Broadcast 1673 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Josh Neubert. Topics: Night Rover Challenge, NASA Centennial Challenges, educational outreach. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at We welcomed Josh Neubert back to the program to discuss the NASA Centennial Challenge, The Night Rover Challenge. Please visit these websites for more information and email alerts: and This was a one hour discussion without a break. Josh started out by describing the Night Rover Challenge which is to develop mobile systems to collect solar energy, store that energy, and later use it productively. The innovation will consolidate in a contest for simulated lunar rovers maximizing energy to run for two weeks day and night and survive the cold lunar night. Josh told us about the Challenge time line and the sole focus on solar power and storage. As you will hear, the prize is $1.5 million with first, second, and third place winners. Terry asked technical questions about the potential battery packs and the maximum size of the rovers. We learned that the biggest size would probably be in the range of the Curiosity rover on the way to Mars with a much smaller size on the other end of the measurements. Michael asked if the power sources would be required to meet the legal standards required under international law to preserve the environment of outer space in regards to potential hazardous materials that may contaminate the outer space environment. Josh said yes, those standards would be part of the requirements for the competition. Several listeners asked if non-U.S. citizens could participate in the Challenge and if there were ITAR considerations. We learned that non-U.S. citizens could participate but were not eligible to win the prize money. I asked who was most likely to participate in the challenge. Josh suggested students of all ages and grades, plus the do it yourself community, entrepreneurs, smaller businesses, etc. We also talked about sponsorship opportunities as NASA does not cover operating expenses. Another listener asked about the use of social media for the Night Rover outreach program. As you will hear, this Challenge will make use of both social media and collaboration in getting the message out and participants in the challenge. Near the end of the program, we discussed the proximity of Silicon Valley, NASA Ames, and the significance of these communities to all the contestants involved in the challenge. Josh closed by stressing how this program inspires, excites, and jump starts the best and the brightest to innovate, be creative, and to produce! If you have questions about the Night Rover Challenge, there is a contact link on their website. Please post your Space Show comments/questions on the blog URL above.



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16 Dec 2011 Joshua Neubert
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