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2016 Genes in Space US Winner Announcement

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2016/genesinspace.jpg"Genes in SpaceTM named Julian Rubinfien, a high school student from New York, the winner of the second annual Genes in SpaceTM competition. The innovative contest challenges students in grades seven through 12 to design an experiment to solve a real-life space exploration problem through DNA analysis. The winning experiment will be conducted aboard the International Space Station (ISS) using miniPCR™ technology. Rubinfien (15) aims to study genetic processes that may lead to accelerated aging in space. His experiment seeks to measure the length of telomeres, the chromosome end-caps that are shortened in premature aging. Rubinfien hypothesizes that the lengths of telomeres change during spaceflight and that these changes contribute to accelerated aging experienced by astronauts. His experiment uses a PCR-based assay and human organoids, a three-dimensional organ-bud grown in-vitro that shows realistic micro-anatomy, to measure telomeres on the ISS."

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Fifth Year of NASA's Sample Return Robot Competition

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2016/15-125a_0.jpg"Twenty-one robotics teams are returning to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) for a fifth year to compete in NASA's $1.5 million Sample Return Robot Challenge. The autonomous robotic competition will take place in two stages, with Level 1 from June 7-11 and Level 2 from Sept. 3-7. The event, part of NASA's Centennial Challenges prize program, is managed by WPI and hosted on its campus in Worcester, Massachusetts. Teams must demonstrate an autonomous robot that can locate, collect and return geologic samples on natural terrain without human control and within a specified time. Levels 1 and 2 vary in allotted time and sample complexity. Teams must successfully complete Level 1 objectives to be eligible for Level 2."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2016/ESA_Academy_Training.s.jpg"The ESA Academy Training and Learning Programme is offering a new opportunity to European students who are interested in learning how ESA is assessing technical and financial feasibility of future space missions and new spacecraft missions. ESA's Education Office is looking for 22 talented and motivated university students with an engineering or physics background to take part in a Concurrent Engineering Workshop that will take place from 20 to 23 September 2016. Europe's leadership in space depends upon its ability to continue developing world-class satellites. To do that, we need to train a new generation of space engineers and scientists. Concurrent engineering is a method of designing and developing products in the space sector. In concurrent design, contrary to the traditional design methods, all design steps take place simultaneously. This is a far more efficient way of designing, but it brings challenges as well. Solutions in one area that could impact the design in another must be identified and communicated instantly."

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"Ten teams of high school students are competing to have their dishes selected as food for astronauts aboard the International Space Station. They'll meet in a nationwide Culinary Challenge at 10 a.m. EDT Thursday, April 21, at Space Center Houston. The Culinary Challenge is a component of the NASA HUNCH, or High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware, program. The teams will prepare entres for taste-testing and evaluation. The winning meal will be prepared and packaged for future delivery and consumption on the space station."

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Student Launch challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2016/dsc11240.jpg"One of dozens of high-powered rockets lifts off on April 16, 2016, during NASA's 16th annual Student Launch challenge, held near Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama from April 13-16. Nearly 50 middle and high school, college and university teams from 22 states competed in the challenge, demonstrating advanced aerospace and engineering skills related to real-world activities and programs on NASA's Journey to Mars. Teams spent the past eight months building and testing rockets designed to fly to an altitude of one mile, deploy an automated parachute system, and land safe enough for reuse, while other teams also designed scientific payloads for data collection during flight."

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Second-Round Prizes in Cube Quest Challenge Awarded

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/cubequest.jpg"NASA has awarded $30,000 each to the five top-scoring teams that competed in the latest segment of the agency's small satellite Cube Quest competition. Cube Quest is a $5 million challenge that requires teams to design, build and deliver flight-qualified CubeSats capable of advanced operations near and beyond the moon. It is part of NASA's Centennial Challenges program, which engages the public to compete to solve challenges that will benefit the agency and the nation. Cube Quest comprises of two phases: ground tournament and in-space tournaments, or derbies. The Ground Tournaments serve as progress checks, and are held every six months, leading to an opportunity to be selected as one of three allocated slots on NASA's Orion capsule's first unmanned lunar flyby, Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), planned for launch in 2018."

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International Space Apps Challenge Update

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2016/spaceapps2016.jpgNASA Announces Dates for International Space Apps Challenge Hackathons

"NASA's open innovation incubator, the International Space Apps Challenge, will take place April 22-24. The global main stage for this year's event will be in Pasadena, California, with local events taking place simultaneously in 193 locations spanning 72 countries. On April 23 and 24, participants are asked to develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualizations and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth. This year's challenge will include a Data Bootcamp on April 22, streamed live from the global main stage. The bootcamp is open to the public and will give participants the opportunity to learn new skills with computer coding and data."

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"Nearly 5,000 students across the country are gearing up for the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the world's largest rocketry competition. 789 teams of secondary school students from all backgrounds are vying for 100 coveted spots in the TARC national finals held on Saturday, May 14, outside of Washington, D.C. "Over its 13-year history, TARC has emerged as one of the aerospace industry's premier youth outreach and education programs," said AIA President and CEO, David F. Melcher. "We believe the skills students discover and build while participating in this program will propel them to pursue education and careers in STEM fields, specifically in the aerospace industry." To encourage ingenuity, every year participants are tasked with new and different design and flight parameters that are structured to emulate the aerospace industry's design, engineering, and testing processes. This year, teams must place eggs perpendicularly to each other in the body of the rocket, requiring a wider rocket body and innovative egg protection solutions. The rocket must fly to 850 feet and return to Earth safely with its payload intact. The entire flight must last between 44 and 46 seconds."

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"Twenty middle and high school teams across Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi will demonstrate their student-built robots during the annual "Robots to Rocket City" at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration, located at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This event runs from 1-3:30 p.m., helping kick-off the 2016 season of FIRST Robotics, a national competition for students in grades 9-12. News media interested in covering the event should contact Pat Ammons at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center at 256-721-5429; or Angela Storey of the Public & Employee Communications Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, at 256-544-0034, no later than 3 p.m. Friday, March. 4. Robots to Rocket City provides teams an opportunity to demonstrate their robot's ability to complete tasks associated with the 2016 challenge, named "FIRST Stronghold" -- a medieval-themed game where robots must storm opponent castles, breach defenses, launch foam boulders and capture opposing towers."

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Star Trek Replicator Challenge

Star Trek Replicator Challenge

"Calling all Starfleet cadets! Star Trek and NASA want you to engineer the future of food in space. If you are a K-12 student in the United States, your challenge is to create a digital 3D model of a non-edible, food-related item for astronauts to 3D print in the year 2050. We want students to 'boldy go where no one has gone before' with 3D printing, by making designs that help astronauts eat nutritious meals so they can 'live long and prosper' in locations beyond the International Space Station. Eating a meal in space involves more than the actual food itself - from growing plants to preparing and eating meals."

Student-Made Devices Compete in 2015 JPL Invention Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/nasa.07.jpg "Middle- and high-school teams will demonstrate unique devices they have built to compete in the "Ball Fling Contest," the annual Invention Challenge hosted by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, on Friday, Dec. 4. The objective is to create a device that can propel three supplied playground balls to three different targets in less than 60 seconds. Point values are awarded for each successfully completed target. The winner will be the team whose device accumulates the most points. Twenty-one student teams from schools throughout Southern California will compete. The student teams were invited to the JPL Invention Challenge based on results from two regional contests held in November. Three teams of JPL engineers and scientists will also compete. While the contest rules change each year, the goal is the same: to give students an opportunity to be creative and have fun with math, science and engineering."

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United Launch Alliance Reveals CubeSat Launch Program

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/ula.cubesat.jpg"ULA will offer universities the chance to compete for at least six CubeSat launch slots on two Atlas V missions, with a goal to eventually add university CubeSat slots to nearly every Atlas and Vulcan launch," said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO. "There is a growing need for universities to have access and availability to launch their CubeSats and this program will transform the way these universities get to space by making space more affordable and accessible."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/msr.jpg "Autonomous robot rovers will seek out samples and return them to a designated point in a set time period. Samples will be randomly placed throughout the roving area. They may be placed close to obstacles, both movable and immovable. Robots will be required to navigate over unknown terrain, around obstacles, and in varied lighting conditions to identify, retrieve, and return these samples. Winners will be determined based on the number of samples returned to the designated collection point as well as the value assigned to the samples."

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NASA Announces Winners for 3-D Printed Container Contest

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/futureengineers.jpg "A workshop where tools floated around would be difficult to work in. So, NASA has chosen two winning designs from K-12 students for a 3-D printed container to help astronauts on the International Space Station keep things in order. The agency, in partnership with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation, which managed the competition, announced the winners of the Future Engineers 3-D Space Container Challenge Thursday. The winning designs focused on making life in space a little more comfortable for astronauts."The simplest tasks on Earth can be quite challenging, and even dangerous, in space," said Niki Werkheiser, NASA's In-Space Manufacturing project manager. "Being able to 3-D print technical parts, as well as the lifestyle items that we use every day will not only help enable deep space travel, but can make the trip more pleasant for astronauts."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/nasa.07.jpg "Today, global innovation firm NineSigma announced two Innovation Challenges they will run for NASA Tournament Lab; the Space Suit Textile Testing Challenge in collaboration with the Advanced Space Suit Project team and the In-Situ Materials Challenge in collaboration with the Kennedy Space Center and Swamp Works. The challenges leverage open innovation, advancing visionary aspirations for life in space, and interplanetary travel."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/mars.2.jpg "Living off the land is different when the land is 140 million miles away, so NASA is looking for innovative ideas to use in situ (in place) Martian resources to help establish a human presence on the Red Planet. The In Situ Resource Utilization Challenge offers the public an opportunity to submit designs for structures on Mars that would use existing material. The agency plans to award $10,000 to the first-place winner, with $2,500 each for two second-place submissions. NASA's Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan announced the challenge at an event Wednesday honoring the five-year anniversary of the government-wide platform Challenge.gov."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/15-198.jpg"NASA selected 55 student teams from across the nation to participate in the 2015-2016 NASA Student Launch challenge, to be held April 13-17 near NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Student Launch is a research-based, experiential exploration activity, requiring an eight-month commitment to design, construct, test, launch and successfully recover a reusable rocket and its scientific or engineering payload. Teams were chosen based on a comprehensive review of their proposal, which outlines their vehicle, its recovery system, payload, safety and educational engagement plans."

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ESA: Be The First to Catch Signals From Student-built AAUSAT5 CubeSat

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/AAUSAT5_CubeSat.jpg"It is time to start listening to space. To celebrate the launch of the student-built AAUSAT5 CubeSat from the International Space Station into low Earth orbit, ESA's Education office challenges the amateur radio community to listen out for the tiny satellite. Be the first to send in your recorded signal from AAUSAT5 and you will receive a prize from ESA's Education Office. Launched on 19 August to the ISS, the Danish student CubeSat is now waiting for its deployment from the Japanese Kibo module's airlock. Sometime in the week of 5 October, an astronaut will manipulate a robotic arm to lift AAUSAT5 from the airlock and place it in orbit. Once launched from the International Space Station the CubeSat will begin transmitting signals to Earth that can be picked up by anyone with common amateur radio equipment."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/15-189a.jpg"NASA is giving university and college students an opportunity to be part of the agency's journey to Mars with the Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge. NASA's Game Changing Development Program (GCD), managed by the agency's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) are seeking innovative ideas for generating lift using inflatable spacecraft heat shields or hypersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (HIAD) technology."

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ESA's Fourth Space App Camp

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/Space_App_Camp_2015.jpg"ESA's fourth Space App Camp starts on Monday, with 23 professional app developers from all across Europe at the Agency's facility in Frascati, Italy. Huge amounts of data from space the kind produced by the European Earth observation Copernicus programme and its Sentinel satellites offer countless opportunities for global challenges, in connection with mobile applications. The Space App Camp unites programmers to develop creative and innovative smartphone apps, which make Earth observation data accessible to a wide range of people. ESA will provide access to satellite data for developing mobile applications (Android and iOS). The goal is to bring Earth observation data particularly coming from the European Copernicus environment-monitoring programme to the everyday user through smartphones. During the week-long camp, attendees will be asked to find creative answers to global problems."

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KiboCUBE: United Nations/Japan Program on CubeSat Deployment

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/KiboCUBE_2.jpg"The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are pleased to announce the United Nations/Japan Cooperation Programme on CubeSat Deployment from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) "KiboCUBE". KiboCUBE is the dedicated collaboration between UNOOSA and JAXA in utilizing the ISS Kibo for the world. KiboCUBE aims to provide educational or research institutions from developing countries of United Nations membership with opportunities to deploy, from the ISS Kibo, cube satellites (CubeSats) which they develop and manufacture. Currently, the only way to deploy CubeSats from the ISS is from Kibo. Kibo's unique capability is comprised of an airlock system and a robotic arm. The first orbital deployment of CubeSats from Kibo was successfully conducted in October 2012 through the Small Satellite Orbital Deployer developed by JAXA. Since then, nano-satellites and CubeSats from various countries around the world have been deployed from Kibo."

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International Space Apps Challenge 2016

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/spaceapps.2016.jpg"NASA is preparing for the next International Space Apps Challenge. Space Apps is an international mass collaboration that takes place in cities around the world, embracing collective problem solving with a goal of using NASA's open data to produce open-source solutions that can advance space exploration missions and improve life on Earth. NASA is leading this global collaboration along with a number of additional government collaborators and local partner organizations."

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NASA Awards First Round Prizes in Cube Quest Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/cubequest.jpg"The first milestone of NASA's Cube Quest Challenge has been reached, as teams competed in the first of four ground tournaments in August. The five highest-scoring competitors will each be awarded $20,000. Cube Quest is a competition to build flight-qualified, small satellites capable of advanced communication and propulsion near and beyond the moon. Teams that achieve top performance at high-speed data communications, navigation and survival after achieving lunar orbit or a minimum long-distance range from Earth compete for an unprecedented $5.5 million prize purse in NASA's first ever in-space challenge."

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World's Largest Rocket Competition 2015-2016

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2003/IMG_3624.s.jpg"Although the end of summer indicates the beginning of classes for students across the country, it also signals the kickoff of the world's largest annual student rocketry contest. Registration for the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is now open for teams of 7-12th grade students through December 4. TARC is the U.S. aerospace and defense industry's flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Structured to emulate the aerospace industry's design, fabrication and testing process, TARC requires teams to build and fly a model rocket that meets challenging design requirements and precise targets for altitude and flight duration."

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NameExoWorlds Contest Opens for Public Voting

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/20ExoPlanets_small-01.jpg"Although people have been naming celestial objects for millennia, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the authority responsible for assigning official names to celestial bodies. The NameExoWorlds contest provides not only the first opportunity for the public to name exoplanets, but also -- for the first time in centuries -- to give names to stars. Twenty stars with known exoplanets in orbit around them are among the objects selected to be named. Astronomy clubs and non-profit organizations from 45 countries submitted 247 proposals for the names of the 20 ExoWorlds."

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Tracking Spacecraft Through the Cosmos Contest

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/DSA_3_Malarguee.jpg"Musicians, composers and audio buffs are invited to help celebrate 40 years of ESA's tracking station network. Create some truly cosmic sound and you may win impressive prizes, including a trip to our anniversary gala event in Spain. In 2015, ESA's Estrack ground station network celebrates 40 years and we are inviting original compositions for the 'Estrack 40th Anniversary Sound Contest.' The winner will be selected as the new theme audio for Estrack, and the composer will receive a paid invitation to the anniversary VIP event at Cebreros Tracking Station in Spain on 24 September. In addition to the grand prize winner, two runners-up and seven Top Ten entries will be selected, each of which will win ESA-branded prizes. In addition to the grand prize winner, two runners-up and seven Top Ten entries will be selected, each of which will win ESA-branded prizes."

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NASA Hosts 'Quest for Quakes' Data Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/15-157b.s.jpg"A new NASA challenge is looking for evidence to support a theory that electromagnetic pulses (EMP) may precede an earthquake, potentially offering a warning to those in the quake's path. The "Quest for Quakes" two-week algorithm challenge seeks to develop new software codes or algorithms to search through data and identify electromagnetic pulses that may precede an earthquake. Some researchers have speculated such pulses originating from the ground near earthquake epicenters could signal the onset of some quakes. "Developing a reliable approach that can separate potential earthquake-induced electromagnetic pulses from the myriad of natural and anthropogenic sources has been a significant challenge," said Craig Dobson, program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We look forward to seeing the innovative ideas from this competition and learning more about this controversial phenomenon.""

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American Team Wins International Rocketry Competition

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/image015.jpg"Seven students from the Russellville City Schools of Russellville, Ala., won first place in the International Rocketry Challenge at the 2015 Paris Air Show on June 19. The U.S. team, sponsored by Raytheon, beat teams from the United Kingdom, who came in second place, and France, who took home third. "It was a great experience representing the United States and winning the international rocketry competition," said Andrew Heath, captain of the RCS Engineers. "It has been an honor to be part of me team and this year's program."

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NASA, UN Photo Competition Highlights Why Space Matters on Earth

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/unoosaclip2.jpgNASA and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) have launched a global photography competition to highlight how the vantage point of space helps us better understand our home planet, improve lives, and safeguard our future by aiding sustainable development on Earth. To highlight the role of space-based science and technologies and their applications on Earth, NASA and UNOOSA are inviting the public to submit photos depicting why space matters to us all in our daily lives. To participate, post a picture and description on Instagram using the hashtag #whyspacematters and tagging @UNOOSA.

Genes in Space Finalists

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/genes.in.space.jpg"Boeing, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), Math for America (MƒA), and miniPCR named five finalists in the first ever Genes in Space competition. The innovative contest called for students in grades 7 through 12 to design an experiment to solve a real-life space exploration problem through DNA analysis. The winning experiment will be performed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) using a miniPCR machine. The five finalist teams will receive mentoring from R&D scientists from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who will help refine the experiments and make them feasible for space. The teams will present their proposals to a prestigious panel of scientists, educators, and technologists at the ISS Research and Development Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, July 7-9. The winner will be announced at the conclusion of the conference and have their experiment performed 250 miles above the Earth aboard the ISS. Members of the winning team will also be invited to watch the launch of their experiment into orbit."

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NASA Selects Projects for X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/15-114.jpg"NASA is working with eight U.S. universities on new technology projects for deep space exploration, including the agency's journey to Mars, as part of the 2016 X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge. The challenge, which is led by NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation, has teams designing systems, concepts and technologies that will help improve NASA's exploration capabilities and provide undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in technology development."

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NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/inv_2015113_pao_0.jpg"Twenty robotics teams, ranging from university students to small businesses, are preparing to compete June 8-13 in the fourth running of the NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge for a prize purse of $1.5 million. At the autonomous robot competition held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, teams must demonstrate their robot can locate and collect geologic samples from a large and varied landscape, without human control, through two levels of competition that grow in complexity."

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The CubeSat Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/medium.jpg"The goal of this challenge is to design a small satellite frame optimized for additive manufacturing. By using the benefits of design for additive manufacturing (DFAM) principles: Mass distributions and materials can be rethought to minimize weight, Part count can be reduced to improve producibility, and ultimately, cost can be reduced."

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Winners and Awards: 2015 NASA Student Launch Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/sls.launch.jpg"NASA has announced the winners of the 2015 NASA Student Launch challenge, held April 11 near NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Thirty-five teams from middle schools to universities demonstrated aerospace and engineering skills, while vying for prizes, awards and a lifetime of bragging rights.

The top winners of this year's challenge are:"

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/s93_45585.jpg"NASA and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, known as America Makes, are holding a new $2.25 million competition to design and build a 3-D printed habitat for deep space exploration, including the agency's journey to Mars. The multi-phase 3-D Printed Habitat Challenge, part of NASA's Centennial Challenges program, is designed to advance the additive construction technology needed to create sustainable housing solutions for Earth and beyond. Shelter is among the most basic and crucial human needs, but packing enough materials and equipment to build a habitat on a distant planet would take up valuable cargo space that could be used for other life-sustaining provisions. The ability to manufacture a habitat using indigenous materials, combined with material that would otherwise be waste from the spacecraft, would be invaluable."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/space.apps.2015.jpg"From a voice and gesture command system for spacecraft, to an app that provides farmers information about their crops' health, this year's winners of the International Space Apps Challenge cover a wide range of technology solutions for space exploration and life on Earth. NASA, in conjunction with other space agencies around the world, held the fourth annual code-a-thon April 10-12 at more than 135 locations worldwide and the results are in. Winning apps were selected in six categories, including a People's Choice Award. Participants were asked to develop mobile applications, software, hardware, data visualization and platform solutions that could contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth. This year, 35 challenges represented NASA mission priorities in four areas: Earth studies, space exploration, human health research and robotics. The categories and winning apps are:"

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"For the third year in a row, the Vanderbilt Aerospace Club has won NASA's eight-month long rocketry competition - the 2014-15 Student Launch Challenge - beating out 30 other university and college teams. Judges announced the Vandy team's victory on Tuesday, a month following the launch day competition that took place on April 11 at Bragg Farms in Toney, Alabama, near NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville."

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Send Your Drawing Into Space With Cheops

http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/esa.jpg"Do you want to send your art into space on the new Cheops satellite? ESA and its mission partners are inviting children to submit drawings that will be miniaturised and engraved on two plaques that will be put on the satellite. Cheops - for CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite - is a space telescope that will observe nearby stars known to host planets, and is being built as a collaboration between ESA's Science Programme and Switzerland. The planned launch date is at the end of 2017. With the data from Cheops, astronomers will be able to characterise the sizes and masses of many extrasolar planets, to gain new insights into the formation of planetary systems."

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NASA Announces Journey to Mars Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/msl.entry.jpg "NASA is embarking on an ambitious journey to Mars and Tuesday announced a challenge inviting the public to write down their ideas, in detail, for developing the elements of space pioneering necessary to establish a continuous human presence on the Red Planet. This could include shelter, food, water, breathable air, communication, exercise, social interactions and medicine, but participants are encouraged to consider innovative and creative elements beyond these examples."

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NASA Awards Research Grants for Minority Serving Institutions

http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/nasa.moon.jpg"NASA's Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) has selected 10 minority serving universities for cooperative agreement awards valued at almost $47 million. Award recipients were selected from 76 proposals after a rigorous peer review by education and technical experts. Each university will receive as much as $1 million per year for a maximum of five years based on the availability of funds and satisfactory performance."

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NASA Announces Winning Ideas for Mars Balance Mass Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/mars.2.jpg"A self-employed technical consultant from Texas with an idea to study the Martian atmosphere and a team of engineers from Michigan with a way to study Martian weather are the winners of NASA's Mars Balance Mass Challenge. Ted Ground of Rising Star, Texas, was awarded $20,000 for his idea to study the Martian atmosphere by releasing material that could be seen and studied by other Martian spacecraft in orbit and on the ground. Brian Kujawski, Louis Olds and Leslie Hall, from Grand Rapids, Mich., received an honorable mention and $5,000 for their idea to study Martian weather by looking at wind patterns near the planet's surface."

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Sentinel-2A Photo Contest

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/Colour_vision.jpg"For the launch of Sentinel-2A, ESA is inviting you to take part in a photo contest focusing on the theme of 'colour vision'. Enter for a chance to win a trip to ESA's operations centre for the satellite's launch event. The Sentinels are a fleet of satellites designed specifically to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the European Commission's Copernicus programme. This unique environmental monitoring programme is making a step change in the way we manage our environment, how we understand and tackle the effects of climate change and even safeguard our everyday lives."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2009/s127e007464.s.jpg"Seven teams of high school students competing to have their entrée selected as food for astronauts aboard the International Space Station will meet in the Culinary Challenge at 11 a.m. CDT April 23 in the Space Food Systems Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The teams will prepare their entrées for taste-testing and evaluation. The winning meal will be prepared and packaged for future flight to the space station."

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NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge Winners

"University Gardens High School of San Juan, Puerto Rico, won first place in the high school division of the 2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge, while an International Space Education Institute team of Moscow, Russia, won the college division of the event, held April 17-18, in Huntsville, Alabama. At the end of the two-day challenge, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, both teams posted the fastest vehicle assembly and race times in their divisions, with the fewest on-course penalties. In addition to taking home the winning trophies, both first-place teams also received a cash prize of $3,000, courtesy of corporate sponsor, The Boeing Company."

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NSF Community College Innovation Challenge Winners

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/entry55305_disaster_relief.jpg"The National Science Foundation (NSF) named 10 teams as winners in its Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC). The CCIC challenged community-college students to propose innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-based solutions to perplexing, real-world problems. Community colleges from across the country participated in the challenge. They were invited to identify key problems and propose innovative solutions in areas with potential for solving some of America's most daunting challenges."

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NASA Hosts Human Exploration Rover Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/m15-058.s.jpg"The annual NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge will take place April 17-18 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. NASA Television will provide coverage of both days' races from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center's UStream channel will broadcast the races and the awards ceremony, which will take place at 5 p.m. CDT on April 18 in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration in Huntsville. This year's competition will feature more than 80 high school and college teams from 18 states, Puerto Rico and international teams from Germany, India, Mexico and Russia racing against the clock in this engineering design competition."

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Space Apps 2015 Kicks Off

"NASA is gearing up for its fourth annual International Space Apps Challenge, April 10-12. The event unfolds at more than 135 locations worldwide, including this year's Global Mainstage event in New York featuring NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, agency Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan, and Deborah Diaz, NASA's chief technology officer for IT."

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Software Students: Go Where No Coder Has Gone Before

"ESA is seeking student software developers from across Europe to participate in its Summer of Code in Space. Winning applicants will be paid to develop innovative open-source software for space projects. ESA's Summer of Code in Space (SOCIS) is an annual programme to give students the chance to work on open-source space-related software during their summer time. Since SOCIS began in 2011, more than 60 students have been part of the adventure, and if you are a student in any ESA Member State, this year could be your turn."

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NASA Challenge Invites Students to Design Mars Systems

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/oo15-035_0.jpg"College students have the opportunity to be at the forefront of innovation for NASA's journey to Mars by designing systems for future space habitats and exploration systems through the agency's Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge. The challenge is designed to engage students directly in the design, research and development of functional components of future habitats. As NASA develops missions to send astronauts to destinations far into the solar system, such as an asteroid and Mars, a habitat to sustain the crews pioneering deep space environments will be needed. The challenge also will help develop strategic partnerships with universities in order to increase knowledge in critical exploration capabilities and technology risk reduction activities."

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NASA Announces Public Voting For Optimus Prime Spinoff Challenge

"The Innovative Technology Partnerships Office (ITPO) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has announced that public voting for the fourth NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge runs through March 22, 2015. The purpose of the contest is to raise awareness of NASA Goddard's Technology Transfer Program and to inspire interest in all NASA Goddard missions, programs and projects. Students in grades 3 through 12 are provided a unique experience using 21st century engineering design technology and purposeful interactions with tech transfer, science, and engineering professionals to create unique technology spinoff applications derived from actual NASA Goddard innovations and the James Webb Space Telescope."

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"NASA is considering the Space Robotics Challenge to quickly advance the autonomous capabilities of dexterous mobile robots, particularly those of humanoid format, while also providing complex robotic platforms for the robotics community on which to deploy and test their advanced software. The scope of this challenge involves tasks that humanoid robots would perform either in transit to or at locations (such as the surface of Mars) for deep space exploration missions. Future manned-missions to deep space destinations will likely require pre-cursor robotic mission to deploy and prepare habitats, power systems and other infrastructure. Furthermore once humans arrive, a need will exist for robotic astronaut assistants both in intra-vehicular and extra-vehicular environments. Some of these robots may be of humanoid form as to fit into astronaut environments without modifications."

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2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge

"Nearly 4,000 middle and high school students across the country are gearing up for the 2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the aerospace and defense industry's flagship program to inspire young people to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This year, close to 700 teams representing 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are designing and building model rockets as they contest to qualify for the national finals scheduled for Saturday, May 9 in The Plains, VA."

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International Space Apps Challenge 2015

"NASA and other space agencies around the world are preparing for the next International Space Apps Challenge. The International Space Apps Challenge is an international mass collaboration that takes place in cities around the world. The event embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open-source solutions to advance space exploration missions and improve life on Earth. NASA is leading this global collaboration along with a number of additional government collaborators and local partner organizations."

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Students Design 3-D Printed Tools for Astronauts

"After three months of designing and modeling, a panel of judges from NASA, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation (ASME) and Made In Space Inc. have selected the winners of the Future Engineers 3-D Printing in Space Tool Challenge. The winner from the Teen Group (ages 13-19) is a Multipurpose Precision Maintenance Tool that Robert Hillan of Enterprise, Alabama, designed. The winner of the Junior Group (ages 5-12) is a Space Planter that Sydney Vernon from Bellevue, Washington, designed."

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Second ESA Space Station Robot Challenge to Launch

"A space robotics competition opens today for school students. The aim is to design a robot that can move cargo from one end of an International Space Station (ISS) mock-up to another. The competition is open to any school student aged between 11 and 19 from an ESA member state*. This is the second time that ESA has run a space robotics competition."

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NASA Announces Micro-g Experiment Design Teams

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams (Micro-g NExT). The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Teams will be selected to participate in the experiential/hands-on learning portion and will travel to Houston to have their prototype tested in the simulated microgravity environment of the NBL-- a 6.2 million gallon indoor pool where NASA astronauts perform complex training activities in advance of their assigned space missions. This project coincides with the 50th anniversary of NASA extravehicular activity.

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Send Your Computer Code Into Space with Tim Peake

"Leading UK space organisations have joined forces with British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake and Raspberry Pi to offer students a chance to devise and code their own apps or experiment to run in space. Two Raspberry Pi computers are planned to be flown to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of Tim's 6 month mission and both will be connected to a new "Astro Pi" board, loaded with a host of sensors and gadgets. Launched today at an event held by the UK Space Agency, the Astro Pi competition will be officially opened at the BETT conference (21-24 January) and will be open to all primary and secondary school aged children who are resident in the United Kingdom. The competition will be supported by a comprehensive suite of teaching resources that are being developed by ESERO-UK and Raspberry Pi."

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NASA-USGS Data App Challenge

NASA in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is offering more than $35,000 in prizes to citizen scientists for ideas that make use of climate data to address vulnerabilities faced by the United States in coping with climate change. The Climate Resilience Data Challenge, conducted through the NASA Tournament Lab, a partnership with Harvard University hosted on Appirio/Topcoder, kicks off Monday, Dec 15 and runs through March 2015. The challenge supports the efforts of the White House Climate Data Initiative, a broad effort to leverage the federal government's extensive, freely available climate-relevant data resources to spur innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship in order to advance awareness of and preparedness for the impacts of climate change. The challenge was announced by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Dec. 9.

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NASA Seeks Ultralightweight Core Materials

NASA Space Technology Game Changing Program Solicitation for Ultralightweight Core Materials for Efficient Load-Bearing Composite Sandwich Structures - NASA is seeking proposals to develop and manufacture ultralightweight materials for aerospace vehicles and structures of the future. Proposals will demonstrate lower-mass alternatives to honeycomb or foam cores currently used in composite sandwich structures. The goal of this Game Changing Development Program is to develop and demonstrate scalable and cost-effective manufacturing approaches to produce ultralightweight core materials both as flat panels and curved structures. The final products will have half or less the area density of conventional honeycomb cores, with equal or better mechanical properties.

2015 ESA App Camp

"Apply today for the 2015 ESA App Camp in Barcelona, and the opportunity to develop mobile apps that tackle some of the world's greatest challenges. This unique app development event offers access to the latest space data and the SAP HANA Platform - choose your challenge and meet with like-minded people to tackle some of the world's greatest challenges. The winning teams will be invited to the ESA App Camp in Barcelona, Spain and honoured at the Mobile World Congress 2015. Think you're up to the challenge?"

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NASA is looking for ways to reduce astronauts' exposure to Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) while on long duration deep space missions. Currently, exposure to GCR limits mission duration to approximately 150 days while a mission to Mars would take 500 days, thus any further meaningful human exploration missions of space depends on finding a solution to this problem. Indeed, even travelling to Mars requires a solution to this Challenge. This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution. AWARD: $12,000 USD DEADLINE: 12/15/14 More

NASA Opens Cube Quest Challenge

Registration now is open for NASA's Cube Quest Challenge, the agency's first in-space competition that offers the agency's largest-ever prize purse. Competitors have a shot at a share of $5 million in prize money and an opportunity to participate in space exploration and technology development, to include a chance at flying their very own CubeSat to the moon and beyond as secondary payload on the first integrated flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. "NASA's Cube Quest Challenge will engage teams in the development of the new technologies that will advance the state of the art of CubeSats and demonstrate their capabilities as viable deep space explorers," said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Prize competitions like this engage the general public and directly contribute to NASA's goals while serving as a tool for open innovation."

2014-2015 NASA Goddard OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is launching the 2014-2015 TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Challenge, hosted by the Innovative Technology Partnerships Office. The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness of NASA's Technology Transfer Program and to inspire interest in all NASA missions, programs and projects. This year the scope of the contest is being expanded to include two challenges. In the first challenge, students in grades 3-12 are asked to submit a video describing their favorite NASA Goddard spinoff. In a new twist, participants in this year′s contest must also use the engineering design process to develop and propose a new spinoff application of their own for the technology. Spinoffs are technologies originally created for space and modified into everyday products used on Earth. Examples include memory foam, invisible braces and scratch-resistant lenses for eyeglasses.

NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge Has New Ways To Participate

Ten new projects are providing opportunities for the public to participate in NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge, which accelerates the agency's asteroid initiative work through innovative partnerships and collaborations. Through a Space Act Agreement since April, NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge partner SpaceGAMBIT developed ways to connect the Maker community with NASA's asteroid work, including educational programs and tools to help astronomers and citizen scientists. Makers are creative people with a drive to answer questions and find new ways to do things.

NASA Selects Student Teams for High-Powered Rocket Challenge

NASA has selected eight teams from middle and high schools across the country to participate in the 2014-2015 NASA Student Launch Challenge, April 7-12, organized by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The Student Launch Challenge engages students in a research-based, experiential exploration activity. Teams participating in the challenge must design, build and launch a reusable rocket, with a scientific or engineering payload, capable of reaching an altitude of one mile. Eligible teams pre-qualified by successfully completing the NASA Advanced Rocketry Workshop, and either the 2012-2013 Student Launch Challenge, Team America Rocketry Challenge, or 2014 Rockets for Schools competition.

NASA APPEL Virtual Project Management Challenge

On December 2, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST, the Academy of Program/Project & Engineering Leadership (APPEL) will host a Virtual Project Management Challenge entitled APPEL--Technical Workforce Development. We invite you to join us for this online event to learn more about the different ways in which APPEL supports the development of NASA's project managers and systems engineers. Over the course of the Virtual Project Management Challenge, Roger Forsgren, APPEL Director, Stephen Angelillo, APPEL Deputy Director, and Donna Wilson, Curriculum Manager, will discuss what APPEL does to help ensure NASA's project management and systems engineering communities have the skills and knowledge they need to advance mission success at NASA. If you are interested in attending the event, you can click here to learn more about APPEL's Virtual Project Management Challenge or to RSVP.

NASA and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, are seeking teams to compete in a robot technology demonstration competition with a potential $1.5 million prize purse. During the Sample Return Robot Challenge, teams will compete to demonstrate a robot that 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.

Future Engineers 3-D Printing in Space: Design a Space Tool Challenge

NASA, in conjunction with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation, has issued a series of Future Engineers 3-D Space Challenges for students focused on solving real-world space exploration problems. Students will become the creators and innovators of tomorrow by using 3-D modeling software to submit their designs. Multiple prizes are available, but the grand prize winner will have the opportunity for his or her design to be printed on the first 3-D printer aboard the International Space Station while watching from NASA′s Payload Operations Center with the mission control team.

NASA Opens Registration for 2015 Exploration Rover Challenge

NASA has opened team registration for the 2015 NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. Organized by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the event will be held April 16-18, 2015, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, also in Huntsville.

The challenge engages high school, college and university students in hands-on, experiential learning activities, while also testing potential technologies needed for future deep space exploration. Both U.S. and international teams may register to participate. For U.S. teams, registration closes Feb. 6, 2015. Registration for international teams closes Jan. 9, 2015.

Teams Announced for NASA 2015 Robotics Operations Competition

Eight universities have advanced to the next round of "RASC-AL Robo-Ops," a planetary rover robotics engineering competition sponsored by NASA and organized by the National Institute of Aerospace. The teams selected are California State University Long Beach, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; San Jose State University in California; University of Buffalo in New York; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg; and West Virginia University, Morgantown.

The 5th Annual Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts - Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Exploration Robo-Ops is an engineering design competition sponsored by NASA's Human Exploration Operations and Missions Directorate and led by Pat Troutman with the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

The 2014 Humans in Space Art Video Challenge

Join NASA's International Space Station Program and Humans in Space Art in a journey of exploration. Interested college students and early career professionals worldwide are invited to influence the future of life on Earth and human space exploration. Individuals and teams should submit a three minute video capturing their visions of "How will space, science and technology benefit humanity?" Video artwork may be any style. Younger participants may submit a video, but artwork from artists of all ages will be judged together. The individual or team that creates the first place overall video will be awarded $5000 by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and winning artwork will be given worldwide visibility and flown in orbit on the International Space Station. Entries are due November 15, 2014. Visit www.HumansInSpaceArt.org and select "Challenge" for details.

NASA OpenNEX Data Challenge

Description: Seeking creative new ways to utilize the Climate and Earth Science data recently made available on the Open NASA Earth Exchange (OpenNEX) platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Sponsoring Organization: NASA, Amazon Web Services Inc., Innocentive

Awards Available: This Challenge has a special award structure with awards of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively. In addition, NASA plans to announce winning Solvers and submissions at the American Geophysical Union's (AGU) Fall Meeting in San Francisco
December 15 - 19, 2014.

Registration Deadline: Ongoing
Close Date: October 21, 2014
Frequency: One time series of contests
For More Information: https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933585

Crowdsourcing Extrasolar Planet Naming

Register Now to Enter NameExoWorlds Contest, IAU

"The IAU invites all public organizations with an interest in astronomy to register on the IAU Directory for World Astronomy website for the NameExoWorlds contest, where they will in early 2015 be able to suggest names for exoplanets and their host stars. For the first time in history the public will then be able to vote for the official names of stars and planets."

International Space Apps Challenge

Join us for Space Apps 2015

"NASA and other space agencies around the world are preparing for the next International Space Apps Challenge. The International Space Apps Challenge is an international mass collaboration that takes place in cities around the world. The event embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open-source solutions to advance space exploration missions and improve life on Earth. NASA is leading this global collaboration along with a number of additional government collaborators and local partner organizations."

Earth Science Challenges and Crowdsourcing From NASA

NASA Picks Top Earth Data Challenge Ideas, Opens Call for Climate Apps

"NASA has selected four ideas from the public for innovative uses of climate projections and Earth-observing satellite data. The agency also has announced a follow-on challenge with awards of $50,000 to build climate applications based on OpenNEX data on the Amazon cloud computing platform. Both challenges use the Open NASA Earth Exchange, or OpenNEX, a data, cloud computing, and knowledge platform where users can share modeling and analysis codes, scientific results, information and expertise to solve big data challenges in the Earth sciences. OpenNEX provides users a large collection of climate and Earth science satellite data sets, including global land surface images, vegetation conditions, climate observations and climate projections."

NASA Centennial Challenges Program Challenge Concepts

NASA Centennial Challenges Program Challenge Concepts

The Centennial Challenges Program is NASA's flagship program for technology prize competitions. The Centennial Challenges Program directly engages the public, academia, and industry in open prize competitions to stimulate innovation in technologies that have benefit to NASA and the nation. The program is an integral part of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing, and flying hardware for use in NASA's future missions.

NASA Makes 2015 Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Selections

NASA Selects Projects for 2015 X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge

"NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation have selected five universities to design systems, concepts and technologies to enhance capabilities for deep space missions for the 2015 Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge. The selections are the first milestone in a yearlong design and development effort for these five projects. Throughout the 2014-2015 academic year, the teams must meet a series of milestones to design, manufacture, assemble and test their systems and concepts in close cooperation with members of the NASA Exploration Augmentation Module (EAM) concept team."

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