ESA, Metalysis Launch ISRU Grand Challenge Worth 500,000 Euros

Lunar base made with 3D printing (Credit: ESA/Foster + Partners)

PARIS, 18 January 2019 (ESA PR) — Sign up to the Metalysis–ESA Grand Challenge worth €500 000 rewarding innovation that helps us to explore space.

As ESA and other agencies prepare to send humans back to the Moon – this time to stay – technologies that make use of materials available in space (in-situ resource utilisation) are seen as key to sustainability, and a stepping stone in humankind’s adventure to Mars and farther into the Solar System.


Prizes, Technology and Safety

Charles A. Lindbergh (Credit: Library of Congress)
Charles A. Lindbergh (Credit: Library of Congress)

Part 3 of 6

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

At 10:22 p.m. on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh brought the Spirit of St. Louis to a safe landing at Le Bourget Aerodrome in Paris. He had just completed the first non-stop New York to Paris airplane flight, a 33.5-hour journey during which he had covered 3,600 statute miles (5,800 km). As soon as the plane stopped, Lindbergh was surrounded by thousands of people who had gathered to welcome him. The exhausted pilot had been awake for 55 hours.


Miami Resident Designs Winning Nano-Sat Launch Challenge Logo

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL., July 13, 2012 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida – the State of Florida’s spaceport authority and aerospace economic development agency – announced the winning logo for the Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge today after tallying votes via Facebook and the Space Florida Website.

The winning logo was designed by Mike Poller from Miami, Florida.


GLXP Update: Omega Envoy Add Two New Partners to Team

ORLANDO, FL. (Omega Envoy PR) – Omega Envoy, the Florida team competing in the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP), and its parent company, Earthrise Space Inc (ESI), are proud to announce that the team has secured a sponsorship from Boca Bearings to provide hardware for ESI’s lunar spacecraft and a partnership with CT Social to assist on outreach efforts.


It’s Crunch Time for the Google Lunar X Prize Teams

The moon rising over Half Moon Bay, California on Halloween 2009. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Alexandra Hall, Senior Director of the Google Lunar X Prize Foundation, talked about the status of the lunar rover competition during the International Space Development Conference in Washington, DC, on Sunday.

It looks like things are getting down to the wire for many of the 26 teams. With a 2015 deadline looming, a long lead time in securing a booster, and many of the teams falling significantly short on raising money, it looks like the field will be significantly smaller by the end of the year.

Highlight from her talk are after the break.


Space Access 12: Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge Discussion

Percy Luney
Vice President, Space Florida

Space Florida is administering NASA’s $3 million Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge through a new non-profit, the Space Florida Small Satellite Research Center. Luney was at Space Access 12 to solicit ideas and and answer questions from attendees on proposed rules set to be released for public comment on Tuesday. (more…)

Big Prize Teams with Big Oil: X Prize Snags $9 Million Shell Sponsorship Deal

PLAYA VISTA, CA / NEW YORK CITY (October 06, 2011) — The X PRIZE Foundation, the leading nonprofit organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, global incentivized competitions, today announced Shell as the exclusive presenting sponsor of the X PRIZE Exploration Prize Group, which aims to foster innovation through exploration to improve life on Earth. During the three-year, nine million dollar sponsorship, the X PRIZE Foundation will address these objectives through its incentive prize model to stimulate innovation, competition and collaboration at the frontiers of space, our earth and its oceans.

“Shell has long been on the cutting edge of innovation, and we are proud to bring them into the X PRIZE family, supporting a prize group that advances innovation, exploration and tomorrow’s discoveries,” said Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. “We are closely aligned in our goals to motivate and inspire brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual capital to explore new frontiers that could result in significant global achievements.”


NASA 2012 Lunabotics Competition Open for Registration

NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA is accepting applications from teams of U.S. and international undergraduate and graduate students for the third annual Lunabotics Mining Competition. The event will be at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida May 21-26, 2012.

Participants in the competition will design and build a remote controlled or autonomous robot, which could be used for future exploration on the moon. During the competition, the teams’ designs, known as lunabots, will go head-to-head to determine which one can excavate and deposit the most simulated lunar dirt within 10 minutes.

Students must submit applications, including a systems engineering paper and an educational outreach project, by Nov. 30. Registration is limited to one team for each university campus and 10 teams per country.

The competition is designed to engage and retain students in the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, disciplines critical to NASA’s missions.

For information about the competition and to apply online, visit:

NASA and the Cleantech Open Partner in Night Rover Robotics Challenge

NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA has selected The Cleantech Open of Redwood, Calif., to manage the agency’s Night Rover Challenge that will culminate in a competition in fall 2012. The event is a new Centennial Challenges prize competition seeking revolutionary energy storage technologies for future space robotic rover missions. NASA is offering a prize purse of $1.5 million to challenge winners.

The Night Rover Challenge is to demonstrate solar energy collection and storage systems suitable for rovers to operate through several cycles of daylight and darkness. During daylight, systems can collect photons or thermal energy from the sun. During darkness, the stored energy would be used to move the rover toward a destination and to continue its exploration work.


Registration Opens for NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge

NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass., are seeking teams to compete in a robot technology demonstration competition with a potential $1.5 million prize.

During the Sample Return Robot Challenge, teams will compete to demonstrate a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain without human control. The objective of the competition is to encourage innovations in automatic navigation and robotic manipulator technologies. Innovations stemming from this challenge may improve NASA’s capability to explore a variety of destinations in space, as well as enhance the nation’s robotic technology for use in industries and applications on Earth.


Carmack Offers Prize for Next Rocket Flight

Armadillo Aerospace Founder John Carmack has offered a prize for “the next ground launched rocket flight above 100,000′ with GPS log and successful recovery.” He offered $5,000 for the flight; that total is now at $8,000 with contributions by Paul Breed ($2,000) and Robin Snelson ($1,000). Carmack’s description of the prize follows after the break.


U.S. Government Crowd Sources Challenges With New Website

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

“Continuing our pioneering leadership in prize competitions, NASA recently inaugurated an employee challenge, [email protected], a collaborative problem-solving program that will connect the collective knowledge of experts from all areas of NASA using a private web-based platform for NASA ‘challenge owners’ to pose challenges to internal “solvers.’ The solvers who deliver the best innovative ideas will receive a NASA Innovation Award.

“Today, the administration has announced a new online platform that empowers the federal government to bring the best ideas and top talent to bear on our nation’s most pressing problems. On, entrepreneurs, leading innovators and citizen solvers can compete for prizes by providing novel solutions to tough problems and, at the same time, take pride in engaging with their government to advance national priorities.” (more…)

Second Lunabotics Competition Announced

NASA’s Second Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition
May 23-28, 2011
U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame
Kennedy Space Center, Florida

The Lunabotics Mining Competition is a university-level competition designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). NASA will directly benefit from the competition by encouraging the development of innovative lunar excavation concepts from universities which may result in clever ideas and solutions which could be applied to an actual lunar excavation device or payload. The challenge is for students to design and build a remote controlled or autonomous excavator, called a lunabot, that can collect and deposit a minimum of 10 kilograms of lunar simulant within 15 minutes. The complexities of the challenge include the abrasive characteristics of the lunar simulant, the weight and size limitations of the lunabot, and the ability to control the lunabot from a remote control center.

Additional information

NASA Seeks Sponsors for Centennial Challenges


NASA is seeking private and corporate sponsors for the Centennial Challenges, a program of incentive prizes designed for the “citizen inventor” that generates creative solutions to problems of interest to NASA and the nation. NASA is looking for companies, organizations or individuals interested in sponsoring the non-profit allied organizations that manage the prize competitions.