NASA Lunar Regolith Challenge - Can You Dig It?

Today we have a guest blog post from Matt Everingham, Engineering Programs and Development Manager at the California Space Authority. He is organizing this year's Lunar Regolith Excavation Challenge at Moffett Field, CA, taking place this weekend, Oct. 17-18. $750,000 in prize money is up for grabs...

Google Lunar X PRIZE Team Astrobotic will be competing this weekend, so wish them luck! I will also be at the event providing coverage via the GLXP channels (Twitter, Facebook, Launch Pad).

Join us at the 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge!
A guest blog by Matt Everingham

We are very excited at how the 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge is coming together. We have an amazing roster of teams, an interesting group of exhibitors, and a lineup of speakers that are sure to provide some valuable insights into space exploration, robotics and inspiring the next generation.

By the Numbers

  • 23 teams competing this year, from around the U.S. and a variety of backgrounds
  • 13 teams returning from competing in previous years or have members that have participated in the Regolith Challenge before
  • 11 teams with significant student participation in developing their entries
  • 2 new team leaders, Peter Homer and Alex Gutierrez, who have played significant roles in teams that have been successful in winning prize competitions in the past
  • 2 teams, Technology Ranch and Terra Engineering, that have participated since the first Regolith Excavation Challenge in 2007

I hope you will find it as inspiring as I have to witness the drive behind these citizens who have taken it upon themselves to push forward the technology and capabilities required for living and working on the moon. If anyone can help to inspire the next generation to follow in their footsteps, I think they can.


The exhibitors scheduled to be present at the competition this year form a cross section between education, robotics, and planetary exploration. The following is a list of some of the exhibitors this year:


A number of exciting speakers will be at the event, including:
  • David Morrison and Chris McKay, two world renowned NASA planetary scientists with very exciting careers (speaking during the lunch break on Saturday)
  • Greg Schmidt, NASA Lunar Science Institute
  • Andy Petro, NASA Centennial Challenges
  • Jennifer Heldman, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Maria Bualat, NASA Intelligent Robotics Group
  • Josh Neubert, Conrad Foundation
  • Lynn Harper, NASA Space Portal
  • Kris Zacny of Honeybee Robotics
The 2009 Regolith Challenge will be taking place at the NASA Ames Research Center and is open to the public with no admission fee. We expect the weather to be nice, but the event is rain or shine so you will want to be prepared for whatever mother nature might throw our way. We expect this will be a good event for people of all ages to see in-person a variety of hands-on space, robotics and education projects of many types.

The Lunar Regolith Challenge is on Twitter:
Other channels to follow for event coverage via Twitter: GLXP, NLSI, and NASA Centennial Challenges

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