Press Release

House Science Committee Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics to Examine Role of Contests and Prizes in Space Exploration

By SpaceRef Editor
July 13, 2004
Filed under , ,

Chairman of X Prize Foundation to Testify


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, July 15, 2004, the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics will hold a hearing to examine whether and how federally sponsored prizes could be an effective tool to spur innovation and encourage commercial participation in the development of advanced space technologies. 

NASA has recently begun a small prize program, but has proposed that Congress provide it with authority to offer larger prizes.

Two events last month raised public awareness of the potential power of prizes as a catalyst to achieve remarkable goals: first, the first privately funded manned spacecraft successfully performed a flight in preparation to compete for the X Prize, a $10 million prize raised through private donations and administered by a private organization; and second, thePresident’s Commission on Implementation of United States Exploration Policy (also known as the Aldridge Commission for its chairman, the former Undersecretary of the Air Force Pete Aldridge) issued its report recommending that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration offer similar prizes.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics- Hearing

NASA Contests and Prizes

10:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

2318 Rayburn House Office Building (WEBCAST)


  • Rear Admiral Craig E. Steidle (Ret.) is the Associate Administrator at NASA for Exploration Systems, and oversees the Centennial Challenges program, NASA’s program of prize contests.
  • The Honorable Robert Walker is the Chairman of Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates and former Chairman of the House Science Committee.  He was also a member of the Aldridge Commission, which recommended that NASA offer large prizes for large achievements in aerospace engineering.
  • Dr. Peter Diamandis is the Chairman of the X Prize Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the formation of a space-tourism industry through a $10 million prize.
  • Dr. Molly Macauley is an economist and Senior Fellow with Resources for the Future. Dr. Macauley’s research interests include space economics and policy and the economics of new technologies.
  • Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakinis the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.


SpaceRef staff editor.