Other Prize Competitions
Click here for links leading to other competitions and related activities external to Centennial Challenges.

Centennial of Flight

image of Wright flyer

In December 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright, two bicycle mechanics working with no government support, initiated the age of powered flight with their success at Kitty Hawk. NASAs Prize Program honors the spirit of the Wright Brothers and other independent inventors by acknowledging the centennial of the first powered flight in 2003. The NASA Centennial Challenges program also recognizes that the rapid and dramatic progress in aeronautics in the early years of the first century of flight was often driven by prize competitions.

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"If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted."
Sir Francis Bacon
(1561‐1626)

Astronaut Glove Features

Astronaut Glove Prizewinners Demonstration

astronaut gloves used in a vacuum box

On Apr. 30, 2010, the winners of the 2009 Astronaut Glove Challenge visited Johnson Space Center to meet with NASA space suit experts and demonstrate their gloves in a vacuum glove box.

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NASA Awards $350,000 in Astronaut Glove Challenge

Image of Astronaut Glove Competition 2009

In the 2009 Astronaut Glove Challenge on Nov. 19th, NASA's Centennial Challenges program awarded a first place prize of $250,000 to Peter Homer of Southwest Harbor, Maine and a second place prize of ...

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2009 Prizewinners Recognition Ceremony

image of winners of the 2009 Centennial Challenges Awards

NASA Admimistrator Charlie Bolden along with senior NASA officials Doug Comstock and Andy Petro, acknowledges winners and organizers of NASA’s 2009 Centennial Challenges.

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Astronaut Glove Challenge

    Peter Homer of Southwest Harbor, Maine won the first place prize of $250,000 and Ted Southern of Brooklyn, NY won the second place prize of $100,000. The competition was held on Nov. 19, 2009 at the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville, Florida near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. This was the final Centennial Challenge competition for 2009. $3.65 million has been awarded in prizes this year.

    In the pressure suits that astronauts must wear while performing a spacewalk, one of the toughest parts to design are the gloves. Like an inflated balloon, the fingers of the gloves resist the effort to bend them. Astronauts must fight that pressure with every movement of their hand, which is exhausting and sometimes results in injury. Furthermore, the joints of the glove are subject to wear that can lead to life-threatening leaks. The Astronaut Glove Challenge seeks improvements to glove design that reduce the effort needed to perform tasks in space and improve the durability of the glove. In this challenge, competitors demonstrate their glove design by performing a range of tasks with the glove in an evacuated chamber. The gloves are also tested to ensure that they do not leak.

    In the 2007 challenge, Peter Homer won the prize of $200,000. Mr. Homer is an engineer from Maine. Since the competition, Mr. Homer has started his own company to produce spacesuit gloves. This is a great success story for the Centennial Challenges program. A new approach to spacesuit glove design was demonstrated and the commercial space industry has gained a new member.

    Volanz Aerospace, Inc. manages this competition for NASA and you can read more about it at: http://www.astronaut-glove.us/

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