Commercial Spaceflight And The Dawning Age of NewSpace

5 Teams Share First Round of NASA Cubesat Prizes |

WASHINGTON — Five teams, ranging from university students to a group of engineers dispersed across the country, received $20,000 each from NASA in the first milestone of a competition to develop deep space cubesat technologies.

The teams, announced by NASA at a Sept. 9 briefing, had the highest scores in the first of four “ground tournaments” that make up the initial phase of the agency’s $5 million Cube Quest Challenge. That tournament, held in early August, featured 13 teams who presented their initial spacecraft designs.

“Cube Quest is an opportunity for non-government cubesat developers and builders to compete in lunar orbit and deep space for accomplishments in communications, navigation and longevity,” said Jim Cockrell of NASA’s Ames Research Center. Cockrell is manager of the competition, part of the agency’s Centennial Challenges prize program.

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