to carry a payload mass, so the mass of the final stage that performs the rendezvous will be unconstrained.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A cash prize of $100,000,000, split into two or three equal sized purses, is envisaged.

What is the format for the challenge? The challenge should be an open competition, with purses awarded to the first groups to fly systems with the required performance


Title of Challenge: Controlled Flight Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Get at least 1 human above 25,000 m for 60 seconds and return them safely to earth in under 1 hour launch to landing and 30 minutes or less from launch to 25 kilometers.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The vehicle must reach at least 25 kilometers, stay above that mark for 1 minute, then make a controlled directed landing within 100 meters of the launch point, while carrying at least one adult human being. The vehicle must make this entire trip in less than one hour, launch to landing, and must achieve 25,000 meters altitude within half an hour of launch. Determination, if there were more qualifiers than available awards, would be closest landing to launch point, and possibly a time criteria - though fast times implies high acceleration which may not be what is best.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? To promote the widest range of participants and options, this Challenge should be structured to provide 10 equal awards for the first ten competitors who meet the above requirements. Each award should be in the range of $4-15 million. That is well over the current IPP budget, but offering such a prize would fuel a wide range of vehicle designs and technology that could lead to extended altitudes/ranges.

What is the format for the challenge? Drawing on the NGLLC experience, this would likely be a multi-year competition where teams would be able to file for qualifying flight windows. It's unlikely that all awards would be present any one year, but until there are more qualifications than remaining awards accuracy requirements would just be the 100 m. This is the incentive to qualify early. Teams are free to re-qualify within a given award year if they feel they can improve on their accuracy. Once awarded, a team can not re-qualify in subsequent years with the same vehicle design.


Title of Challenge: Pad Durability Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Develop and demonstrate a stable, reliable rocket landing pad material (cement, concrete or other) that can withstand the heat and blast from repeated VTVL rocket flights.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The material must be capable of surviving 10 launches and landings of VTVL rocket vehicles (such as flown for NGLLC or Controlled Flight Challenge) with little or no deterioration (melting, marbling, erosion, etc). Hover flights from 3 meters for 60 seconds each would be required for each qualifying launch/landing pair (10 required).

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? To promote the widest range of participants and options, this Challenge should be structured to provide either 3 equal awards of $1 million, or awards of $1.25 M, $1 M and $750k for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd qualifiers.

What is the format for the challenge? Teams who develop materials would be given opportunities at one or more VTVL rocket test areas to build a pad for vehicles to fly off of and on to. Co-ordination and arrangements with flight vehicle teams would be the responsibility of the competing team. Judges would require verification of flights (likely be on site for each one).


Title of Challenge: Flight Fashion Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To engage non-traditional players in the development of spaceflight products. Focus for the first competition might be on design of clothing/cleaning systems for long-duration flight, answering the classic challenge of how NASA will clothe its astronauts for a 3 year mission within the minimal mass and volume budget.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Within given power, water, volume, coverage and functionality constraints, the team that provides the lowest mass system for hygienically clothing 6 crew members for 36 months.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $500K, plus flight test of garments on an upcoming NASA mission. $100K bonus prize for publically voted "fashion favorite".

What is the format for the challenge? Full system designs are submitted to NASA for review of initial constraints. Qualifying teams are invited to demo their systems with a team of volunteers. While a three year demo would be ideal from a functionality standpoint, it is challenging logistically and for maintaining public interest. Alternative demonstrations might include a Navy submarine deployment, space agency closed system psychology experiment, reality television show, or space mission analog site (e.g. NEEMO or MDRS).

Importantly, the challenge should be open to solutions including low mass clothing, long-wear clothing, efficient washing machines, and recyclables.


Title of Challenge: Life Support Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To demonstrate substantial advances in closed loop life support technology

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Longest demonstrated maintenance of closed loop life support for selected model organisms (e.g. 4 female mice). Only input to the system is a predetermined starting quantity of food and water, and a daily input of energy. Constraints should be placed on system size and mass, perhaps equal to two middeck locker equivalents.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Perhaps a tiered reward based on improvements over current best. $250K for 2x, $500K for 3x, $1M for 10x. Purse could be made smaller if winner had an opportunity to fly their unit on either a NASA or commercial (e.g. DragonLab) mission.

What is the format for the challenge? Pre-competitive design review to qualify. Top units are delivered to NASA Center or industrial partner at competition start. Veterinarians monitor animal health to determine appropriate endpoint for each system.


As of October 22, 2009

Title of Challenge: Use an Air Force SR 71 Blackbird as a prototype vehicle for going into space.

What is the objective of the prize challenge?To develop an air breathing/ram jet alternative to the NASA Space Shuttle program.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The performance measurement is to successfully develop an aircraft that could take off from a standard air field and transform in flight from an air breathing engine to a liquid oxygen supplied ram jet engine. The SR71 is ram jet capable.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The reward for the winner is to see Air Force obtain a fighter jet capable of entering into outer space to provide protection for all our satellites.

What is the format for the challenge? NASA would partner with Air Combat Command to fly the SR71's. Air Force has about 20 of these Blackbirds mothballed at different locations throughout the United States. Air Force pilots would test fly the modified SR71's.


Title of Challenge: Portable Mining and Manufacturing

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Create a portable, self-contained mining and fabrication device that is capable of extracting and processing raw materials on other planets. The device should be capable of manufacturing electric motors and integrated circuits as well as all kinds of other parts, either through milling, photolithography, 'growing' on the nano scale, etc....

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Demonstration of the most complete extraction and manufacturing process.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $500,000.00.

What is the format for the challenge? Similar to current NASA or DARPA challenges.


Title of Challenge: AI-Cybernaut/Space Emissary for Interplanetary Robotic Missions

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The radiation hazards to manned interplanetary space travel appear increasingly daunting. The dramatic success of unmanned robotic space probes clearly argues for some sort of a hybrid approach; namely, a cybernaut/AI-space-emissary for inclusion on interplanetary robotic science missions. Advances in miniaturization have finally reached the stage where payload considerations would not be significantly impacted. NASA has recently implemented a series of initiatives of a public relations nature to increase public-interest in space/science issues, particularly among the youth generation (such as the Quantum Quest Project), a further rationale for such a Cybernaut Project. Imagine the thrill of the younger generation listening to live conversations from a suitably advanced AI agent embodied within a deep space probe. Direct mission computing power would not necessarily be impacted, being that the AI programming/memory could occupy some of the redundant storage capacity that normally backs up critical mission directives. Although such robotic probe missions are necessarily one-way trips, a ceremonial "return mission" could be enacted: wherein radioing back the memory banks of the AI agent for storage accessible to the internet, or celebrated within an interplanetary Hall of Fame/Visitor Center where the public could interact with their favorite interplanetary cybernaut.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? A suitably modified variation on the Turing Test tailored to the more narrow specifics of the deep-space context should necessarily determine the leading contenders within such a competition.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? In light of the laborious programming challenges at issue, the cash incentive should presumably range from $1,000,000-$5,000,000

What is the format for the challenge? This cybernaut challenge could be conducted as an open call to all designers of artificial general intelligence or chatbot types of programs. The programming capacity and operating restrictions in relation to the target robotic mission would selectively be divulged to facilitate research and development. This would be followed by a formal competition to determine the most convincing platform for AI language simulation. This would potentially amount to a stand-alone AI design, or a firewall protected configuration so as to eliminate any unforeseeable conflicts with the main mission architecture. Certainly to avoid any potential embarrassment during live interviews, strict ethical safeguards must necessarily remain in force. Conversely, NASA mission specialists might choose to develop this type of cybernaut-agent exclusively in-house in tandem with the primary mission architecture. In either case, the overall winner would certainly be the general public, who would clearly benefit from a more active citizen participation in the scientific endeavors so ably conducted by NASA.


Title of Challenge: NEO hitch hiker

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To construct a scientific package that could be attached to an NEO for a variety of scientific explorations in the outer solar system. Using the NEO as a free ride to the outer solar system the package would self deploy from the object at the farthest point out. It would conduct a variety of scientific enquiries on the NEO and the solar system on the trip out. If there were multiple lifts needed for different experiments an object could be covered with many hitch hikers to deploy as needed. A variety of off the shelf technology from missions like the Mars rover could be used for sample collection and analysis. Also a small telescope to send back pictures and a variety of other radiation information as a mini-Hubble in the outer solar system.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winner would present the best combined package of scientific instruments, power supply and attachment apparatus that could be delivered by a Saturn rocket or other large lift system.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? To be determined by prize committee.

What is the format for the challenge? Open head to head competition.


Title of Challenge: Green Flight Challenge II or GFC II.

What is the objective of the prize challenge? GFC II will leverage and extend the GFC to bring forth transformative new aircraft that fulfill aviation's most fundamental mission—fast travel without roads.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The GFC II formula combines speed with STOL/VTOL while preserving required thresholds for Green, safety and low noise. The Best of Breed winner would have to achieve at least 100 mph average cruise velocity (Vc) with very high passenger miles per gallon, and would be scored by the objective formula: 1/((.001 x ((TO/Vc)^3) + (1/Vc)) in which TO stands for Takeoff Distance over a 50 foot obstacle.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? GFC II winner should receive at least $3M.

What is the format for the challenge? GFC II would use GFC I format, i.e., a flight competition for multiple, full-sized, piloted aircraft of under 6500 pounds, using the above formula in a head-to-head competition.


Title of Challenge: Biefeld-Brown lifter

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Make a device which works on the "Biefeld-Brown effect" to lift a person or object.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner?
  1. Should work on the "Biefeld-Brown effect"
  2. Person or object should weigh 70 kg
  3. Height should be 10m
  4. Person or object should stay in position during 15 minutes
  5. Use of cables, chains, cranes or any other standard lifting tools are not allowed.
What is the format for the challenge? First to demonstrate an anti-gravity lifting device.


Title of Challenge: Around another world

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Develop an autonomous vehicle to circumnavigate the Moon and\or Mars sending images and geological information

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Several step by step advances measurable by milestones:
  1. MOON Circumnavigation
    1. vehicle concept design
    2. working prototype
    3. 5000Km Earth distance simulation on a transcontinental journey
  2. MARS circumnavigation
Same as above but 10000Km Earth distance simulation on a transcontinental journey.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? 500.000$ for Moon vehicle and participation to mission 1.000.000 $ for Mars vehicle and participation to mission.

What is the format for the challenge? Submit proposals according to milestones, proceed with Earth long distance tests, manufacture vehicle to be sent to Moon or Mars on an official international circumnavigation mission.


Title of Challenge: Reconfigurable Robot

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Current robotic devices are custom designed to perform a specific set of tasks related to a mission. A new mission usually requires going back to the "drawing board" and developing a new robot. Time and expense can be saved by using a reconfigurable robot system. This challenge involves designing and building a "reconfigurable" robot system consisting of a common "core" with power distribution, control circuitry and interfaces to which various "components" can be attached. Components would provide services such as power, optical sensing, communication, locomotion, manipulation, etc. Attaching different components and loading appropriate software will allow the robot to be configured for different uses.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The robot would autonomously navigate an obstacle strewn field (a digital map of the area would be provided for the robot's use in orientating and routing itself). It would be directed to use a grasping component to retrieve an object from the field and return it to the starting point. The team would then swap the grasping component for a scooping component which the robot would use to return a soil sample from another area in the field. The robot would then plot a course and proceed to the finish point at the far end of the field. Team with the best score based on quickest overall time and lowest power consumption would win the challenge.

After the competition, all participants could vote on the best "core" in the competition (other than their own design) and make recommendations for improvements. Based on this input, a common core would be defined which could be used for subsequent competitions involving more advanced and varied "components".

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $500,000

What is the format for the challenge? Teams taking turns running on a common obstacle course at an event.


Title of Challenge: Laser Communication Repeater

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Design a Laser Communication Repeater that can relay digital communications between multiple stations. Laser communications are limited to line of sight. This limitation can be overcome by using repeaters at high locations such as tall buildings, towers, balloons or mountain tops (Lunar/Martian). The design of a laser repeater system is complicated by the very narrow beams widths of lasers which only allow for point to point connections. A laser repeater would need to determine the direction (azimuth and elevation angle) of a station trying to establish connection and accurately aim its laser beam at the station. It would need to do this for multiple stations some of which may be in motion (vehicles). Once connection is established the laser repeater would function similar to a network hub/switch/router providing data, voice and video links between all connected stations.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Successfully build and deploy a laser repeater system that can establish digital communication with at least three stations at a specified minimum distance.

Points can be awarded for:
  1. Distance of contact with stations.
  2. Connection speed.
  3. Connection with more than three stations.
  4. Station in motion during connection.
Follow on challenges could address increased range, lower power consumption, faster connection speed and reduced size/weight.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $200,000.

What is the format for the challenge? Public demonstration one team at a time at an event held at a suitable site such as a stadium or field.


Title of Challenge: "Ore to Orbit: ISS to Trojan Object to ISS"

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The object is to prototype strategic resource acquisition of strategic/economic metals past LEO using remotely piloted/autonomous vehicles (RP/AV).

The object is to use a Remotely Piloted/Semi-Autonomous Vehicle to:
  1. Exit LEO (or launch from surface) to rendezvous with a Earth-Trojan metallic asteroid,
  2. Select and land on an area high in strategic metal high grade ore (for one metal: nickel, titanium, tungsten, platinum, or gold)
  3. Extract a 1 kg high grade (AIME definitions) sample for the chosen metal,
  4. Return with the sample safely to rendezvous in LEO (or alternately to return to Earth Surface).
Key technological challenges:
  1. Rendezvous with an Earth-Trojan object (observable on the web)
  2. Long Latency communication for semi-autonomous Landers
  3. Remote sensing for metals
  4. Mechanical extraction of metallic ore from an object (possibly hard surface).
  5. Safe return of metallic sample.
Result will prove technologies for sampling economically/strategically important metals, and pave the way for later larger scale mining efforts. The public could observe the landing, harvest, and progress of vehicles to target.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Achievement of 3 Objectives:
  • Landing on Earth Trojan object (with video feed and photos).
  • Selection of 1kg high-grade (AIME definitions) sample location and extraction (mechanical removal).
  • Return of 1 kg sample to LEO ISS rendezvous (or Earth surface) for in a condition suitable processing and analysis (industry standards), and return of at least 50% of the non-fuel mass of the RP/AV to LEO ISS rendezvous (or Earth surface).
Contestants must follow NASA and FAA safety procedures.

(Optional: Demonstrate reusability of RP/AV (minus fuel and expendable boost stages) post sample return.)

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner?
  • $10K Cash prize and plaques.
  • Use of NASA or Commercial LEO assets (ISS or similar) for further sample return and analysis for an additional 5 years. Winner will need to build their own analysis apparatus, provide their own personnel (or train NASA personnel), and pay to bring up supplies required (possibly waived for Non-profit entities).
  • Limited mining license to the selected region (1 km x 1 km) of Trojan object for 10 years (if legally feasible), +1 year for each year completed before 2020.
What is the format for the challenge? Open offering, completion before 1 Oct 2020. Contestants must maintain website with public footage of test, progress of vehicle to and from target, target selection criteria, and video/images of landing and extraction.


Title of Challenge: High Density High Cycle Energy Storage

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Demonstrate a method of storing energy with a much greater power density than current battery technologies. The energy could be stored as electrical charge, chemical potential, kinetic energy in a flywheel, or any other method, but should be input and recovered as electricity. The device should have a useful life of at least 1000 charge/discharge cycles.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winning device must exhibit 1/10 the volume and mass of a lithium-ion battery of equivalent storage capacity. Storage capacity at end of life must be at least 80% of rated capacity.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $5,000,000.

What is the format for the challenge? NASA laboratory evaluation of submitted devices.


Title of Challenge: Food From Dirt

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The successful challenger will be able to convert common natural inorganic resources into a nutrient to sustain human life indefinitely. The natural resources can be designed towards a particular Earth environment or other planets where food is scarce. The inorganic resources can be consumed in some internal self-sustaining process to produce the organic foodstuff.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winner has a balance of nutrient richness versus widely available inorganic resource for the target planet. The foodstuff must contain 100% of the recommended daily allowances to sustain human life. The daily output must be enough quantity to sustain at least two individuals. The unit must be self contained besides the inorganic resources for a period of at least one month without replenishing fuel or internal process resources.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A substantial award commensurate with the broad reaching results. A million dollars per human sustained per day per unit.

What is the format for the challenge? This would be a first to demonstrate challenge. One prize for each target planet.

Title of Challenge: Early Hazardous Impact Detection Prize (I'm sure a better name can be invented)

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Encourage contestants to discover and track natural objects that will impact the Earth - before such an impact occurs.

The main objective is to discover such potential impactors so that the impact can be avoided, or evacuations and infrastructure preparations can be planned, before the impact. The secondary objectives are to add to our scientific knowledge of space objects, and to strengthen our related skills and technologies.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Detection of an Earth-impactor, and subsequent tracking and professional concurrence that the object is an Earth-impactor, would result in a win. Judging methods would be set up ahead of time, and would likely resemble similar assessments today. A win could potentially occur for detection and analysis of objects that had actually been discovered earlier (and then lost or never analyzed for Earth impact), depending on the rules.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? This challenge may not require such a large cash prize as many other potential Centennial Challenges, since there are many amateur astronomers already willing to do their hobby for free. It also doesn't require anything as expensive as an in-space demonstration (although fairly expensive equipment and lots of labor are undoubtably useful for winning the prize). I imagine a top prize of $250,000 or $500,000 would be sufficient to fully capture contestants' attention. Greater amounts would allow more ambitious, thorough, and sophisticated efforts to take place. Some thought would be needed to evaluate the pros and cons of this, since at some point it may discourage amateur participants.

There could be a formula for determining prize amounts. This formula could give more prize money for detecting objects that will hit or effect populated areas than unpopulated ones, more money for more massive objects (to the degree object mass can be estimated), and more money for greater advanced notice of the impact. Prize money could also be awarded for detecting likely impacts where best efforts of professional astronomers cannot pin down with certainty yet whether or not an impact will occur. Even small impact predictions should be rewarded at some level, since there is scientific value to observing them.

Predictions of impacts to other planets or their moons could also be rewarded, again because of the potential science benefit of observing these impacts or their results. The main challenge would be funded so that the main challenge could continue even after smaller detection prizes are awarded.

What is the format for the challenge? first to demonstrate, continuing as the prize money holds out (let's assume that if someone actually wins big money on this one - i.e. a comet or asteroid that will cause serious harm is discovered - that the prize will be funded many times over).


Title of Challenge: Aerocapture Guidance Algorithm Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Develop a guidance algorithm that would successfully place a spaceship in orbit of a planet (e.g. Mars or Earth) using aerocapture. An aerocapture guidance algorithm is responsible to provides commands to the spaceship's actuators during the passage in the lower part of the atmosphere of the target planet.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? One major problem with the proposal of such algorithms in the literature is the comparison with existing algorithms: the synthetic comparison environment is often created by the algorithm inventor as well; therefore it might produce biased results. To counter this eventuality, every contestant will be using the exact same simulation environment (computer program), that will be provided free of charge, prior to the beginning of the challenge. With that fixed environment, NASA mission planners will be able to set metrics to impartially evaluate the contestants' algorithms. These metrics will be computed by the simulation environment itself, giving the possibility of easily maintaining a leader board published on the web and other media. A weighted mix of metrics might be used, such as the sum of all corrective impulsions (lower the better), maximum G force (lower the better), maximum thermal impact (lower the better), etc.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? From 10,000$ to 100,000$ dollars. Given an appropriate synthetic simulation environment (6 Degrees of Freedom with atmospheric support), Aerocapture Guidance Algorithm is only one of the many possibilities of challenges using the very same simulator. Therefore many challenges with relatively small cash prizes could succeed one another (i.e. 2 or 3 per years).

What is the format for the challenge? Contestants will have to download the provided synthetic environment Software Development Kit and develop their own algorithms using whatever programming language they want. At anytime during the challenge, they will be able to submit their guidance algorithm (via a secure web portal for instance) and it will be instantly tested and reported on the leader board.


Title of Challenge: Henry Vanderbilt Space Access Prize

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The objective is to encourage the development and use of affordable reusable suborbital rockets, both for the useful capabilities enabled by such rockets and for the technical and business experience they give towards the more difficult objective of affordable orbital space access. It is intended to follow on the success of the Ansari X PRIZE and Centennial Challenge's Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? This would be divided into multiple sub-challenges with their own milestones and performance measurements as described below.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Approximately $40M would be appropriate for the full suite, but there is no need to fund it all at once. Individual components could be much less than this. Here is a possible breakdown:
  • $5M - Essentially this is for second place using the Ansari X PRIZE rules, had that prize had a second place. Ansari X PRIZE winners would not be eligible.
  • $10M - This would be for a prize similar to the Ansari X PRIZE, but with a more difficult challenge. The difficulty would be noticeably beyond the capability of the current generatiion of suborbital RLVs under development. For example, if altitude is the distinguishing factor, perhaps 150km could be used instead of the Ansari X PRIZE's 100km.
  • $10M - Sounding Rocket challenge: This would be similar to the Ansari X PRIZE, but crew would not be required. However, some other aspect of the challenge would be even more difficult. For example, perhaps 200-300km altitude would be required instead of 150km in the previous crewed example. The objective would be to meet more of the needs of the sounding rocket community.
  • $2M - This is essentially a new round of the Lunar Lander Challenge, with more difficult requirements (perhaps altitude, or payload, or duration). Third and fourth place prizes for the original Lunar Lander Challenge might also be considered.
  • $5M - Suborbital RLV Applications prizes - These would be for actual demonstration of the use of the current generation of (hoped-for) suborbital RLVs in various application areas. The details of each prize would need to be ironed out with input from each application area's community so that challenges are relevant, useful, difficult enough to warrent a prize, and easy enough to be winnable. Capabilities that can be used many times after the prize is won might be preferred over single-use examples.

Title of Challenge: Regolith Excavation Endurance Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The objective of this challenge is to demonstrate long-duration (simulated) regolith moving capabilities, culminating in the burial of a simulated habitat.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? A robot will repeatedly climb up a ramp to the top of a simulated habitat, depositing simulated regolith again and again until the habitat is completely covered.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A prize comparable to the current Regolith Excavation Challenge prize would be suitable, since the task is similar. The 2009 prize amounts for the current Regolith Excavation Challenge are: 1st prize: $500,000, 2nd prize: $150,000, 3rd prize $100,000.

What is the format for the challenge? A ramp up to the top of a simulated habitat would be provided, and then the regolith-moving robots would have to drive up this ramp to dump simulated regolith on the habitat until it is fully buried. This will very likely take a great deal of time, which is the reason for the "Endurance" part of the challenge. A team may use only one, or many small robots to accomplish the challenge.


As of October 5, 2009

Title of Challenge: Electricity from plants

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To push-forward abstraction of electricity from growing plants

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? In first year, obtaining 5 watts of electricity from plant/s.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? US$10,000 or further plant-orientated growing equipment

What is the format for the challenge? Growing plant/s to produce electricity that can be collected almost directly from the plant - bio-electricity (not necessarily fermented ).

A one day event where competitors demonstrate the power production of their plant growth ideas with winner being one who produces the ‘most power' from a plant tray growing area of one square metre of growing depth of one metre?


Title of Challenge: Habitat Shell

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Assemble basic structural shells for planetary or space habitats. Develop the tools, components and methods necessary for the assembly of a shell providing a basic structural exoskeleton for a habitat. Components to be designed for ease of transportation and assembly. Minimize the types of components and tools required and utilize shipping containers in construction of habitat shell. Atmospheric integrity is not in the scope of this challenge and is intended to be provided by an interior and/or exterior finishing phase of construction.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Successfully construct a habitat shell of specific dimensions and able to support specific loads.

Points awarded for each category:
  1. Speed of construction (Fast is better. This would be the public demonstration part of competition)
  2. Number of types of parts required. (Less is better)
  3. Number of tools required. (Less is better)
  4. Shipping volume and weight. (Less is better)
  5. Number of different assembled configurations possible. (More is better)
(Max points in each category could be weighted for priority.)

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $200,000

What is the format for the challenge? Head to head assembly competition for maximum public interest.


Title of Challenge: Extraction of water from Lunar regolith

What is the objective of the prize challenge? We are fairly sure that there is a lot of water on the Moon, both generally at the part per million level and at the poles, perhaps as permafrost with water content that may be as high as 50% or more. Developing the technology to extract this water would be beneficial for Lunar colonization, or perhaps even for shorter visits. The objective is to extract this water the most efficient way possible, in a vacuum. Extracting water from the high water content material should be fairly simple. Extracting water from the low water content material, in a vacuum, will be much more difficult. This could provide a two step challenge.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The performance goal will be to extract the water in a useful form (liquid water) as cheaply as possible, with cost being measured by equivalent system mass for in situ equipment.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Extraction from high water content materials would easy, and a prize of perhaps $10k would be appropriate. Extraction from low water content materials would be more difficult, and a prize of perhaps $100k would be appropriate.

What is the format for the challenge? I would see this as a competition to produce the lowest cost water within a fixed timeframe, perhaps 1 year for each stage.


Title of Challenge: The Earth-Moon Lagrange Point Prize

What is the objective of the prize challenge? If humanity is ever going to successfully colonize outerspace the development of space colonies needs to be pursued. The most promising place to build a "city sized" space colony is at the Earth-Moon Lagrange point, L5. The Earth-Moon Lagrange points are special points in space where the gravitational force is just balanced with that of the Moon, making it almost effortless to remain in this position. More so, these points are very close to the moon, given the moon's smaller gravitational force compared to Earth.

The objective of this prize is to successfully send a spacecraft from Earth, land on the moon, then launch from the moon to the L5 Lagrange point, the most obvious of the Lagrange points to build a colony in. A bonus prize is given to any team that can also bring lunar soil to the L5 point as research has shown that for such a colony to exist we will need to utilize the moon's resources in building the colony. Oxygen production from Lunar regolith being the first and most important requirement for the colony to get started.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winner is the first team to successfully launch from Earth, land on the moon, then launch to L5 point and remain there.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? This prize will become the largest incentive based prize ever. A suitable purse prize, considering the amount of effort and resources required, is $100 million.

What is the format for the challenge? As all successful incentive based prizes in the past have done, the prize will have little rules or restrictions. Entrants can accomplish the goal in any way they find. This allows for more people to compete and thus more chance of the prize being won and for more technological advancements to be made in space travel.


Title of Challenge: Create Attraction Minimizing Device

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Know how to minimize attraction between objects in order to save energy used for transportation.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The one who is able to minimize attaction more will win.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The one who wins can buy anything for free for all his life. During all his life, he will not spend the money that humanity will save in one day in case the creation works.

What is the format for the challenge? Give competitors a stone each of 500 Newton. They will have to create a device that holds the stone and diminishes it's weight. The weight of the stone and the device has to become less then the weight of the stone. This will be done by understanding the nature of vibrations sent by earth and sending opposite vibes.


Title of Challenge: To make a purely mechanical assembly that will do useful work or entertain.

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To perform some sort of mechanically driven useful work similar to a wind up Pendulum Clock that keeps time.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? This is geared for the high school engineering or inventor types. I would think that instead of a cash prize how about a free 4 year scholarship to a college of the winner's choice.

What is the format for the challenge? The mechanical assembly can use no electricity, chemical force or wind. It can use stored up mass weight to initiate or provide the kinetic force to drive the assembly but the final outcome must be something useful to the world even if it is only for entertainment.


Title of Challenge: Terraform earth's desserts, by use of a self reproducing concept.

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Advanced terraforming. If we ever want to explore space beyond earth. We would like to stand on green soil. It is very expensive to get some dirt from here to the moon or mars or beyond. So we need something that can grow in its own isolated growing environment. Using its own (natural) power sources.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Because there are already dessert plants that can live in the dessert, you or your teams concept should expand a thousand times in horizontal size (so if you start with a square meter, you endup with 1000 square meters) in reality its more likely you start smaller, the minimum start size would be 1 square cm. So chipmakers, bioengineers you need to work together on this. Last but not least, at least one tree must grow on the vegational ground you've made. One tree is symbolic the starting point for a forrest.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The reward of creating a system that turns desserts into green areas is priceless. People probably can get into every history book with this, as people who changed the world.

What is the format for the challenge? Probably university teams, industries, and well anyone else who wants to take part of it.


Title of Challenge: Arctic Plant

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To create a habitat system that can provide for the growth of an edible plant(s) in artic/anartic temperatures and sunlight.

The habitats will be tested by setting them in the antarctic under monitored observation.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? To have a plant(s) successfully produce fruit, grain, or edible leaf or tubors. Bonus, to have plant show sustainability by reproducing.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $10,000 for every participant that succeeds. $20,000 if able to show sustainability via reproduction.

What is the format for the challenge? Challengers must construct a habitat system. It must be contained in a 4'x'4x1' square. The container may expand to any size after deployment. The total weight must be under 200lbs.


Title of Challenge: Biosphere Prize

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Develop the ability to sustain an independent ecosystem with as little input as possible. The objective would be similar to the famous Biosphere II attempt.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? A pre-specified number of people would be enclosed within an artificial biosphere of a pre-specified mass and volume for a pre-specified amount of time. The time would be long enough for ecological change to take place. This would simulate a space station, base, or spacecraft. The goal would be to minimize the amount of resupply needed by the mini biosphere.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The prize would probably be over $1M.

What is the format for the challenge? The format would be similar to what the world saw with Biosphere II. To simulate mass and volume for near-term spacecraft and space stations, mass and volume might be considerably less than the Biosphere II facility, and to compensate some "resupply" might be allowed.


Title of Challenge: Personal Satellite Assistant Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Develop robotic assistants to help space station workers and astronauts in spacecraft. The "Personal Satellite Assistant" of NASA Ames could be a model. In this case the robotic assistant is a robot that floats and navigates in a pressurized microgravity environment.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The Ames PSA is meant to be able to navigate in a microgravity environment like the ISS, include sensors to detect problems (fire, air, etc), assist astronauts with day-to-day tasks such as inventory checkout and daily schedule, and provide camera capabilties. Simulations of any of these capabilities, or several of them, could be required. The actual contest could take place in the ISS, in a suborbital RLV, in a Zero-G flight, or in a simulated space environment on Earth, depending on the tasks chosen. Ideally the prize would be limited to basic PSA capabilities like navigation, but in such a way that additional capabilities could be added later to a robotic commercial service resulting from the competition.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The prize would probably be $1M or more.

What is the format for the challenge? PSA predefined "obstacle course" and task list - first to demonstrate.


Title of Challenge: Smallsat Launch Prize

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Develop reusable systems that can launch small satellites.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Launch a small satellite into orbit. Repeat with a second satellite within 2 weeks. No more than 10% of the vehicle's non-propellant mass can be replaced between the first and second flights. Reusable suborbital rockets such as SpaceShipTwo and Lynx would be allowed as part of the launch system. Crewed launch would not be required. The orbit, as well as the mass and volume of the satellite, would be determined by NASA.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The prize probably should be greater than $2M - possibly considerably more if the satellite mass and volume are large.

What is the format for the challenge? first to demonstrate


Title of Challenge: Micro-Reentry Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Develop systems that can are cheap enough, or reusable enough, to use frequently for delivering small payloads from the ISS to Earth.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? This was already considered as a Centennial Challenge, and is on the current prize ideas list. The classic "intact egg landing" described in the original Centennial Challenge could work.

I'm mentioning this particular challenge even though it's already one considered as a Centennial Challenge in part because of the likely extension of the life of the ISS given the recent Augustine committee review. If that happens the value of this challenge would increase considerably. I also think it has the potential to add value to future commercial space stations and labs, as well as to chip away at the "affordable RLV" or "affordable launch and return payload" problem.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? over $1M

What is the format for the challenge? first to demonstrate


As of September 30, 2009

Title of Challenge: Deep Space Propulsion Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The objective of this prize is to encourage the development of high efficiency, high output deep space propulsion systems that have a lower power consumption threshold than that of today’s most efficient systems. The system developed must be capable of being easily and rapidly applied to man-rated platforms within six to eight months after being “flown” in full competition trim. This means that a team must show a reasonable plan for integration into any existing man-rated space transportation platform. It is from this plan that commercial and government entities can develop future systems that take full advantage of the technologies developed.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The performance measurement would be relatively simple. Each team would have to develop a system capable of using today’s available, safe space-rated technology to achieve the goals of the competition. No nuclear or radioisotopic devices can be used for powering the system and no complex or toxic fuels or chemicals can be for combustion media. Each team will have to use fuels easily found and extracted from a given astronomical body such as an asteroid, moon, or planet. Fuels and oxidizers like methane, hydrogen, helium-3, liquid oxygen should be the most encouraged choices.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A reasonable prize for such an undertaking would be seven to thirteen million dollars and assistance in acquiring international patent rights for the technology developed. If a launcher is provided for the use of each team, the teams that utilize this launcher would only be entitled to half of the maximum prize amount, but would still be able to receive assistance in acquiring international patent rights for the technology developed. The second and third place prizes will be half and one quarter the maximum prize amount respectively. This is a prize that will be distributed upon completion of the first competition.

What is the format for the challenge? The format would be the same as the current Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. There are many conceptual propulsion systems currently in various stages of development across the world. The one item that is keeping many of these systems from actual usage is a clearly defined purpose with a substantial financial return. The point of this competition is to develop a fast and efficient propulsion system. Ion engines are very efficient and have great duration, but lack the power to move any large usable payloads. Chemical rockets, even nuclear variants, can move great payloads, but can only do this over short (astronomically speaking) distances and using copious amounts of fuel to do so. Concepts like VASIMIR could counter the problems of both of the previous propulsion types, but will still require a considerable amount of power to achieve its optimal performance. Developing a propulsion system that offsets many of these issues in an innovative and immediately usable way is what is at the core of the purpose of this competition.

Each team would develop a spacecraft that would be limited by chosen fuel densities. No team will have the ability to have more fuel than another. Each spacecraft will be unmanned and have the necessary equipment for relatively easy tracking and communication. NASA will provide a device capable of measuring acceleration and astronomical location as well as the fuel level on-board each spacecraft. Once the fuel has been completely consumed, including residual gases, that information will be relayed back to a ground station and evaluated. Whichever spacecraft was capable of achieving the greatest distance under acceleration produced by developed engine thrust will receive the posted prizes. Coasting or gravity assisted acceleration cannot be applied to the final acceleration speed of the spacecraft. NASA will also determine additional items critical to the success of this competition such as safety, area of operations, and potential scientific payloads.


Title of Challenge: Green Space

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The objective is to successfully create a habitat and grow a plant in space, or on Mars. (Growing plants on the moon would be cool too)

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winner must have a fully flowered rose or similar plant inside a habitat in space/Mars/Moon

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $10,000


Title of Challenge: Near Earth Orbit Retriever and Transporter (NEORaT)

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Create a remote controlled, light weight and cost effective device that can retrieve and relocate object that are in Near Earth Orbits.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner?
  1. Be able to safely attach and move 80% of the current satellites in NEO to correct decaying orbits, change orbit path, retrieve to the ISS for repair, or to assist in accurately setting a terminal orbit re-entry.
  2. Device must be less than 250lbs including any fuel or propellant.
  3. Device must have the ability to program fail-safe actions in case of loss of communication from the remote control station during any stage of the operation or mission.
  4. Device must be able to withstand the NEO environment and still operate properly.
  5. Device production cost should be less than $100,000 (delivered to NASA).
What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Top ten candidates are asked to construct their device. Winner to get $1,000,000 grant for further research and refinement.

What is the format for the challenge? Open to all Universities. All teams will be given six months to design and prepare their project for presentation. A panel of industry experts will judge each presentation on one factor only, how practical/viable the concept is at meeting the challenge.

Once the panel has made their decision, the top ten candidates will be asked to construct their device to demonstrate proof of concept and earth based trials.


Title of Challenge: Propellantless Propulsion Promise (The promise is that NASA will listen to the contestants.)

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Demonstrate a device that exhibits significant propulsion without a dangerous energetic propellant exhaust.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The device must pass the “pendulum test”. That is, suspended on wires, when activated it must push itself horizontally away from the vertical, and hang at an angle of at least 10 degrees, relatively steadily. For a description of earlier tests of this type, see this article: http://www.rexresearch.com/dean/stine.htm

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? It is likely that a successful device could lead to a Nobel Prize, because nothing in ordinary physics will allow such a device to work.

What is the format for the challenge? The suspended device must be enclosed in a box to ensure it does not interact with the air (other than through symmetrically placed cooling fins). Judges will ensure any power supply connection or other external device (magnets) cannot affect the result of the test. The longer the pendulum, the more sensitive will be the test.


Title of Challenge: Lightweight Radiation Shield for Manned Interplanetary Spaceflight

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To develop a method of shielding crewmembers from high-energy radiation for interplanetary missions, without adding undue weight to the payload. Current designs are either far too heavy or insufficiently effective, and are essentially worthless for a manned mission to Venus or Mars, where prolonged exposure to cosmic background radiation would kill the crew long before they arrived at their destination. An effective shield would be light enough to launch into space, and would absorb all the types of radiation which can be harmful to living crew.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winner would double the performance of current best-in-class radiation shielding (e.g. polyurethane foam). This could mean halving the weight while keeping the absorption constant, or doubling the absorption while keeping the weight constant. All hazardous radiation types must be absorbed or reflected. There are no limitations on the type of shield to be used or the strategy for achieving the goal. Any power source needed for an active shielding design would be counted against the weight of the system.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $1,000,000

What is the format for the challenge? The challenge would have a fixed timeframe, and the group with the best-performing solution would be declared the winner. There is no reason to think that a 200% increase in performance will be the limit of what can be achieved, so the competitors should be given an incentive to exceed the goal as far as possible. But a winner will only be declared if the 200% goal were met.


Title of Challenge: Lunar Lander Prize

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Put a man or woman on the surface of the moon, and get them back safely to earth.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? First one to do it wins.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A million dollars, plus either a major lunar surface feature, or the first lunar base gets permanently named after the winner (once established).

What is the format for the challenge? Freestyle. First person to prove the landing success ( with the process accomplished by any means necessary) gets the prize.


Title of Challenge: Lunar Remote Operated Chess Set

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Launch, land and deploy a remotely operated equipment package to demonstrate the ability of Earth personnel to manipulate objects and processes on the moon in near real-time. This experiment would show the potential ability to assemble and manufacture complex items and other components on the moon. Using a chess set rather than an actual assembly demonstration would attract the interest of students and children who may choose a science career later in life.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? A tele-operated chess set payload must be launched and landed on the surface of the moon. The remote operator must place a stored regulation size chess board on a horizontal surface within or near the probe. The remote operator would then set up each regulation size chess piece for a standard game of chess. Two human operators would then play a complete game of chess. For consistency among competitors, the game might be a pre-chosen re-enactment of a famous chess match.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $10-20 million dollars (US).

What is the format for the challenge? First to demonstrate this process. Possibly with lesser prizes for competition who succeed within 60 to 90 days after the first winner.


Title of Challenge: Automated Orbital Rendezvous and Docking

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Rendezvous in earth orbit, without human input during the final phases and successfully perform a docking. An additional level to the prize would be to perform a transfer of liquid propellant between the two spacecraft while docked. The broader objective would be to stimulate the market for low-priced COTS products that can conduct rendezvous and docking. Having a cheap and reliable system for this could enable companies to more easily develop vehicles for space station operations. Having an automated docking and rendezvous capability would also enable large payloads to be split up into smaller payloads launched on smaller rockets. This could enable other programs (such as NASA’s exploration initiatives) to proceed on a faster timeline.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winner would be any team that successfully performs the docking. The additional prize would be awarded to anyone who can transfer 5kg of propellant.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The nominal cash prize amount should be $1 million. It should not be higher to encourage the use of cheap, off the shelf technology. However, if the user has to purchase a launch commercially, this value no longer makes sense. Instead, a launch should be provided to teams that reach technological maturity. One possibility would be to launch several contestants on one launch. Additionally, because the schedule will be primarily determined by launch availability, the prize should be awarded to any team that can accomplish the task within one year of the first team to succeed.

What is the format for the challenge? The challenge would begin when the two spacecraft come within 10km of each other. At this point, no outside control (except to abort and return to 10km) could be exerted on either spacecraft. They would be required to autonomously track, rendezvous with, and dock with each other. Once docked, the primary challenge would be completed. At this point, each team would be eligible for a secondary challenge, which would be successful when 5kg of propellant was transferred from one spacecraft to the other.


Title of Challenge: Gravitational Platform

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The ability to create artificial gravity or artificial gravity material.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The material or machine should produce at least half the gravity of earth.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Full patents and monies derived from patents to the winner for 5 years. NASA is except from this and does not need to pay winner for any use of this machine or material. This only applies to 3rd party companies and groups.

What is the format for the challenge? This would be an event with multiple competitors in a head-to-head competition with a timeline.


Title of Challenge: Shaping and compression of plasmas in a strong magnetic field for purposes of increasing the efficiency of a VASIMR type rocket engine

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To harness the database and theoretical talent originally created through the engineering of magnetic confinement approaches to thermonuclear fusion research. To address the potential of Plasma rocket engines.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? An improvement of at least 30% of the overall efficiency of a VASIMR type rocket engine.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $50,000 for a successful contestant, $10,000 for any effort NASA deems materially contributing to the advancement of the technology.

What is the format for the challenge? A credible design for hardware / software control of plasma geometry which is judged by NASA to be capable of improving the efficiency of a VASIMR type rocket engine by at least 30%.


Title of Challenge: Human Body to Computer Interface

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To prototype a system that monitors astronauts’ status in as many ways as possible and presents this information in clear and understandable form; to prototype a system that allows astronauts to control computers, research devices, station’s structural components, etc. with minimal effort. The measurement / controller device would preferably be wearable or otherwise easily attachable / detachable to the astronauts’ bodies. Especially interesting would be monitoring of astronauts’ brain activity; as well as control of equipment by brain processes.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner?
Most comprehensive monitoring of critical body functions
  • ability to detect conditions to raise alarms, also when the condition is unexpected
    • metric: out of N serious medical conditions, raised M alarms
    • metric: out of E healthy bodies examined, raised F false alarms
  • ability to read the status of the test person
    • metric: out of N situations, could correctly tell in M cases when
  • the person was stressed or panicking
  • the person was dizzy or losing consciousness
  • the person was hurting
  • (etc.)
Most innovative, effortless and powerful controller
  • metric: which tasks it is suited for * how important those tasks are * how well the tool performs
    • performance 1 = how much easier the tool makes the job (compared to the current praxis, in space or otherwise) - overhead
    • performance 2 = how much easier the tool makes the job (compared to the best available solution prior to the contest) - overhead
    • overhead = how much trouble using the tool is + trouble learning the tool + bulkiness + risk of mistakes or hazards +
  • criteria: novelty
Most innovative and powerful brain interface (could take part in the previous categories as well…)
  • utility metric similar to controller
  • criteria: novelty, showing of promise, coolness
What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Mentoring and investment back-up for commercializing promising research projects into products for customer, medical, space or industrial markets, e.g. This would be co-organized with various hi-tech entrepreneurship and business plan contests. Cash prizes could range from $10,000 to $50,000; additionally, up to $200,000 investment could be given to a team aiming to commercialize their work as a saleable product (in form of cheap loan, share in company, etc.)

What is the format for the challenge? Yearly expo with prize given to the most promising projects.


Title of Challenge: SSTO with Nuclear Lightbulb Propulsion

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To develop a Single Stage to Orbit spacecraft that utilizes Nuclear Lightbulb Propulsion as its primary motive power.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Multiple milestones: First to demonstrate containment materials, First to demonstrate working Nuclear Lightbulb engine design, First to LEO, First to Orbit, First to Escape Velocity.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Prize would include reimbursement of full R&D costs and an exclusive government contract to design and build a fleet (12-20) of SSTO personnel and cargo spacecraft.

What is the format for the challenge? Multiple competitors with first to demonstrate receiving proportionally more funding for the next stage.


Title of Challenge: High Energy Renewable Modular Environmental Support

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Desalination, Power Generation and Communication Infrastructure for Arid Coastal Areas and Remote Islands with seawater. The objective is to provide low cost electricity, fresh drinking water and modern communications technologies to nations that would be positively impacted by its presence.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The successful system will be able to produce energy by a combined means of Solar, Tidal and Wind power. It must be modular to allow it to function in multiple environments (from desalination of water to power generation to communications infrastructure). They must produce no environmentally threatening byproducts (as long as toxic substances can be neutralized or utilized within the apparatus and they are safely contained this is fine) They must be able to be networked with other units. It must be low cost and self sustaining.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Roughly 100-250 thousand dollars.

What is the format for the challenge? Head to Head Competition


Title of Challenge: Asteroid deflection system

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Define alternatives for small asteroid deflection system in order to utilize them for space based spaceports or cyclical spaceships

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Scale working model for proof of concept

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Be part of the project for the time allocated with a reasonable salary

What is the format for the challenge? Proposal with drawings and calculations for feasibility with state of the art technology, estimated cost, schedule of activities and resources allocated.


Title of Challenge: Modular Technology Design

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To research and develop modular device technology for implementation in terrestrial and/or extraterrestrial locations.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Successful experimentation of of developed technology in experiments ranging from real world experiences and projected experiences.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Unknown will have to be calculated after predicted influence of modular technology is asset.

What is the format for the challenge? Format would be first technology developed to meet and pass testing experimentation.


Title of Challenge: Extracting Energy from Solar and Earth Spin Sources

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To develop equipment which can directly extract energy from solar radiation and Earth Spin energy.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Achieving direct energy extraction, and using it to generate electricity, from Solar and Earth Spin sources.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? If we could replace fossil fuel, then the value would be enormous. However, success is speculative. The value can be estimated as a product of total value in the event of success times a probability of success, which, unfortunately, is a very small number. But if we can design such equipment, the value to America, and the World, is enormous. The cash required for the study depends on a budget. If four (4) investigators, each with salary and benefits of $200,000, incidental expenses such as rent, computers, some equipment, travel to conferences, etc., the cost would be about $ 1,000,000 per year, that is about one million dollars per year. When building equipment, the cost would rise.

What is the format for the challenge? The format is to design and build equipment which works. Success is measured by the number of kilowatt hours of electricity which can be generated. Completion is every energy company in the world.


Title of Challenge: Muscular Atrophy Reduction System (MARS)

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The contest will be comprised of three phases. Contestants will be responsible for designing a mechanical or powered “device, process or system” to assist astronauts with retaining muscle strength and overall cardiovascular capability during extended duration space flights. The system should allow the astronaut to complete a long duration space mission and return to Earth’s atmosphere upon completion of the mission.

The system will be used to assist astronauts with reducing muscular atrophy associated with the long travel time associated with flying to Mars, extended missions on the International Space Station or possibly extended missions to the Moon.

The system should also be able to prepare the astronaut for any changes in gravitational forces they may be required to endure such as a manned trip to the surface of Mars, where the astronaut has to endure an extended flight, changing gravitational pull, lift off from the planet of Mars, the return trip and then gravity effects back on Earth.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Phase I – “Design” – Phase I will accept submissions for 90 days from announcement. 10 Finalists will be flown to NASA where interviews will be conducted to select the final three systems. The finalists will be asked to provide oral and written clarifications on their systems. The entrants need to submit suitable hand drawn or electronically created drawings which meet engineering and manufacturing standards along with detailed descriptions of how the system works and the various features of the system.

The “Board” will make the final decision ten days after the final interviews are concluded. Once the three finalists are selected, a time table will be created for Phase II. Three equal winners will be selected to move on to Phase II, however, each team will receive $75,000 for a Phase I selection. NASA will also set aside funding for Phase II at this time.

Phase II – “Build” – Submissions for Phase II consideration will last for 30 days. Potential “teams” can range in sizes with a maximum of 7 members. The panel consisting of NASA representatives, Astronauts and the Phase I winners will be responsible for selecting the nine teams. Phase II will require the Phase I winners to select a “build” team from new entrants. Nine new teams, three for each Phase I system, will build a unique working model of the system they want to be associated with. Funding will be $100,000 for the nine teams. The Phase II teams will not be able to exceed the “grant” money and must complete a working model to compete for Phase III.

The original winners are only allowed to act as advisors and clarify original ideas and are not allowed to actively participate in the “Build” process or to review the current build.

The Build Phase will last for 60 days, held at a NASA facility where the teams work. NASA will provide equal fabrication facilities for each team. If a team can not complete an operational model on budget or within the allotted time, the individual team and individual platform will be disqualified. The remaining individual teams will still be able to qualify. A board of NASA astronauts, kinesiologists and the Phase I winners will select one team from each platform, which will result in three winners moving on to Phase III. The winning teams will receive $75K each and will continue on to Phase III.

Phase III – “Operate” – The original members from Phase I and the winners from Phase II will now combine into one team, leaving three combined teams. The newly combined teams will be given 30 days to make any adjustments to their respective systems before the operational competition begins. The teams will be able to evaluate the losing platforms to see if there is anything they would like to incorporate. The teams will be competing in a complete battery of underwater tests, weightless tests and corrosive tests to evaluate any foreseeable repair issues, ease of use, and overall value to NASA.

The Operate Phase will last for 45 days; this is on top of the original 30 days of integration at the beginning of Phase III. Each team will have the ability to “retake” a stress test once should their system have a failure. If a system fails the test twice, the platform will be disqualified. The last phase of the competition will be to send each platform into space with an extended trial on the International Space Station, which should last for 60 days. A single winner will be chosen at the completion of the Space Station trials. The winning team will receive $250K dollars.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? See above.

What is the format for the challenge? Head to head competition judged by a panel for each phase.


Title of Challenge: Self Replicating Orbital Robot Challenge (SROR)

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Space junk is becoming an ever increasing safety issue to manned and unmanned space flight. NORAD currently tracks tens of thousands of pieces of space junk. One possible solution would be to create a space fairing robot that captures space junk, and then uses the junk to produce new robots to collect more space junk.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? When a robot can create a new robot that can then create a new robot while in orbit

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $25,000,000

What is the format for the challenge? Multiple milestones would be in place.
  1. Ability for a robot to replicate given heterogeneous pieces of material
  2. Ability for a robot to move around in orbit, from low earth, to higher altitudes
  3. Ability for a robot to use ground based database of space debris to move into position for capture
  4. Ability for a robot to process materials in orbit
  5. Ability for a robot to assemble a new robot in orbit from captured material

Title of Challenge: Field manipulation for propulsion uses

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The objective is to demonstrate a system capable of manipulating all known and classically demonstrated fields in existence for purposes of propulsion. This is hatched out of an idea that one could conceivable swing from field to field to gain angular momentum. Two things need to be demonstrated: Detection of exploitable fields, and the actual exploitation of said fields in any manner. While the vehicle doesn’t need to exhibit both functions, it should at least exibit the field manipulation. What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The provable amount of potential energy with respect to a common point in the earth’s surface or actual kinetic energy exploited with the highest efficiency.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A cash prize for a miniscule amount of energy exploitation in the amount of $400,000

What is the format for the challenge? Flyoff, may the best prototype win


Title of Challenge: Development of an unmanned wireless probe/device that would help to gauge/map places on the surface of another planet or regions on earth where various types of energy could be harnessed and transported / exported to the earth for storage and to be used in the future as a replacement for non-renewable sources of energy. This probe/device would securely relay information at frequent intervals or on demand or as required from the central station on various parameters. The device should be durable and weather proof (water, heat, shock proof, etc) would not need to be charged and should be self sufficient and rely on readily available sources of energy (like solar) for future survival.

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The objective of the prize challenge would be to devise a way to identify suitable areas that could be used to harvest and store energy for future use.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The economic cost of harvesting the energy along with the efficiency of the method with respect to the procedure as well as overall effect on the environment would be the performance measurement criterion.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A non-monetary reward would be suitable, however after realization of the idea as a product or implementation, due acknowledgement should be awarded in the form of publicity like sponsored media coverage, presentation of project, papers and talks/conferences. In addition, a panel comprising the award winners should be constituted to take advantage of their consultations.

What is the format for the challenge? Multiple head to head competitors with a defined time frame as a deadline.


Title of Challenge: Magnetic Sustained Propulsion

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To create a vehicle that can accelerate, decelerate, and provide lift through the magnetic environment around it.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The vehicle must lift approximately fifteen feet into the air. It must then proceed to maneuver for approximately ten minutes.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A suitable cash reward for this would be in the millions.

What is the format for the challenge? This would be a head to head competition to drive innovation and bring out the greatest creativity in the individuals.


Title of Challenge: lunar/martian self-sufficiency

What is the objective of the prize challenge? lunar/martian self-sufficiency

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? solar-powered self-reproducing robot made from materials on the moon/Mars

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? extending the range of the human race in time and space

What is the format for the challenge? desert demo, experiments on moon


Title of Challenge: Modular Space habitat

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Propose modular habitat systems for Moon, Mars or NEOs utilization with 90% of material being obtained in-situ for a crew of 4 people utilizing renewable power sources and assembled in one day by manned crews without heavy equipment.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Concept design, final engineering, working scale model, prototype

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Be part of the project for the time allocated with a reasonable salary and expense account

What is the format for the challenge? Phase 1-Concept design: drawings, renders and preliminary specifications or model photos to fully explain the proposal

Phase 2-Final engineering. Once concept is approved for further advance supply final engineering drawings and specifications, cost estimate and construction schedule

Phase 3-Prototype Build prototype with working parts to allow specialized crews to use it for in situ assembly and mission simulation


Title of Challenge: Spectrum is a collaborative project involving commercial organizations, government, education and scientific organizations. The product used is a hardware unit that is capable of measuring various bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. The hardware is capable of communicating these metrics to an onsite networked computer that will provide real-time environmental spectral statistics to a centralized server and data centre. CO2 emissions and other gas types will also be contained within the real-time data updates. Power grids should also provide energy consumption statistics synchronized with the above real-time data. Each hardware and associated software will be located internationally in as many high schools as possible.

What is the objective of the prize challenge?
  • Provide a real-time global statistical database of electromagnetic activity for analysis and correlation with other projects such as STEREO-B data, etc.
  • Provide a real-time global statistical database of CO2 concentration for analysis and correlation with other projects or data such as meteorology data, etc.
  • Provide an internationally synchronized community event where all school pupils are involved in raising an awareness of the environment, and hence producing a modern generation of individuals who understand the impact of energy consumption etc.
  • Provide a 5 year cycle to encourage school pupils to stay at school for an extra year. Every 5 years, the H/W and program is reviewed, improved and redeployed in each school.
What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner?
  • The most intuitive algorithm or associated use of the data collected.
  • A student excellence award for 1 individual from each school, nominated by each of the school pupils.
  • A student excellence award for each of the nominees above, nominated by these nominees, for outstanding contribution to the project.
What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? In order of each of the above bullets, respectively:
  • An appropriate sum of money to commercialize the use of the data and realize its use.
  • A personalized NASA t-shirt.
  • A 2 week trip to NASA space college or, more elaborately, a high altitude flight above the earth to observe it.
What is the format for the challenge? In order of each of the above bullets, respectively:
  • Multiple participants will submit their ideas and the Spectral board will chose the winner.
  • Each local school will deploy the hardware & associated software according to a detailed project plan. Areas of contribution will be identified for all pupils in the form of sub-projects. And an education program highlighting global environmental issues will be issued to all participants resulting in the award of a recognized certificate. Each team will nominate an individual from each sub-project who demonstrates excellence and the school head will select the winner. The head will provide a list of achievements / contributions for this individual.
  • Each winner from above will review the contributions of several other nominees. This process will be repeated until a manageable number of individuals get presented to the Spectrum board. 1 contributor will be selected.

Title of Challenge: Fully Autonomous Aircraft Sortie

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To have an aircraft takeoff, avoid other aircraft, and land in a fully autonomous manner.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Multiple criteria could be used including minimum time for the trip, minimum fuel burn, maximum altitude obtained, best collision avoidance method, etc.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? I’m not sure, but I was thinking $1 million would generate some interest.

What is the format for the challenge? A race from airstrip A to airstrip B with autonomous aircraft of a given spec.


Title of Challenge: Magnetic Levitation used for Transportation

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To encourage the development of ideas that will lead to a quantum leap in the way we travel to other planets and how we travel around our own planet by using Magnetic Levitation to propel vehicles to new heights above our freeways and on into the farthest reaches of Space.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The winner must demonstrate a vehicle, which could be a scale model of any size using only Magnetic Levitation of the vehicle or model higher than 10,000 Feet above the ground and its safe return to the ground. The vehicle or model must also demonstrate the capability to carry a payload.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Suitable Cash Prize is 10 Million dollars. My estimate is that it will cost around one to two million, perhaps more, to develop a working model capable of meeting the challenge and winning the prize.

What is the format for the challenge? A contestant must demonstrate a working model of a vehicle of any size as long as it is propelled 100% by magnetic levitation, i.e., the attraction and repulsion of magnetic field flux force between the vehicle and a sub-system as in a Magnetic Levitating Train in use today. The format of the challenge is to design, manufacture and demonstrate a lightweight vehicle and propulsion system that can elevate the rider or a payload to a height of a minimum of 10,000 feet above the ground. The proof of concept for this technology must also lend itself, in the sole discretion of the judges, to more powerful systems capable of space flight into low orbit and then eventually to the moon and then on to other planets of our solar system.


Title of Challenge: Space Junk Collection and Disposal

What is the objective of the prize challenge? An unmanned robotic orbital craft which uses existing tracking information about orbiting space junk, and can distinguish junk from working satellites, will add force to space junk so that it falls out of orbit and lands in one or more of some defined set of acceptable locations on earth, such as uninhabited desert or ocean. The junk collector may catch and release the junk, push it, shoot at it, or in other ways add force. The junk collector may be controlled remotely or fully automatic or something between.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? If more than one prototype succeeds in getting into orbit, and causing at least 3 pieces of space junk, which start out at least 100 kilometers away from one another, to fall into acceptable places on earth, then the winner would be the design which would be some combination of least expensive to operate and most complete and safe at clearing away the space junk. Bonus points go to craft which can be reused and which do not become space junk themselves.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Just a guess, 2 million dollars.

What is the format for the challenge? Competitors should design prototypes and try them, with suitable permission and warnings.


Title of Challenge: Renewable Petroleum Replacements

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Many of the fuels, materials, and lubricants used in air and space travel are made from petroleum. The world will eventually run out of petroleum, but long before that, the cost of petroleum will increase because the demand will far outstrip the supply, and what is left will be more expensive to extract and process. The goal is to take something NASA or its contractors uses, which is made from petroleum, and create a replacement which can be used without changing the rest of the design, and which is competitive in performance and price, and which is made entirely from renewable resources, such as biodiesel or material from plants.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Ideally, this competition would be set up so that there are multiple winners, so that multiple examples of NASA things which consume petroleum can be replaced.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? A contract with NASA to supply the replacement to NASA or its contractors, at a cost approximating what was already paid for the petroleum based equivalent.

What is the format for the challenge? Since this is relatively early in the discoveries about what is needed, the format should be a set of research grants which in each case specify what is being replaced, and the requirements which must be met in order for something to be an acceptable replacement.


Title of Challenge: Wriggly space ratchet (Note this is two closely linked challenges)

Objectives
  1. Develop a space propulsion system based on rolling, unrolling, bending etc. where the linear motion is a result of repeated rotative motions. ie The controlled exchange of angular and linear momentum.
  2. Recruit 'high school' minds to the application of basic physical mechanics, and engineering where the limits of exploration are really in their own minds.
  3. Use serious science and engineering (as epitomised by NASA) to engage with the geek community of romantic wannabe space inventors.
There would be two separate challenges: Creating a simulation of a propulsor that could visit all eight vertexes of a cube.
  • The other for a solar powered actuation mechanism. ie. the materials science part would be divorced from the gymnastic shenanigans bit.
Determining the winners
  • The simulation requires flying the course of the vertexes of a cube and might the be assessed on total power to weight ratio and time taken. The engineering competition might usefully be split into articulated and flexible methods (see end note) then evaluated on published criteria related to established space engineering metrics such as reliability, longevity. Being a first attempt we'd expect a lot of marks for potential.
Rewards
  • Recognition and a monetary token. It would be fairly safe to say that many of the people getting involved in the simulation would forgo prize money for a week swapping sketches to the engineering entrants at a gathering. On the basis that this competition is the first in the field I would suggest a number of smaller prizes eg [picks number] $5000 for most this, best that, lightest the other and so on.
Format
  • For the simulation NASA would need to provide a basic demonstration running on a simulator plus a populist video etc to grab the imagination.
  • The engineering competition would probably require some working prototype and detailed documentary description.

Title of Challenge: Tethered High Altitude Aircraft

What is the objective of the prize challenge? There are several proposals to tap high altitude (30 to 50 thousand feet) winds for power generation. The big problem is keeping the upper end in place. By offering this challenge we can get one step out of the way.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? First team to fly tethered aircraft at an elevation of 50,000 feet for 1 year. Aircraft can be as simple as a kite, parasail, fixed wing, rotor wing or dirigible.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Millions.

What is the format for the challenge? The team may use powered mechanisms to get the aircraft intially to elevation. The idea right now is to get experience at keeping an aircraft aloft for an extended period of time. Since high altitude windpower has an annual cycle, the airframe that supports the generators should need maintenance only during the high power season. Hence the 1 year criteria.

The aircraft must meet the following criteria:
  1. The angle of the tether must be steeper than 30 degrees. (Total rise over total run)
  2. The aircraft must be controllable from the ground. It should be manoeverable to 10 degrees either side of the ground end of the tether. Altitude must be controllable between 40 and 60 thousand feet. (This is required to keep tether cables from crossing.
  3. In the event of the tether parting, the aircraft must self land within 2 miles of the tether point.
  4. The tension on the tether at ground level must be at least 50,000 newtons for 50% of the flight. (When you add generators the drag is going to go up. Build a system that can resist that drag.
  5. The tether may be used to provide power to the aircraft.

Title of Challenge: Sealed ecosystem challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Long term maintenance of multiple species in a closed ecosystem, with only temperature and EM radiation (e.g. light) exposure as external controls, and no exchange of matter with the outside world.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Multiple scoring categories, including maintenance of multi-species ecosystem (total multi-cellular / macroscopic species count, fraction of known input species remaining, ability to predict outcome at start of competition), total biomass, ability to maintain oxygenated environment, etc after 1 year (NB other, longer time-frames could also be considered in the future)

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Variable with available budget. Ideally a few thousand dollars for local winners, up to tens of thousands for a national winner. Budget permitting, if the competition is sufficiently strong in future years, larger prizes could be envisaged.

What is the format for the challenge? Recurring annual head-to-head competitions at multiple locations. “Official” standardized sealable glass / plastic containers in one or more sizes could be made available, with sealant. After sealing at start of competition entries would be maintained in a neutral, publicly viewable location such as a local university, museum, etc. Contestants would submit a list of known content species and predicted outcomes (NB inoculation with e.g. pond water would be a legitimate means of supplying biodiversity, although such an approach might not score as highly in terms of predictability of outcome as a more well-defined system). After one year, containers would be opened, and the contents documented and judged by a panel of neutral volunteers with sufficient knowledge of biology to identify species etc (teachers, EPA workers, scientists, etc). Contents could also be returned to the contestants for incorporation into subsequent entries. High-performing entrants could be invited to submit entries for national championship at e.g. NASA headquarters the following year.


Title of Challenge: Automate Dental root canal device

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Fix root canal problem

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner?
  1. Demonstrate a machine that can perform root canal on a patient with a dentist controlling via remote console
  2. Demonstrate a machine that can perform root canal on a patient without a dentist
  3. Demonstrate a machine that can fully perform a root canal and closing the tooth (filling the drill hole) like the tooth never being drill
What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? 1,000,000

What is the format for the challenge? open


Title of Challenge: Lifelike robots or cybernetic organisms for human companionship on long journeys

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Humans on trips to Mars or on long missions to space become lonely. Their human companions may become cranky after such long continuous exposure to each other. Taking pets on long journeys would be unethical since we do not know if the animals consent to such a journey. Animals in space may also be high maintenance, consider a cat using a litter box in a zero-gravity setting; also consider how one would walk a dog in space.

Accordingly, we challenge individuals and organizations to create lifelike robots or cybernetic organisms for human companionship on long journeys. The organisms, ideally indistinguishable from cats or dogs, would offer human shipmates non-judgmental friendship and companionship without the hassles of having pets in small closed environments.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The competition would be to have a number of humans with both real and robotic/cybernetic organisms simultaneously, and test whether the human can distinguish the living from the non-living companion – a type of Turing Test. If a majority of the testers are unable to distinguish the animals in an hour, the robot/cybernetic organism has passed the test. If more than one robot/cybernetic organism passes the test, the winner is the one who lasts longest before they are ousted as a robot/cybernetic organism.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The creation of a lifelike robot/cybernetic organism is likely to be difficult. We recommend a prize of $25,000,000.

What is the format for the challenge? Testing rounds would be held every three years until a winner is declared. Each robot/cybernetic organism (“candidate”) would compete separately. Each competition would involve 15 humans in 15 separate rooms, each room with 1 person (“tester”), one actual animal (“control”) and one robot/cybernetic organism (“candidate.”) The tester would not be told which animal is the control and which is the candidate. The person leaves the room once they have discovered the robot/cybernetic organism. If a majority of the testers cannot correctly distinguish the candidate from the control in under an hour, the candidate has won. The entire test would be timed in case there is more than one winning candidate, in such a case, the candidate remaining indistinguishable for the longest mean time wins.

Other candidates would be tested in similar ways, but with fresh human testers, so as to not to provide the human experience which would disadvantage later candidates.


Title of Challenge: Earth Orbit Clean Sweep (EOCS)

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Come up with the most effective, reasonable cost, way to clear Earth’s orbit of floating junk. Future space flights and exploration become more and more dangerous as space debris in Earth’s orbit have steadily increased. To make future space missions more safe, we should now think about cleaning up our mess before it becomes too risky to plan any future space missions.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Winner should be able to provide a physical working design which can be shown to effectively remove or neutralize space debris.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Cash Prize of $1 Million and/or the rights to sell space debris they successfully remove from orbit and return to Earth (not sure if there is any value in that though)

What is the format for the challenge? Preliminary winners can be chosen from computer simulated models. A final winner chosen from working prototypes.


As of September 28, 2009

Title of Challenge: “Trash Busters”

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To remove orbital debris from Low Earth Orbit (LEO)

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The Safe de-orbit of a set amount of space debris from LEO. Debris chosen for de-orbit has to have an expected orbital lifetime of 2 or more years to be counted. The process cannot create more debris, either in terms of mass or quantity, than already existed before the attempt. The winner must de-orbit at least two separate items in different orbits in order to qualify. Items de-orbited must be derelict, abandoned or otherwise of no economic value and not under the control of any space agency. If of known origin and launched by an entity other than the challenger, agreement from the launching entity must be obtained prior to de-orbit.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $10M

What is the format for the challenge? Open to all comers, USAF to determine quantity and mass of debris de-orbited in each attempt, multiple attempts allowed within a 90 day time frame for each sequence. Challengers may attempt as many sequences as desired with the proviso that no additional debris be created. Any additional debris will disqualify a challenger until all that debris has re-entered on its’ own.


Title of Challenge: Growing a plant on the Moon/Mars

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To remotely identify what is needed to grow a living plant outside of Earth from a seed. This includes, finding the right conditions by remote analysis then sending something remotely to these locations and making it grow. This could be considered the first step on sending Man to remote areas but with much less risk and cost.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Successful growing of perhaps a bean.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Recognition by the President of the United States, Senate and Congress.

What is the format for the challenge? First to demonstrate team effort


Title of Challenge: Space Elevator

What is the objective of the prize challenge? The objective of the prize challenge is to create a method of propelling a vehicle into outer space without using the vehicle’s own on-board fuel.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The first team to propel a spaceship into orbit without using the vehicle’s onboard fuel which is creative and efficient (energy wise) and propels the object safely into space.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? The prize would be a ride to space or the moon in a rocket made by NASA using their space elevator or a 2 million dollar cash prize, whichever the winner wants.

What is the format for the challenge? The format is the first team to make a space elevator and propel a vehicle or object of equal weight to the Aries I rocket into space.


Title of Challenge: H2O/LOX ISRU DEPOT Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To encourage the private development of In Situ Resource Utilization Depots for companies to situate on the moon, to recover water and oxygen from lunar soil/deposits to be utilized later by astronauts landing in the area to assemble Lunar Outposts. ISRU units must deploy a means to collect lunar regolith for processing, host a processing capability, and a separation and storage capability, and accomplish these within the power budget of whatever power generation capabilities are included.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner?
Stage 1: Winner will have demonstrated feasibility of their equipment in a desert environment on Earth analogous to the lunar surface, but must evacuate all atmosphere from any collected materials before processing. Winner must recover 1 gallon of water and 1 gallon of LOX in 1 month.
Stage 2: Winner will have landed their equipment on the moon and processed enough regolith in a three month period to recover 1 gallon of water and 1 gallon of LOX.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner?
Stage 1: $1 million
Stage 2: $50 million cash prize and contract to build and land ISRU units at NASA chosen locations on the Moon at least two years before the next human landing to prepare sufficient resources for their use (at least 200 gallons of H2O and 200 gallons of LOX). Contract terms should pay a dollar amount per unit of H2O and LOX made available at destination, whether or not NASA sends astronauts to land at that location, of at least one quarter of the cost for NASA to ship the same amount of resources to the lunar site themselves. NASA shall grant winner 20 year monopoly to deliver said resources at that site at that price, provided location consumption needs are met. Multiple winners may be declared for multiple landing sites.

What is the format for the challenge? Build/test, build/launch/test


Title of Challenge: AIR or FLUID HYDRAULIC/ELECTRIC-ASSIST ASTRONAUT GLOVE Or ASSISTED ASTRONAUT GLOVE

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To allow astronauts to work in space with less hand/finger strain for long periods and regularly, while wearing pressurized spacesuits/gloves.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Astronaut comfort, lack of physical strain/pain, and astronaut/mission assessed efficiency of the glove.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? Up to $1,000,000.

What is the format for the challenge? To develop and test various designs of assisted glove to assess usefulness, effectiveness and practicability of such a glove for large scale use in the future. It is hoped several different designs would compete against each other.


Title of Challenge: Fusion Propulsion and Power Challenge

What is the objective of the prize challenge? Develop fusion systems for space vehicle propulsion and power. The goal is a single, reusable system providing both primary propulsion and on-orbit electrical power.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? Using a (preferably aneutronic) nuclear fusion system as the primary source of both electrical power and vehicle propulsion, launch an SSTO vehicle with a payload of at least 10,000 lb into LEO and complete at least 10 orbits, while continuously generating at least 10 KW of available electrical power within the vehicle.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $50M and a guaranteed 10 years of research/commercialization assistance from US national laboratories (NASA/DoE/DoD).

What is the format for the challenge? First competitor to reach the milestone wins. No contest constraints on vehicle design other than regulatory/safety-of-flight and limits on the type/amount of engine exhaust products. Designs minimizing radioactive or other environmentally harmful exhaust products are required, which gives preference to low/no-neutron (aneutronic) fusion reactions such as proton-Boron11 (pB11).


Title of Challenge: Nominally Operated Lunar Industrial Machining, Incorporating Teleoperated Systems (NO LIMITS)

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To reproduce some parts or all parts of a machine system via teleoperated means in an environment similar to that of the moon.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? To reproduce from a raw lunar soil analog some set amount of the machined parts, or all parts in their entirety, plus the teleoperated assembly of those parts in order to demonstrate the capacity to produce and assemble machined parts in a Lunar environment.

“Some set amount” of the machine parts would be 10% of critical components necessary for the operation of the machine (such as struts or brackets). Assembling those parts may be done on an analog of the machine itself (not necessarily a fully functioning machine; though equal function of the parts must be demonstrated).

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $250,000 or, for a non-monetary reward, if acceptable, a grant to fully produce and launch a machine capable of reproducing itself on the Lunar surface.

What is the format for the challenge? A simple “first to demonstrate” format should be suitable. Those who believe they can achieve the goals of the challenge should announce their capability, and under supervision, demonstrate their success.


Title of Challenge: Find the Artificial Gravity Exposure That Stops or Limits Bone Loss

What is the objective of the prize challenge? To stop or limit measurable bone loss for bone mature mammals living in space for more than 3 months.

What milestone or performance measurement would determine the winner? The measured bone loss for bone mature mammals living in space for more than 3 months while receiving daily dosages of intermittent artificial gravity exposure is expected to be less than the bone loss for bone mature mammals that lived in space for more than 3 months without any intermittent artificial gravity exposure.

What is a suitable cash prize amount or non-monetary reward for the winner? $400K for minimal equipment and several teams at different universities capable of: developing ISS crew procedures to care for the mammals and monitor their health during flight and mission operations and accurately measure their bone density upon their return. Equipment to house, feed, and care for mammals is already in the ISS. The costs associated with such a prize involves keeping small mammals alive and healthy for 3 months on the ISS while being safely exposed to intermittent artificial gravity on a daily basis using existing centrifuges already installed in the ISS, of which there are three. The Japanese centrifuge appears to be the most accommodating for small mammals since it is temperature, humidity, and CO2 controlled. Results would likely be published in biological space research journals and receive world-wide recognition.

What is the format for the challenge? This is a prime opportunity for several universities to involve young people willing to work long hours for virtually free. There are not much greater or cheaper incentives for young people than to work on an actual space experiment using small mammals as a precursor for human exploration extending beyond low Earth orbit. The competitors are awarded the opportunity to fly their experiment on the ISS on a future flight manifest of a manned or unmanned space vehicle that delivers and or returns pressurized payloads. Commercial contractors are not likely to invest the time except as supportive consultants to universities for the integration of such an experiment on the ISS. The schedule of the experiment would be based on the astronaut’s time allowed to administer a daily dosage of intermittent artificial gravity and care for the mammals similar to the ones already currently living in the ISS.