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June 2, 2009

Dryden Flight Research Center
P.O. Box 273
Edwards, Calif. 93523
Phone 661-276-3449
FAX 661-276-3566

Alan Brown
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

Sonja Alexander
NASA Headquarters

Ted Semon
Spaceward Foundation

NASA Dryden to Host 2009 Power Beaming Challenge

(EDITOR'S NOTE: The NASA Centennial Challenges Space Elevator Power Beaming Challenge Games originally scheduled for July 14, 2009 at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center have been tentatively rescheduled for Nov. 4, 2009. Technical problems that were encountered during advance testing of the suspended cable system for the climbers have now been resolved by the Spaceward Foundation, allowing the new date for the competition to be set.)

NASA's Centennial Challenges Program, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center and the Spaceward Foundation have announced that the 2009 Power-Beaming Challenge, part of Spaceward's Space Elevator Games, will be held at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert on July 14, 2009.

"Centennial Challenges explores high-risk, high-payoff ideas using technology prize competitions to encourage and reward innovation," said Andrew Petro, manager of NASA's Centennial Challenges program. "We're happy to see that the Power Beaming Challenge has matured to its current level, and anticipate technology innovations in power beaming that may be useful for NASA's exploration missions and in other applications".

This is the fourth year for the Space Elevator Games and each year the competition has grown more sophisticated. Although competitors have come close, no prize money has yet been won. The first competition required teams to ascend a 50-meter tether at an average speed of 1 meter per second with power provided by ordinary spotlights. This year, to be eligible for the $2 million prize, the competitors will be required to race their laser-powered vehicles up a 1-kilometer vertical steel cable at an average speed of 5 meters per second. A live webcast of the event is planned.

"We are thrilled to be working with the people at NASA Headquarters and Dryden," said Ben Shelef, founder of the Spaceward Foundation, host of the Space Elevator games. "NASA is a symbol of mankind's quest to explore space and Dryden is the symbol of beyond-cutting-edge technology development. The people and atmosphere here are everything the "Right Stuff" was all about.

"This year's challenges will feature several teams competing for $2 million in prize money, and it promises to be a spectacular race," Shelef added. "Most of the teams competing this year are veterans of past competitions and they are now the experts in this field."

News media wishing to obtain credentials to cover the Power Beaming Challenge must submit a request for accreditation to the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center public affairs office by the following deadlines:

      Foreign nationals and U.S. citizens representing foreign-based media - June 5.
      U.S. citizens and permanent resident status aliens representing domestic media - July 7.

Media representatives seeking credentials must work for a legitimate, verifiable newsgathering organization. Accreditation requests may be e-mailed to DrydenPAO@nasa.gov for media representatives who have been accredited by NASA Dryden within the past year. Otherwise, requests on company letterhead may be e-mailed to the above address or faxed to (661) 276-3566. Requests must include a phone number and business e-mail address for follow-up contact. No substitutions of non-credentialed media representatives will be permitted.

U.S. citizens must furnish: full name, date of birth, place of birth, media organization, the last six digits of social security number and driver's license number, including issuing state.

In addition, foreign nationals must furnish: current citizenship, visa or passport number, country of issue and expiration date. Foreign nationals with permanent residency status representing domestic or foreign media must provide their alien registration number and expiration date.

For further information, phone Dryden Public Affairs at (661) 276-3449.

The Spaceward Foundation is a publicly funded, non-profit organization dedicated to furthering space science and technology in education and in the public mind. Spaceward Foundation intends to bring together leaders from the academic, commercial and educational worlds by creating a series of challenges, exhibits, and educational activities that will re-invigorate the nation's interest in space.

NASA's Centennial Challenges promotes technical innovation through a novel program of prize competitions. It is designed to tap the nation's ingenuity to make revolutionary advances in technology of value to NASA and the nation. NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program Office manages the prize program.

For more information about Centennial Challenges, please visit:

For more information about the Power Beaming Challenge, please visit:

For more information about the Spaceward Foundation on the Internet please visit:

For more information about NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and its research projects, visit:


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