Monday, October 24, 2011

Regarding the Team Phoenicia/Techshop Nanosat Launcher Challenge Seminar

Recently, there has not been a lot of updates for the Team Phoenicia/Techshop Nanosat Launcher Challenge Seminar. The primary reason has been that we have been waiting for the announcement of the allied organization before updating the agenda. We know whom has been selected. We are just not able to announce it. It has been a little frustrating since we know that more than a few people are waiting on that announcement before signing up. The delay has been frustrating, if understandable: NASA has wanted to avoid some of the pitfalls of how some of the past challenges were run. Since we were part of the push for corrections on those challenges, we can hardly be critical if it takes a while to help get what we wanted for the participants, even if we are not ourselves participating.

Delightfully, we were just updated that the agreement has been signed between NASA and the allied org. HOWEVER! We were told to hang on for the official PR mill to get set to grind. This was not NASA's choice, fwiw. They want to get this out as fast as possible, too. They have been directed to hold off as well.

To that end, Sam Ortega, the Program Manager for Centennial Challenges at NASA, dropped us a note and is allowing us to share that with the community.

From: "Ortega, Samuel A. {Sam}(MSFC-MP92)"
Date: Mon, October 24, 2011 10:05 am
To: "Will Baird"

I am very excited about the upcoming opportunity to speak at the Nanosat Launcher
Challenge Seminar on Nov 12 - 13th.

To give you a status of the challenge to date. We have the Prize purse of $2M appropriated and set aside with our payment contractor ready to pay out if there is a winner of the challenge. We have been working to find an Allied Organization that will conduct the challenge in manner that will be beneficial to NASA but more importantly beneficial to the competitor. There are many things to consider schedule, media rights, intellectual property rights to name a few that we wanted to make sure would be acceptable to teams wanting to compete.

I am glad to say we have signed a Space Act Agreement with an Allied Organization to run the competition and will be announcing who they are on or about Nov 1, 2011. They will participate in the Seminar on the 12th and the 13th but may have to do so by telecon do to scheduling conflicts.

Thank you for putting the Seminar together. I look forward to Orbit 1 from any of the competitors.

Program Manager
Centennial Challenges

Now we know for sure that the allied org will be participating and the official rules will be presented. The official announcement as to whom it will be is on or after Nov 1st.

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