Recently in the Challenges Prizes Competitions Category


Members of the Oregon State University Mars Rover Team prepare their robot to attempt the level one competition at the 2014 NASA Centennial Challenges Sample Return Robot Challenge at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass.

NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation have selected seven projects from six universities to participate in the 2014 Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge.

Registration is now open for teams wishing to compete in the $1.5 million energy storage competition known as the Night Rover Challenge, sponsored by NASA and managed by Cleantech Open of Palo Alto, Calif. Registration for the competition will close October 25, 2013.

Submit your ideas to this year's competition on how Earth observation data can benefit business and society. Entries will be accepted in all nine categories starting tomorrow. The Copernicus Masters - previously known as the GMES Masters - rewards the best ideas for services, business cases and applications based on satellite Earth observation data.

Eleven teams from across the country and around the globe are preparing to compete for $1.5 million during NASA's 2013 Sample Return Robot Challenge, June 5-7 at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass.

A panel of international judges from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and other partner organizations has selected five "best in class" solutions as winners of the 2013 International Space Apps Challenge. The challenge, in which participants developed software, hardware, data visualization, and mobile or Web applications that contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth, took place at 83 locations around the world April 20-21.

NASA Unmanned Air Challenge

NASA has selected Development Projects Inc. of Dayton, Ohio, to manage a new Centennial Challenge prize competition involving unmanned aircraft systems in 2014. NASA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Airspace Operations Challenge is focused on developing and demonstrating key technologies, particularly the ability to sense and avoid other air traffic. This will make it possible for these robotic aircraft to operate safely in the same airspace as piloted aircraft. NASA is providing a $500,000 prize purse.


Astronomers are asking volunteers to help them search for "space warps." More commonly known as "gravitational lenses," these are rare systems with very massive galaxies or clusters of galaxies that bend light around them so that they act rather like giant lenses in space, creating beautiful mirages.

Rockets on the Hill

"Rockets on the Hill" event will bring together nation's some of the nation's most talented student engineers with policymakers On Friday, May 10 at 9:30a.m., the top 100 national finalists in the Team America Rocketry Challenge will join together with leaders from the defense, aerospace and education community to model their latest designs and discuss the future of aerospace with key policymakers.

Fifty teams of undergraduate and graduate students from around the world will demonstrate their lunar excavator robots May 20 - 24 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Practice sessions for the fourth annual Lunabotics Mining Competition will take place May 20 - 21, followed by the official competition. Media representatives are invited to cover the event on Wednesday, May 22 from 12 - 4 p.m. EDT, at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

An asteroid that will be explored by a NASA spacecraft has a new name, thanks to a third-grade student in North Carolina. NASA's Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will visit the asteroid now called Bennu, named after an important ancient Egyptian avian deity. OSIRIS-Rex is scheduled to launch in 2016, rendezvous with Bennu in 2018 and return a sample of the asteroid to Earth in 2023.

2013 Sample Return Robot Challenge

Fourteen teams from across the country and around the globe are perfecting their hardware and software to compete for $1.5 million in prize money at NASA's 2013 Sample Return Robot Challenge, the latest competition of the agency's Centennial Challenges program. The event will take place in June at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass.

NASA today declared the winners of the 20th NASA Great Moonbuggy Race at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Team 1 from Teodoro Aguilar Mora Vocational High School of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, won first place in the high school division; racers from the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao claimed the college-division trophy.

NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. State Department and Nike have issued a challenge to identify 10 game-changing innovations that could enable fabric systems to enhance global economic growth, drives human prosperity and replenishes the planet's resources. The challenge is open through July 15 and seeks creative innovations in the materials from which fabrics are made, with a focus on positive social and environmental impact in space and on Earth. Ten innovators will be selected to present their fabrics solutions at the LAUNCH: System Challenge 2013 forum, which NASA will host Sept. 26-28 at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Sol is the world's first interplanetary weather app. The mobile and tablet application integrates weather data from the Curiosity rover on Mars with weather data from here on Earth. The project aims to provide users with a sleek, visually appealing weather app that also incorporates information about the conditions and temperatures on Mars.

Also, a second companion app was created to augment the Sol experience. The augmented reality application offers two scenes for users to experience on Mars. The first scene allows users to a control a 3D version of the Curiosity rover as it rolls across the planet and through weather events, like a dust storm. In this scene, facts about Mars and weather on the planet appear as the rover moves around. The second scene is a 3D version of Mars that allows users to spin the planet around and read facts about the planet.

Space Apps Challenge Is Underway

International Space Apps Challenge, NASA

"The International Space Apps Challenge is an international mass collaboration focused on space exploration that takes place over 48-hours in 80 cities around the world (in 42 countries) on the weekend of April 20-21, 2013. The event embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open-source solutions to address global needs applicable to both life on Earth and life in space. NASA is leading this global collaboration along with more then 150 partner organizations."

Join The Movement: International Space Apps Challenge, ESA

"In April, you are invited to join thousands of enthusiasts to invent and create applications to help space exploration and improve life on Earth at the International Space Apps Challenge. During this app-jam, participants are challenged to use freely available data and rework them for new purposes or present them in new ways."

2013 CanSat Campaign Concluded

High school students from 8 different ESA Member States have completed the third European Cansat Launch Campaign, which was held in The Netherlands for the first time. 15 student teams from across Europe participated in the four-day event. Preparations for the flight campaign began soon after the teams arrived at the Delft University of Technology on 10 April, when technical inspections were made to ensure that each of the CanSats could be integrated in the rockets.

Four teams of high school students received top honors at the 2013 Innovation Summit, the final round of competition for the 2012-2013 Spirit of Innovation Challenge. Their efforts to create a product or service to benefit humanity earned winning teams a total of more than $50,000 in cash prizes and awards. The Conrad Foundation's Spirit of Innovation Challenge celebrates the life and entrepreneurial spirit of astronaut Pete Conrad, third man to walk on the Moon. Presented by Lockheed Martin and Battelle, the annual program is a multi-phase, business and technical plan competition, free and open to students ages 13 - 18 from around the world. During the course of seven months, students use science, technology, engineering and math skills along with creativity and collaboration and entrepreneurship to develop innovative products and services in one of four categories: Aerospace and Aviation, Cybertechnology and Security, Energy and Environment, and Health and Nutrition.

NASA and over 150 partner organizations worldwide will be hosting the International Space Apps Challenge on April 20-21, 2013. The International Space Apps Challenge is a technology development event during which citizens from around the world work together to solve challenges relevant to improving life on Earth and in space.

NASA and its partners have released 50 challenges for the second International Space Apps Challenge. Participants are encouraged to develop software, hardware, data visualization, and mobile/web applications that will contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth.

International Space Apps Challenge

"The International Space Apps Challenge is an international mass collaboration focused on space exploration that takes place over 48-hours in 80 cities around the world (in 42 countries) on the weekend of April 20-21, 2013. The event embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open-source solutions to address global needs applicable to both life on Earth and life in space. NASA is leading this global collaboration along with more then 150 partner organizations." More

New NASA Robonaut Challenge

"TopCoder(R), Inc., the world's largest open innovation platform and competitive community of 470,000 digital creators, today announced two new marathon competitions hosted through the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) that will look to continue delivery of output-based high value returns in the most cost-effective and measurable software development process currently available to government agencies. The competitions will center on NASA's famous space robot Robonaut 2 aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The initial challenge will focus on enabling Robonaut 2 to interact visually with different types of input devices the astronauts use on the Space Station." More

"NASA unveiled an Exploration Design Challenge on Monday to give students from kindergarten through 12th grade the opportunity to play a unique role in the future of human spaceflight. The innovative educational opportunity was announced in a special event at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The challenge asks students in the U.S. and abroad to think and act like scientists to overcome one of the major hurdles for deep space long-duration exploration -- protecting astronauts and hardware from the dangers of space radiation.This education-focused effort was developed through a Space Act Agreement between NASA and Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., in collaboration with the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Va. The goal is to help students see their role in America's future exploration endeavors. "America's next step in human space exploration is an ambitious one and will require new technologies, including ways to keep our astronauts safe from the effects of deep-space radiation," Bolden said. "That is the focus of this challenge, and we are excited students will be helping us solve that problem." More

San Francisco - (March 8, 2013) - Today DIYROCKETS and Sunglass are announcing a partnership to launch the world's first open source competition to create 3D printed rocket engines through collaborative design.

The competition opens for registration at South By Southwest (SXSW) on March 9, and challenges makers, designers and space entrepreneurs to create open source rocket engines that will serve the growing market for small payload delivery into low earth orbit and ultimately, disrupt the space transportation industry.

Although several companies have recently made strides in showcasing the power of the private sector in space exploration, DIYROCKETS is taking this a step further by creating the first of many competitions that encourages the fusion of creativity, technology and collaboration by people across the globe. Utilizing Sunglass's cloud-based platform to visualize, collaborate, manage versions and exchange feedback on each design with team members and the public from anywhere on the globe, the contest aims to dramatically drive down design costs, while creating innovative technology for all types of space hardware and parts, ranging from space propulsion to space medical sensors. Teams will have the freedom to work in a 3D design environment of their choice such as SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, Rhino or CATIA, while syncing their project to the Sunglass cloud.

"TopCoder(R), Inc., the world's largest open innovation platform and competitive community of digital creators, today launched the first two of a series of open innovation challenges to create a new dietary tracking application for use by astronauts in an International Space Station (ISS) -type environment. The ISS FIT (Food Intake Tracker) iPad App Conceptualization and Voice Command Idea Generation and other competitions are now open on the ISS FIT Challenge home page (TopCoder and TopCoder Studio registration required). These are the first two of multiple phases of the challenge which will build a fully functioning iPad application from concept to deployment using TopCoder's open innovation Community and process. The complete challenge series is sponsored by NASA through its NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), an online virtual facility that harnesses the capabilities of the TopCoder Community to create innovative, efficient solutions for specific, real-world challenges being faced by the space agency." More

6-12th Grade Students, Building 262, Room 180, March 27-28

Since 1994, NASA Ames has hosted an annual Space Settlement Design Contest for 6-12th grade students. Thousands of students and hundreds of teachers from around the world have involved themselves in space settlement, some devoting months of intense effort. Prize winners now find themselves at Harvard, Stanford, MIT and other top universities and at least one flew a zero-gravity experiment for the European Space Agency (ESA). Contestants work at home and send their entries to Ames each March. Extensive reference materials are supplied on the web. All entries are judged in a two-day period by a panel of NASA and contractor personnel. Judges commit to one hour or more anytime on Wednesday and/or Thursday, March 27-28, between 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Judging will be in Building 262, Room 180. No experience or specific technical expertise are needed and it is a lot of fun (less expert judges can evaluate entries from the younger students). Contest details are at http://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/Contest/

"NASA and government agencies worldwide will host the second International Space Apps Challenge April 20-21, with events across all seven continents and in space. Participants are encouraged to develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualization and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth. The two-day event will provide an opportunity for government to harness the expertise and entrepreneurial spirit of citizen explorers to help address global challenges. During the event, representatives of NASA and other international space agencies will gather with scientists and participants to use publicly released open data to create solutions for 50 software, hardware and visualization challenges, including robotics, citizen science platforms and applications of remote sensing data. Challenges selected to be worked on during the event will be published online prior to the event. The 2012 challenge engaged more than 2,000 participants who collaborated on more than 100 open source solutions to 71 featured challenges." More

"Students from two schools, one in Iowa and the other in New York, are the winners of the International Space Station (ISS) Science Challenge, NASA announced Friday. Challenge winners from North Tama Elementary in Traer, Iowa, and Madison Elementary in Massena, N.Y., are being inspired to learn more about the space station's cutting-edge research by designing programs to teach others about specific experiments and what scientists are hoping to learn. This pilot program was created by Darcie Fregoe and Lisa Chizek, contributing teachers with NASA's Endeavour Science Teaching Certificate Project. The program is part of the Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education Experience (INSPIRE). "I believe it is my responsibility as a middle school Earth science and astronomy teacher to educate students about the very valuable contributions ISS science has made in their lives," Fregoe said. "I want them to get excited about NASA and the International Space Station, and I want them to start thinking about possible futures working for NASA." More

"TopCoder, Inc., the world's largest competitive Community of digital creators, today announced the Longeron Shadowing Optimization Challenge, a $30,000, open to the public competition to make the energy-gathering solar arrays of the International Space Station (ISS) more efficient by eliminating the shadows it casts upon itself at different points during orbit. Registration for the three week long competition is now open with competition ending Wednesday, February 6 th at 18:00 GMT. Contestants must be TopCoder members in good standing. Community membership and challenge registration are free. Top prizes include $10,000 for the best solution with second and third placed solutions earning $5,000 and $3,000 respectively. Bonus prizes of mission stickers which have actually orbited the Earth on Space Shuttle Endeavour will be awarded to the top 5 finishers." More

"NASA Television will broadcast the annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Kickoff event on Saturday, Jan. 5, starting at 10:30 a.m. EST from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. The event also will be streamed live on NASA's website. As in past years, NASA plays a significant role by providing public access to robotics programs to encourage young people to investigate careers in the sciences and engineering. Through the NASA Robotics Alliance Project, the agency provides grants for almost 250 teams and sponsors four regional student competitions, including a FIRST regional competition in Washington that will be held March 28-30." More

"Due to an initially aggressive schedule that resulted from a delayed launch of the 2013 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts - Academic Linkage, or RASC-AL, Lunar Wheel Design Challenge, the new deadline to submit project plans has been extended to Sunday, Jan. 19, 2013, at midnight EST."

"The FIRST Robotics Competition kickoff marks the beginning of the season for high school students from across the nation to design and build robots to compete in an annual tournament against a field of competitors. FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is an international, mentor-based student program that builds science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, skills for high school students by combining the excitement of sports with the rigors of science and technology. Over 100 local students, teachers and volunteers are scheduled to attend Cleveland's kickoff at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Cuyahoga Community College Unified Technologies Center, located at 2415 Woodland Ave, in. Cleveland. NASA, the largest sponsor of the FIRST Robotics Competition, will broadcast the kickoff nationwide on NASA Television from Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester." More

"The 2012 NASA OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest registration deadline has been extended until Jan. 10, 2013. Students who wish to participate in the contest must register by Jan. 10 and upload their video submissions by Jan. 31, 2013. The NASA OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest is held each year to show students that NASA technologies developed for applications in space can be modified for use in many products they use daily, improving the quality of their lives. The contest is based on Hasbro's popular TRANSFORMERS character OPTIMUS PRIME. Each video submission allows students the opportunity to describe their favorite story from the most current edition of NASA's annual Spinoff publication. This year's contest will feature stories from the 2011 edition of Spinoff." More

"Have you taken an interesting astronomical photo this year? From planets and moons to the Sun, stars and galaxies, we'd like you to send us your images to feature as our Space Science Image of the Week on 31 December. The ESA Space Science team's favourite image will take the slot of our weekly image during the week beginning 31 December 2012 as a celebration of the astronomical events of the year gone by. The best of the rest will feature in our dedicated ESA Space Science images Flickr gallery. During 2012, the sky has staged a series of astronomical theatrics to provide plenty of inspiration for your entry. Perhaps you were lucky enough to observe a solar eclipse, or even the transit of Venus. Maybe you snapped a meteor streaking through the sky, or perhaps you found beauty in the constellations this year. Images of galaxies and nebulae are also welcomed." More

"This notice is issued in accordance with 51 U.S.C. 20144(c). The 2013 Sample Return Robot Challenge is scheduled and teams that wish to compete may register. Centennial Challenges is a program of prize competitions to stimulate innovation in technologies of interest and value to NASA and the nation. The 2013 Sample Return Robot Challenge is a prize competition designed to encourage development of new technologies or application of existing technologies in unique ways to create robots that can autonomously seek out samples and return to a designated point in a set time period. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) of Worcester, Massachusetts administers the Challenge for NASA. NASA is providing the prize purse." More

2013 CanSat Competition

"This annual competition is open to university and college students from the United States, Canada, Mexico and other countries. Teams of three to 10 students must design, build and launch a sensor payload called a CanSat. Each CanSat is slightly larger than a soda can and must be built according to the specifications released by the competition organizing committee." More

"NASA is considering the initiation of an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Airspace Operations Challenge (hereinafter "Challenge") to be conducted under the Centennial Challenges Program administered through NASA Headquarters located in Washington, D.C. Through this Opportunity Notice (NOTICE) NASA seeks to select a Lead Allied Organization and additional Supporting Allied Organization(s) to work with NASA to conduct this Challenge. Overall coordination of the Lead and Supporting Allied Organizations will be done by a NASA Challenge manager. The date for Challenge competition is expected to be between August 30, 2013 and June 30, 2014 depending upon the availability of a test range and competitor registration date." More

NASA Rocketry Challenge 2013

"Organizers of the NASA Student Launch Projects have announced the 57 student teams whose inventive creations will soar skyward in April during the space agency's 2012-13 rocketry challenge. Representing schools in 26 states around the country, participating teams each will design and build a large, high-powered rocket, complete with a working science or engineering payload and capable of flying to the target altitude of 1 mile. NASA created the rocketry challenge to encourage young people to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. "Every year, the NASA Student Launch Projects build on our students' classroom studies in an energizing, exciting way," said Tammy Rowan, manager of the Academic Affairs Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., which organizes the event. "It's great fun, but it also reflects the real-world complexity of planning missions, building flight hardware and completing tough pre-flight checks and reviews. It tests their problem-solving skills and gives them practical, hands-on experience. We hope the experience is so unforgettable it leads many of them to become the nation's next generation of scientists, engineers and space explorers." More

20th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race


"Registration is now open for the 20th annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race, which challenges high school, college and university students around the world to build and race fast, lightweight "moonbuggies" of their own design. The students' work will culminate in two days of competitive racing April 26-27, 2013, at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. NASA created the event two decades ago to complement classroom learning, provide young thinkers and builders with real-world engineering experience and inspire them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- the STEM fields. "It's our goal to keep the wheels turning," said Tammy Rowan, manager of the Academic Affairs Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, which organizes the race each year. "The ingenuity and enthusiasm we see among racers begins in the classroom. That first spark of interest -- whether it's in basic chemistry or astronomy or the history of spaceflight -- starts the wheels turning. The Great Moonbuggy Race helps sustain that momentum, turning interest into passion, and dreams into a lifelong pursuit of new answers and new horizons." More

"NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass., have opened registration and are seeking teams to compete in next year's robot technology demonstration competition, which offers as much as $1.5 million in prize money. During the 2013 NASA-WPI Sample Return Robot Challenge, teams will compete to demonstrate a robot 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. The competition is planned for June 2013 in Worcester, Mass., attracting competitors from industry and academia nationwide." More

Big Data Challenge Announced

NASA Tournament Lab to Launch Big Data Challenge Series for U.S. Government Agencies, NASA

"NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy's Office of Science announced on Wednesday the launch of the Big Data Challenge, a series of competitions hosted through the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL). The Big Data Challenge series will apply the process of open innovation to conceptualizing new and novel approaches to using "big data" information sets from various U.S. government agencies. This data comes from the fields of health, energy and Earth science. Competitors will be tasked with imagining analytical techniques and software tools that use big data from discrete government information domains. They will need to describe how the data may be shared as universal, cross-agency solutions that transcend the limitations of individual agencies."

NASA Tournament Lab & TopCoder Launch Big Data Challenge Series for U.S. Government Agencies, TopCoder

"NASA and Harvard University have established the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), which with the enabling capabilities of the TopCoder community allow for competitions to create the most innovative, most efficient, and most optimized solutions for specific, real-world challenges being faced by NASA researchers. The NTL provides an online virtual facility for NASA researchers with a computational or complex data processing challenge to "order" a solution, just like they would order laboratory tests or supplies."

Wyle Takes Part in TechAmerica Report on Big Data, Wyle

"TechAmerica Foundation's much anticipated report "Demystifying Big Data: A Practical Guide To Transforming The Business of Government," which was released today, gives the federal government a comprehensive roadmap to using "Big Data" to better serve Americans."

2012 Zero Robotics High School Tournament

"TopCoder(R), Inc., the world's largest competitive Community of digital creators, today announced that the next Zero Robotics High School Tournament will take place this Fall, offering high school students the opportunity to design experiments that will be tested in space. The popular Zero Robotics program, created by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Space Systems Laboratory and its partners, challenges high school student teams to write their own algorithms to fly the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES. The competition starts online where teams compete to solve an annual challenge guided by mentors. Students can create, edit, share, save, simulate and submit code, all from a web browser. After several phases of virtual competition, finalists are selected to compete in a live championship aboard the International Space Station!" More.

8th Annual CanSat Competition

"The Naval Research Laboratory supported the 8th Annual CanSat competition where 26 college rocket teams came together from all over the world to compete. This year's "mission" was to launch an autonomous CanSat (a satellite in a can) with a deployable lander containing one large raw hen egg that cannot be damaged on landing. The "CanSat " refers to the complete system-the carrier and the lander. The event was held on June 8-10, 2012, in Abilene and Burkett, Texas.

The CanSat is deployed from a rocket at an altitude of about 610 meters (2001 feet). Once released from the rocket, the CanSat descends between 10 and 20 meters per second using any type of descent control system or device. At an altitude of 200 meters, the CanSat reduces the descent rate to within 4 and 6 meters per second. At 91 meters altitude, the CanSat carrier releases the lander that contains one large raw hen's egg. The lander hopefully lands without damaging the egg. The lander cannot free fall. It must contain a descent control system or device to reduce the descent rate to less than 5 meters per second. The carrier telemetry data may be stored on-board for post processing in the event of a communications failure. Teams must build their own ground station. Telemetry from the carrier is displayed, in real-time, on a team-developed ground station." More.

Space Florida ISS Research Competition

"Space Florida, the State's spaceport authority and aerospace economic development organization, and NanoRacks, LLC, have announced a partnership to host the Space Florida International Space Station (ISS) Research Competition. As part of this program, NanoRacks will provide up to eight Payload Box Units (NanoLabs) that will fly payloads to the ISS, with scientific research that will be conducted on board the U.S. National Lab. Space Florida will cover the costs of research payload transportation to the ISS for the eight winning applicants.

The Space Florida ISS Research Competition is designed to inspire innovation and enable unique research opportunities and access for customers to the ISS. Breakthroughs in material and life sciences, environmental monitoring, complex drugs and other consumer items enabled by space-based research benefit a broad range of emerging markets for government, commercial and academic customers. Research proposals will be reviewed and judged by an independent and scientifically qualified team, based on commercial viability and overall benefit to mankind." More

"NASA is accepting applications from teams of U.S. and international undergraduate and graduate students for the fourth annual Lunabotics Mining Competition. The event will be held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida May 20-24, 2013. Participants in the competition will design and build a remote controlled or autonomous robot. During the competition, the teams' designs, known as lunabots, will go head-to-head to determine which machine can excavate and deposit the most simulated lunar dirt within 10 minutes. Registration is limited to the first 50 teams submitting applications." More

"NASA's University Student Launch Initiative, or USLI, is a competition that challenges university-level students to design, build and launch a reusable rocket with a scientific or engineering payload to one mile above ground level. The project engages students in scientific research and real-world engineering processes with NASA engineers. Once selected, teams design their rockets and payloads throughout the academic year. USLI requires a NASA review of the teams' preliminary and critical designs. The project also requires flight and launch readiness reviews before the rockets and payloads are approved for launch. Teams complete a Post-Launch Assessment Review to include conclusions from their science or engineering experiment and the overall flight performance." More

"Centennial Challenges is a program of prize competitions to stimulate innovation in technologies of interest and value to NASA and the nation. In 2010 NASA announced a Nano-Satellite Launch (NSL) Challenge to encourage development of safe, low-cost, small-payload delivery systems for frequent access to low Earth orbit (LEO) through innovations in propulsion and other technologies as well as operations and management for broader applications in future launch systems that could result in a commercial capability for dedicated launches of small satellites at a cost comparable to secondary payload launches--a potential new market with Government, commercial, and academic customers. To assist in formulation of the Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge, NASA is seeking additional information on the nano-satellite market and on approaches to address the market needs. There are currently several existing launch vehicles and new launch vehicle programs that could provide ride-sharing opportunities for nano-satellite. A NASA NSL Challenge could focus on a vehicle dedicated to providing greater payload design flexibility for cubesats and other small payloads, more frequent access to space at costs comparable or less than existing or proposed ride-share launch options." More

The X PRIZE Foundation and Nokia today announced that team pre-registration is open for the $2.25 million Nokia Sensing X CHALLENGE. The competition will incentivize breakthroughs in sensor hardware and software that provide a new means of detecting and diagnosing disease and providing data that supports both wellbeing and any health issues. Teams may include individuals or groups from companies at any stage of development or funding; academic institutions; existing small/medium- sized companies; and non-profit organizations.

"Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) today announced a worldwide innovation contest with cash awards totaling $50,000. The "Innovate the Future" contest creates a global forum for interested participants to share their ideas on how innovation can enable a more secure future for the planet. Participants are invited to submit their thoughts on a range of topics facing the world community, including the need for sustainable energy, cyber security, and healthcare. "Lockheed Martin has 100-year legacy of discovery, innovation, and breakthroughs that have made lasting impacts on society, from human's first attempts at flight, to systems for controlling the world's air traffic, to our earliest exploration of space," said Dr. Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Lockheed Martin. "An important lesson from this legacy is that good ideas can come from anywhere. Through this contest, we are creating an online environment that helps people with diverse backgrounds and experiences share their ideas," continued Johnson." More

Zero Robotics Video Challenge

Kids are always told to reach for the stars. Now, NASA is literally giving them a chance to by providing middle and high school students with unprecedented access to the International Space Station and letting them write the programs that control state-of-the-art robots on the International Space Station -- no Ph.D. in astrophysics required!

The NASA Tournament Laboratory, established by NASA and Harvard University, along with the enabling capabilities of the TopCoder community, have partnered with Tongal to hold a competition with cash prizes for winning ideas, pitches and promotional videos to inspire tomorrow's scientists to see mathematics as more than just digits on a calculator, to further the study of outer space and to push the limits of human knowledge about the worlds (and the space) beyond our planet. The winning videos will help inspire middle and high school students to compete in the Zero Robotics Challenge, which is managed for NASA by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT.

Design a space settlement! Space settlements are permanent communities in orbit, as opposed to being on the moon or other planets. Designing a space settlement involves physics, mathematics, space science, environmental science and many other disciplines.

The NASA Space Settlement Design Contest is intended for students in grades 6-12, although younger students may enter. Individual or teams from anywhere in the world may enter. Grade levels are judged separately, except for the grand prize. All participants will receive a certificate. Submissions must be received by March 15, 2013.

For more information about the NASA Space Settlement Design Contest, visit http://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/Contest/. If you have any questions about the contest, please email Al Globus at aglobus@mail.arc.nasa.gov.

Inspired teams seeking a place to collaborate need look no further. The UK Space Agency is calling forward multi-disciplinary, multi-organisational groups for the Space Collaborative Innovation Team Initiative (Space CITI). Successful teams with innovative ideas will be provided with up to #0.5M funding and world class facilities to call home.

Space CITI is a pilot programme designed to support accelerated innovation and economic growth. Funding will be available for one or more focussed multi-disciplinary, multi-organisational teams to undertake a programme of work which exploits the unique environment of the International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) at Harwell, Oxford.

ESA Tests Self-steering Rover in 'Mars' Desert

"ESA assembled a top engineering team, then challenged them to devise a way for rovers to navigate on alien planets. Six months later, a fully autonomous vehicle was charting its course through Chile's Mars-like Atacama Desert. May's full-scale rover field test marked the final stage of a StarTiger project code-named 'Seeker'. Standing for 'Space Technology Advancements by Resourceful, Targeted and Innovative Groups of Experts and Researchers', StarTiger involves a multidisciplinary team gathered at a single site, working against the clock to achieve a technology breakthrough."

Sample Return Robot Return Challenge

NASA Sample Return Robot Return Challenge at WPI Concludes

"Autonomous robots roamed across the grassy terrain at Worcester Polytechnic Institute searching for samples to collect at the 2012 Sample Return Robot Challenge in Worcester, Mass., June 14-17. The challenge: design, develop and demonstrate the next generation of robots capable of exploring the landscapes of other worlds. Eleven teams initially registered for the competition. Six teams made it to WPI for the start of the challenge. After weigh-in and inspections, one team (Space Pride -- http://www.spacepride.com) successfully met all requirements and competed in the challenge but did not win a cash prize."

GMES Masters Competition

GMES Masters competition 2012

"Following its debut in 2011, the GMES Masters competition is open once again. As one of seven challenges in Europe's innovation competition for Earth observation, the Agency is staging the ESA App Challenge with a prize worth E 60 000. The GMES Masters competition awards prizes for the best projects and business ideas involving commercial Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) applications. Its purpose is to support the development of market-oriented applications that use data from the programme. This year's App challenge will give the entrant behind the most innovative smartphone App, based on the use of GMES data, the opportunity to begin an incubation programme to the value of O60 000 at one of the six ESA Business Incubation Centres in Europe."

Move An Asteroid 2012

Move An Asteroid 2012: International Student and Young Professional Technical Paper Competition

"Thousands of astronomers across the world are on a daily search for undiscovered asteroids and comets, some of which, large or small, may hit the Earth in the future. Thankfully, the kilometer sized asteroids seen in movies that are large enough to cause mass-extinctions are incredibly rare. However, 10 to 100 meter rocks are big enough to destroy a city and hit roughly every 100 years, with the last recorded one 104 years ago (the Tunguska Event). With the latest technology, it is now possible to spot some of these smaller sized objects with enough time for missions to be launched and warnings to be sent out. This competition challenges students and young professionals worldwide to come up with original ideas relating to Earth-threatening Near Earth Objects (NEOs)."

EPA Tricorder Challenge

U.S. Agencies Unveil Competition to Develop Personal Pollution Sensor, Science

"In a first, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is jumping into the science prize game. EPA, together with the National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services, today announced a nationwide competition to develop new, highly portable sensors that can measure air quality while monitoring a person's physiological response to air pollution. Four finalists in the My Air, My Health Challenge will receive $15,000 and the opportunity to present a working prototype to judges, with $100,000 going to the winner."

My Air, My Health: An HHS/EPA Challenge

"Plans to develop personal devices are required - these must sensitively and frequently measure air quality, along with one or more physiological markers linked to the air quality metric that is measured. The system should be designed with input from a community or target population that would benefit from the solution. A design for a personal integrated system is required, together with a development plan and a proposal for a proof of concept study."

Spirit of Innovation Challenge

Unique Global Competition Encourages Student Teams Worldwide to "Get Their Genius on" and Innovate

"Thanks to the Spirit of Innovation Challenge (Conrad Challenge), the world will not have to wait for solutions to affordable water filtration in Haiti, self-regulating temperature fabrics for harsh environments, eco-friendly pop-up toilets for emergency distressed areas, and many other game-changing innovations. It also means that young innovator/ entrepreneurs don't have to graduate from high school before their commercially-viable, technology-based ideas can be realized and applied to real-world issues! The 2012-2013 Spirit of Innovation Challenge invites student teams from around the world, ages 13-18, to innovate new products by combining creative thinking with science and technology skills to solve real-world challenges."

Explore the high-energy Universe - competition results

"Students from across Europe have been selected as the winners of the ESA's 'Explore the high-energy Universe' competition. Secondary school students were invited to choose from four projects relating to ESA's Integral gamma-ray observatory in which they were challenged to Observe, Research, Design, or Build. To participate, students took on the roles of engineers, scientists, and astronomers to explore the extreme and ever-changing high-energy Universe, including black holes devouring matter, colossal explosions known as gamma-ray bursts, and supernova explosions. Entries were received from all over Europe, including France, Italy, and Romania."

NASA Is A Leader In Offering Prizes

'Radical' bill seeks to reduce cost of AIDS drugs by awarding prizes instead of patents, Washington Post

"More broadly, the Obama administration has pushed prizes for technological advances, sponsoring 150 contests across 40 agencies since 2010. NASA has helped lead the way, handing over $6 million to 23 prize-winning companies since 2005 for such items as better astronaut gloves and more fuel-efficient airplanes. From 2000 to 2007, philanthropic groups have put up some $250 million to spur technologies as varied as robotic moon rovers and cheaper tests for tuberculosis, according to a recent report from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy."

NASA's Lunabotics Mining Competition

NASA Invites Media To Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition

"More than 50 teams of undergraduate and graduate students from eight countries will come to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida May 21-26 to take part in the third annual Lunabotics Mining Competition. The teams have designed and built remote controlled or autonomous robots that can excavate simulated lunar soil. During the competition, the teams' designs, known as lunabots, will go head-to-head to determine whose machine can collect and deposit the most simulated moon dust within a specified amount of time."

NASA's Inconsistent Support of the International Space Apps Challenge

"Several weeks ago NASA and a number of sponsors held the International Space Apps Challenge. The intent was to enlist people from all across the world to create solutions to problems and issues associated with spaceflight. The participants were truly spread out across our planet including Antarctica with support from the crew aboard the International Space Station. ... I think it is inexcusable that NASA has not made more of an effort to promote things such as the International Space Apps Challenge - especially when the White House places such a priority on things like this. There is much risk in this ad hoc and dysfunctional public engagement policy at NASA. Now that the first apps challenge event was such a success, efforts like this could continue - without overt NASA involvement - thus making NASA less - rather than more relevant."

NASA $1.5 Million Robot Competition Rolls Onto WPI Campus June 14-17

"Autonomous robots created by 11 teams of engineers from across the country will compete for a NASA prize purse of $1.5 million on the campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in Worcester, Mass., June 14 -17. The challenge: design and develop the next generation of robots to explore the landscapes of other worlds. The NASA-WPI Sample Return Robot Challenge requires the competing teams to design and build an autonomous robotic system that will locate and collect a set of specific objects from a large area and return the "planetary samples" to the starting zone."

Bouncing Art Off The Moon

Space Foundation Student Art Contest Winning Artwork Bounces Off the Moon

"The Space Foundation's annual Student Art Contest winners are developing a reputation for actual space travel. Digital versions of last year's winners are all permanently in residence on the International Space Station. Two of this year's winners have traveled an additional 277,000 miles to the Moon and back. Two of the winning pieces of artwork -- both in the 6th - 8th grade painting category -- were selected by media artist Daniela de Paulis to be part of her worldwide OPTICKS project, which projected a total of ten digital images of artwork onto the surface of the Moon on April 28 and intercepted the altered reflections, thus creating new images."

Europe Spacelab Finalist Event

Europe's SpaceLab finalists link up with space and meet astronauts

"Europe's finalists in the Space Lab challenge will join astronauts, scientists and Google managers at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne on 16 May to discuss their experiment ideas and call ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers on the International Space Station. In October, ESA jointly launched the YouTube Space Lab, an exciting venture by YouTube, NASA, Japan's JAXA space agency, Space Adventures and Lenovo to challenge students around the world to design a science experiment for the International Space Station. The competition attracted thousands of proposals by teams and individuals from over 80 countries."

Today, the Coalition for Space Exploration (Coalition) launched a video contest, "Why Explore Space?" to hear from the American public about why space exploration matters to them. Participants are encouraged to share their ideas by submitting a video. The creator of the winning entry wins an iPad3. Entries must be submitted by May 19. From there, the public will vote on the best videos.

The top five videos will become semi-finalists and a panel of judges from the Coalition will crown the winner. Entries will be housed on the Coalition website, with the winner's entry moving on to Washington, DC to be shared with national leaders.

The International Space Apps Challenge will take place this weekend, April 21-22, 2012. Nearly 2,000 people are registered to attend in 24 cities around the world.

NASA is working with 8 other government agencies and over 100 organizations world wide to host the two-day technology development event. Solutions to over 60 challenges related to open source software, open hardware, citizen science platforms, and data visualization will be worked on throughout the event, including an opportunity to launch your code to space on NASA's phonesat!

The locations include:

NASA Competition Challenges Coders to Make Available Huge Store of Space Informatics

"TopCoder(R), Inc., the world's largest competitive Community of digital creators, in collaboration with the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) today announced the second phase of the Planetary Data System (PDS) Challenge series This is an open call competition to create new mobile and web-based apps that will provide easier access for the general public to the Planetary Data System's vast 100 terabyte archive of images and data gleaned from planetary missions from the past 30 years."

Mission-X 2012 Winners Announced

Mission-X 2012: Mission Accomplished

"Mission-X is a worldwide educational initiative supported by ESA and national space agencies to encourage healthy and active lifestyles among children aged 8-12 years. Astronauts are inspiring children to eat healthily and exercise regularly. This year's challenge involved 10 300 students exercising hard over six weeks since it was launched from the International Space Station by ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers on 2 February. The aim: gain points to send Mission-X mascot Astro Charlie to the Moon. Points were earned by completing challenges inspired by astronaut training."

Prepared remarks of Tom Kalil at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation April 12, 2012 Washington, DC

Good morning. Today I am going to be talking about Grand Challenges - ambitious yet achievable goals that capture the public's imagination and that require innovation and breakthroughs in science and technology to achieve. Some historical examples of Grand Challenges are President Kennedy's call to put a man on the moon or the Human Genome Project. More recently, we have seen decentralized, bottom-up efforts as well. Jimmy Wales defined the mission of Wikipedia as giving "freely the sum of the world's knowledge to every single person on the planet in the language of their choice." Today Wikipedia has almost 20 million articles in 282 languages and 365 million readers.

AIA's Annual Rocketry Challenge

Largest student rocket contest brings diversity and talent to U.S. STEM pipeline, AIA

"With the exception of a shared passion for science, math and engineering, the 100 teams that will compete in the tenth anniversary Team America Rocketry Challenge national finals this year show a stunning diversity of backgrounds and interests. The Aerospace Industries Association today unveiled this year's roster of rocket-building finalists, which includes more than 600 students from 29 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Representing a wide cross-section of American youth, TARC teams - including an all-girl team, 4-H club, a rock band and a hockey team - bring varying perspectives and experiences to the annual competition, which is known for sparking careers in science, math and engineering."

DARPA's Robotics Prize

DARPA Seeks Robot Enthusiasts (and you) To Face Off for $2 million Prize

"DARPA's Robotics Challenge will launch in October 2012. Teams are sought to compete in challenges involving staged disaster-response scenarios in which robots will have to successfully navigate a series of physical tasks corresponding to anticipated, real-world disaster-response requirements. Robots played a supporting role in mitigating fallout from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan, and are used by U.S. military forces as assistants for servicemembers in diffusing improvised explosive devices. True innovation in robotics technology could result in much more effective robots that could better intervene in high-risk situations and thus save human lives and help contain the impact of natural and man-made disasters."

NASA Announces Student Winners in Space Game Design Challenge

"Three school student teams in the fifth through eighth grades have been selected as the winners of NASA's second annual Spaced Out Sports challenge. The students designed science-based games that will be played by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The games illustrate and apply Newton's laws of motion by showing the differences between Earth's gravity and the microgravity environment of the space station. The challenge is part of a broader agency education effort to engage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities. To design their game, students use up to five items from a two-page list of objects aboard the ISS. The list includes such items as socks, exercise putty, bungees, cotton swabs, tape, rubber bands, zipper-top bags, chocolate-covered candies and drink bags."

Astrobotic's Moon Rover

Astrobotic Technology Reveals Design for Robot to Prospect at Moon's Poles

"Astrobotic Technology unveiled its new Polaris lunar rover design, which will prospect for potentially rich deposits of water ice, methane and other resources at the moon's north pole in three years. A powerful Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX will launch Polaris from Cape Canaveral in late October 2015. Four days later Polaris will land during north pole summer, when patches of ground that are in cold shadow most of the year get brief illumination. This is where ice will be found closest to the surface, and when a solar-powered robot will get the sunlight needed to sustain exploration. Polaris will search for ice for the next 12 days until sundown in early November."

2012 Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge Winners Announced

"Four teams of high school students unleashed a new wave of product development and entrepreneurism receiving top honors at the 2012 Innovation Summit, the final round of competition for the 2011-2012 Spirit of Innovation Challenge (Conrad Challenge). Winning presentations ranged from a water purifying specialty bicycle that creates potable water while also serving as transportation in under-developed communities to a new lightweight fabric constructed of phase-changing crystals for cooling and ventilation in harsh environments. The conference took place March 29-31 at NASA-Ames Research Center. It gathered 15 finalist teams, who have been competing since fall 2011 to develop innovative products that tackle some of the world's most pressing issues in the areas of aerospace exploration, clean energy, and health and nutrition. The program is hosted by the Conrad Foundation."

National Robotics Competition Arrives in Washington March 30

"Media representatives are invited to attend an international student robotics competition sponsored by NASA and other organizations Friday and Saturday, March 30 and 31. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, in Washington. The competition, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, provides access to robotics programs to encourage young people to investigate careers in the sciences and engineering, and possibly become the nation's next generation of technical leaders."