Three new NASA Centennial challenges were announced today. NASA is seeking citizen scientists and independent groups to create a small satellite that can be launched into earth orbit twice in one week, a solar powered night rover that can operate in darkness and a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples without human control.
The prizes being offered total 5 million dollars. The robot and rover prizes are both 1.5 million dollars and the satellite challenge has a a 2 million dollar prize.
I love the idea of independent thinkers in labs and workshops across the land hurrying to build the next great scientific tool. This is a perfect example of how creativity and science are so very important and are deeply intertwined and it is fantastic to see the playing field opened up to anyone who can prove themselves.
The next great discovery in robot technology could be yours!
Would you rather work on the satellite project, the rover or the robot? If you won one of the challenges what would you do with 1.5 million dollars?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.