- Press Release
- Sep 26, 2022
NASA Office of Space Exploration 2004 Centennial Challenges Workshop Report
The 2004 Centennial Challenges workshop was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, 15 and
16 June 2004 at the Hilton Washington hotel. In attendance were representatives from big
and small industry, aerospace and non-aerospace, universities, government, and interested
Over two hundred attendees and 30 session moderators discussed generated ideas for
future Challenges in the areas of Aeronautics, Exploration Systems, Planetary Systems,
Earth Observation, Bioastronautics, and Astrophysics. Attendees and moderators also discussed
potential rules and other details for over 30 Challenge concepts that were generated
by attendees or internally by NASA.
Three guest speakers, including Senator Sam Brownback (Chair of the Commerce Subcommittee
on Science, Technology, and Space), Dr. John Marburger (Director of the
White House’s Office of Space and Technology Policy), and Mr. Elon Musk (Founder and
CEO of Space Exploration Technologies Corp.), discussed the importance of prize competitions
in fulfilling the Vision for Space Exploration and NASA’s ongoing missions. They
also provided unique perspectives on the role of government and private industry in space
Three discussion panels were also conducted to provide workshop attendees with multiple
viewpoints of the subject areas pertinent to technology development.
The Launch Vehicle panel featured leaders of the nascent reusable launch vehicle industry,
including representatives from SpaceDev (makers of the hybrid rocket engines of Burt
Rutan’s SpaceShipOne), Kistler Aerospace, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Rocketplane
Ltd., and Vanguard Aerospace.
The Past, Present, and Future of Prize Competitions panel included brief presentations by
Erik Lindbergh (Charles Lindbergh’s grandson), Dr. Peter Diamandis (Founder of the X
PRIZE Foundation and Zero-G Corp.), and Col. Jose Negron (Program Manager for the
DARPA Grand Challenge).
The Fund Raising panel featured
descriptions of the sponsorship, venture
capital, angel, and state subsidy communities.
This report includes a collection of the
results of each Challenge Brainstorming
and Rules Definition session held at the
workshop. These results represent the
raw inputs of the session attendees and
moderators, unmodified by Centennial
Challenges management. Centennial
Challenges will use these inputs in the
weeks and months following the workshop
to determine what Challenges the
program will pursue in 2004 and 2005
as well as the structure, rules, and other
details of those Challenges.