Glove designers walked away with a total of $400,000 in prize money at NASA's second Astronaut Glove Challenge yesterday. The U.S. space agency awarded the money because the private glove designs beat the in-house version, and NASA may incorporate the designs into the Constellation spacesuit intended for next-gen astronauts returning to the moon.
NASA has again thrown down a $2-million space elevator challenge that Scotty of Star Trek fame would relish. Three teams must somehow move vehicles up a 1-kilometer tether by using only energy beamed to the vehicle from the ground.
Robots have finally risen to meet NASA's moon dirt digging competition after three years of failure. Three robotics teams took away a total of $750,000 in prize money by proving they could dig at least 330 pounds of simulated lunar regolith within half an hour.
The first place robot alone excavated 1,103 pounds of dirt and deposited it in a container within the time limit. Competitors not only had to dig out the sticky regolith grains, but also had to be light enough to meet a weight restriction of no more than 176 pounds.