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NASA Announces Planetary Science Vehicle Competition



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

>Dec. 2, 2005
>
>Dolores Beasley/Melissa Mathews 
>Headquarters, Washington 
>(202) 358-1753/1272
>
>Janice Dunn 
>Calif. Space Education & Workforce Institute
>(805) 349-2633 ext. 14 
>
>
>
>NASA ANNOUNCES PLANETARY SCIENCE VEHICLE COMPETITION
>
>NASA's Centennial Challenges program office, in collaboration with the 
>California Space Education and Workforce Institute, Santa Maria, 
>Calif., announced the Planetary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Challenge. 
>This new $250,000 competition may significantly affect how science is 
>conducted on planets and moons with atmospheres. 
>
>"This Challenge will promote the development of innovative solutions 
>to the way NASA performs planetary science," said NASA's Associate 
>Administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, Scott 
>Horowitz. "Outer space destinations, such as Mars and Saturn's 
>satellite, Titan, are prime candidates for the types of vehicles that 
>will compete in this Challenge."
>
>The planetary challenge will award $250,000 to teams that can design 
>and build an autonomously operating aerial vehicle to fly a 
>roller-coaster flight path only using visual navigation systems. No 
>Global Positioning System is allowed. Additional requirements include 
>extending and retracting a probe to precisely hit multiple targets on 
>the ground. 
>
>"NASA is continuing to push innovative concepts and new technologies 
>with this Challenge," said Brant Sponberg, NASA's Centennial 
>Challenges program manager. "Based on our experiences with the Beam 
>Power and Tether Centennial Challenges, we anticipate a broad variety 
>of participants, ideas and real hardware for this competition."
>
>NASA's Centennial Challenges effort promotes technical innovation 
>through a novel program of prize competitions. It is designed to tap 
>the nation's ingenuity and make revolutionary advances to support the 
>Vision for Space Exploration and NASA goals. 
>
>"The Institute is pleased to expand on our prior collaboration with 
>NASA to conduct this Centennial Challenges Competition," said 
>California Space Education and Workforce Institute Director Andrea 
>Seastrand. "By stimulating greater awareness, understanding and 
>appreciation for space research, we hope this Challenge will inspire 
>industry, educators and students to engage in space-related education 
>and enrichment activities." 
>
>The Institute is a charitable, nonprofit corporation formed to create 
>understanding, enthusiasm and appreciation for space enterprise and 
>space technology; inspire parents, educators and students to engage 
>in space-related education and enrichment activities; stimulate 
>greater awareness and understanding of the space enterprise workforce 
>and research needs throughout academia; and attract, integrate and 
>retain a robust space workforce. 
>
>NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate manages the program. 
>The competition is scheduled for October 2007. Rules for the 
>competition will be finalized after internal review and a public 
>comment period. For more information about Centennial Challenges on 
>the Web, visit: 
>
>http://centennialchallenges.nasa.gov 
>
>For information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit: 
>
>http://www.nasa.gov/home 
>
>For information about the California Space Education and Workforce 
>Institute on the Web, visit: 
>
>http://www.californiaspaceauthority.org/html/level-one/institute.html 
>
>	
>-end-
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