June 2, 2009--The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; Washington, DC) Centennial Challenges Program and the Spaceward
Foundation (Mountain View, CA) will hold the 2009 Power-Beaming Challenge (see "Light-powered elevators race to the sky"), part of Spaceward's Space Elevator Games, at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, CA on July 14 (see also "High-power diode lasers boost power-beaming competition").
This is the fourth year for the Space Elevator Games. The first competition required teams to ascend a 50-meter tether at an average speed of 1 meter per second with power provided by ordinary spotlights. This year, to be eligible for the $2 million prize, competitors will be required to race their laser-powered vehicles up a 1 km vertical steel cable at an average speed of 5 meters per second.
The Spaceward Foundation is a publicly-funded, non-profit organization dedicated to furthering space science and technology in education. The Spaceward Foundation intends to bring together leaders from the academic, commercial and educational worlds and create a series of challenges, exhibits, and educational activities that will re-invigorate the nation's interest in space.
NASA's Centennial Challenges promotes technical innovation through a novel program of prize competitions. It is designed to tap the nation's ingenuity to make revolutionary advances in technology of value to NASA and the nation. NASA's Innovative Partnership Program Office in Washington manages the prize program.
For more information, go to www.spaceelevatorgames.org.