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Centennial Challenges Prize

Posted by: Voyager4D - Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:33 pm
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Centennial Challenges Prize 
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Space Walker
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Post Centennial Challenges Prize   Posted on: Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:33 pm
Nice it looks like X-prize will soon be followed by a similary yearly price from Nasa of $20 millions.. :D
Its called the Centennial Challenges Prize..
http://www.interglobal.org/weblog/archives/003426.html#003426


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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:58 am
:D
This may set up the next milestone prize for low cost to space. The X-Prize officials may what to see if NASA is willing to set this up threw the X-Prize. They will need to hammer out the details with NASA if they are interested.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 06, 2004 12:14 am
NASA has posted a description of what the prizes might be:

"Centennial Challenges will be modeled on past successes, including 19th century navigation prizes, early 20th century aviation prizes, and more recent prizes offered by the US government and private sector. Examples of potential Challenges include very low-cost robotic space missions; contests to demonstrate rover systems that are highly mobile, capable, and survivable; and fundamental advances in technical areas like lander navigation, spacecraft power systems, life detection sensors, and nano-materials."


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 05, 2004 3:57 pm
Hold on a minute, as this is being done by NASA, can companies from other countries enter for these prizes or must they be American?


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 05, 2004 4:05 pm
Quote:
can companies from other countries enter for these prizes or must they be American?


I went to the CC website: "US citizens who are not federal employees (including FFRDCs) unless otherwise specified in challenge rules. Industry, academa, non-profits, students, individuals. Contestants will be required to register." So it sounds like non US citizens can compete only if they are part of a US company, or if the prize waives the restriction.

One interesting idea might be to have NASA, ESA, and the Japanese put up the money for prizes jointly, so that any citizen from American, Europe, or Japan can compete.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 05, 2004 6:33 pm
The reason why I said this is because theoretically American companies could win these prizes using tech that was developed at high cost in countries other than America. As the companies that actually develop them cannot compete, it seems a little unfair.

I very much hope your idea comes to pass, Legionnaire!


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:27 am
It's an interesting question ... should America be obliged to open high tech development competitions to non-American interests ... given the exchange of ideas and rapid technology exchanges going on there is unfortunately a strong, and military argument, against holding open competitions in the name of national security.

High technology transfer is a scary thing when it's transfered to an entity beyond the reach of the regulatory body overseeing the competition (in this case, ultimately, the US government).

As NASA is a child of governmental development it must abide by the requirements of its "parent company" who is essentially in competition with other similar "companies" with similar (or lesser) resources to maintain its place in the world. A place which currently allows it to dictate terms of foreign policy, not something to be gambled with.

Of course, I could be just talking out of my hat ...

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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:53 am
nasa or the usa should not be obliged (and it will never happen)

as to us companies using non-us technology that's not a problem at all as long as it's solved in the same way any normal business is conducted between the originator and the us company (there's a flow of technology into the us as well you know, not everything was/is invented there :wink:)

as it is nasa already has a very international tinge: people from other countries working with them on projects etc.

i don't see nasa having a national program to encourage space related efforts as a problem at all (all national space agencies i know of have such programs, and nasa has tried to do this in various ways before as well) unless it makes people think that private efforts are not longer needed - because private space companies are just as important as before (read/think: very important :D)


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:16 pm
Fair point I suppose,

My concern is simply that this programme does not stunt technological growth in the private space travel sector instead of promoting it. The great thing about the Ansari X-prize is the fact that any company which is serious about the aim of it can enter, no matter where they come from. I would just like the international flavour of this new era in space travel to continue.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 06, 2004 2:25 pm
me too

i'm not too worried though. i believe nasa will quickly frustrate away hands-on approach people or anyone who finds entrenched nasa engineers being too condescending.

and as the private space market is maturing further i don't think the practical solutions will be coming from space agencies (it will come from the profit motive)


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:37 pm
Nova wrote:
My concern is simply that this programme does not stunt technological growth in the private space travel sector instead of promoting it.


I'm a bit confused. How could offering prizes for technological innovation result in stifling technological innovation?


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:10 pm
The Legionnaire wrote:
Nova wrote:
My concern is simply that this programme does not stunt technological growth in the private space travel sector instead of promoting it.


I'm a bit confused. How could offering prizes for technological innovation result in stifling technological innovation?

nova made the rightful distinction between technological innovation by private companies and governmental space agencies - i.e. a kind of brain drain hurting the quest for cheap and profitable space access (which i doubt nasa and the like will ever deliver)


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 07, 2004 12:33 am
n54 wrote:
nova made the rightful distinction between technological innovation by private companies and governmental space agencies - i.e. a kind of brain drain hurting the quest for cheap and profitable space access (which i doubt nasa and the like will ever deliver)


The Centennial Challenges program isn't paying for government research, it's offering incentives for private innovation. CC should make it easier for private companies to invent new space technologies, since now they have the sponsorship opportunities and monetary incentive of a prize.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 07, 2004 12:56 am
What n54 said is one take on that, a plausible one too. Another is that technological innovation is aided by the most number of groups attempting the same challenge, look at the X-prize and all the weird and wacky designs that are being attempted (some weirder than others). The point is that some will succeed and some will fail but the more in the running the better the chances of finding a good solution. Also, if your are a non American company seeing American ones getting the prizes for novel technological development and you are not, would you share your ideas and risk someone else profiteering from them or would you be more inclined to stick to tried and tested methods? Oh yeah it's allright for US companies, but is it allright for space tech in general? We shall see.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 07, 2004 2:11 pm
The Legionnaire wrote:
n54 wrote:
nova made the rightful distinction between technological innovation by private companies and governmental space agencies - i.e. a kind of brain drain hurting the quest for cheap and profitable space access (which i doubt nasa and the like will ever deliver)


The Centennial Challenges program isn't paying for government research, it's offering incentives for private innovation. CC should make it easier for private companies to invent new space technologies, since now they have the sponsorship opportunities and monetary incentive of a prize.

yes but private innovation towards the goals of nasa, so the brain drain scenario still stands

and i don't think nasa aims to bring cheap access to orbit for all any more than they aim (at present) to bring cheap access to sub-orbit for all - it's simply not their job (and if they pretend otherwise in the statute of the cc i bet it will be rooted out fairly quickly in any future budget negotiations)


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