Updates and Addenda

A few important updates to recent posts.

Last week, I shared some notes from an event about new space research grants from the European Commission. I mention in that post that the slides from that event would eventually be posted online. Well, now they have:

I think you'll find these documents to be a useful guide to the RFP process. Again, I'm hopeful that our Google Lunar X PRIZE teams will seriously explore this opportunity to see it if makes sense for them. Next up: yesterday, I shared with you the fact that Tiffany Montague, the 'lead Googler' for the Google Lunar X PRIZE, is off exploring Mars--well, at least a Mars analog site. Since then, she's posted a bit more:

Hello from the Haughton-Mars Project, where we finally have (spotty) internet access. The Mars Institute has done an incredible job building up a comprehensive international research site in the Arctic. Camp is essentially a cluster of work tents, a kitchen tent (heated), medical tent, and even a toilet tent (brisk.) Off to one side is a tent city- its a race to set up your tent before the wind kicks up. Parked in front of the camp area is a bank of ATVs-our main mode of transport out here, in addition to the Humvee. Upon arrival, you are given important and necessary training for the ATVs (don't leave the choke on, don't kick up dust, be in the right gear, don't flip it,) for the toilets (cr*p goes in bucket, pee goes in barrel. Sorry if I've offended anyone delicate, but it just boils down to life support,) and shotguns (if a polar bear tries to eat you, shoot. Until it falls over.) Again, I hate (love) to keep offending you, but it boils down to life support. Mine. I guess the other option is just to run faster than the guys collecting rock samples, testing spacesuit prototypes, or driving NASA's K10 rover, and hope they are very chewy...

Somehow, Tiffany also found time to be profiled by the New York Times--where she gets the time and energy, we'll never know! Last--but certainly not least--as we mentioned this morning, our sister prize, the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE put on quite a show today. For years, we've had 100+ teams competing to build the next generation of road-ready, super efficient vehicles. Today marked the actual on-track race, and boy was it a good one. The final margin of victory looks like it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of one second. Could you ask for anything more exciting?!? We won't spill the beans here about the exact final times and winners: for that, we encourage you to head over to that prize's website or to follow them on Twitter or Facebook. In the meantime, we want to say congratulations to all of the staff, teams, sponsors, donors, and partners who made that prize possible--and to thank all of you for the super-sized dose of inspiration! Kudos!

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