According to a joint press release issued by NASA and Space Florida, the state's aerospace economic development agency:
Space Florida submitted a proposal last spring in response to a NASA solicitation for this partnership opportunity. They will now begin detailed preparations for the challenge, publishing rules and then registering competitors. The first competition launch attempt is expected to take place in the summer of 2012.
The Centennial Challenges seek unconventional solutions to problems of interest to NASA and the nation. Competitors have included private companies, student groups and independent inventors working outside the traditional aerospace industry. Unlike contracts or grants, prizes are awarded only after solutions are successfully demonstrated.
NASA's Centennial Challenges program provides the prize purse for the technology and innovation competitions. The competitions are managed by non-profit organizations that cover the cost of operations through commercial or private sponsorships.
In October, NASA awarded the largest prize in aviation history following Pipistrel-USA's win of the agency's CAFE Green Flight Challenge, sponsored by Google. NASA's $1.35 million first prize and a $120,000 second prize recognized competitors using electric airplanes to break all previous fuel efficiency records. The technology and innovation used in electric aircraft may end up in general aviation aircraft, spawning new jobs and new industries for the 21st century.
For more information about Space Florida and updates on the Nano-Satellite Launch Challenge, visit: www.spaceflorida.gov/r-d