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New Centennial Challenges competitions announced
Posted: Wed, Jul 14, 2010, 6:09 AM ET (1009 GMT)
NASA announced Tuesday a trio of new competitions that would provide multimillion-dollar prizes for space technology achievements. The three competitions, with a combined purse of $5 million, are the latest competitions in NASA's Centennial Challenges prize program that has awarded $4.5 million to date. The largest of the three new prizes, valued at $2 million, is the Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge, for the development of a launch system that can place very small satellites into orbit twice in a week. The $1.5-million Night Rover Challenge is intended to support development of solar-powered rover technologies that can store energy to operate at night. The Sample Return Robot Challenge, also with a $1.5 million prize purse, is for the development of a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples for varied terrain autonomously. Development of detailed rules governing these competitions, and selection of organizations that will run the competitions for NASA, will take place later this year.
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