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:
- The California Space Authority and California Space Education and Workforce Institute will be providing information about the education focused projects that have been taking place over the last few years, and also the upcoming California Space Center.
- NASA Centennial Challenges program (event partner)
- NASA Lunar Science Institute (event partner)
- LUNAR Rocket Club will be displaying model and high power rockets as well as information about their participation in the Team America Rocketry Challenge and the CanSat program
- The Intelligent Robotics Group, located at the NASA Ames Research Center, will be displaying one of their rovers being used for lunar exploration research
- Conrad Foundation: Educational competition for high school students, with prizes in Renewable Energy, Personal Spaceflight, and Lunar Exploration
- RoboGames - Robots and competition, need we say more?
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 Lunar Regolith Challenge is on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Regolith_Chal
Other channels to follow for event coverage via Twitter: GLXP, NLSI, and NASA Centennial Challenges