Centennial Challenge Report

NASA has published a report (PDF) on last month’s Centennial Challenges Workshop (thanks to Neil Halelamien over at sci.space.policy for the pointer).

I haven’t read the whole thing, but I did go look to see what they did with my glove idea.

I regret that I wasn’t there–they made some decisions that I would have argued about. I think that the glove should be 8 psi, not 4.3–a large part of the idea was to eliminate the need for prebreathing and avoid risk of the bends. I like the idea of providing plans for gloveboxes to the contestants, and think that worrying about someone injuring themselves is silly, not because it’s not a danger, but because it’s a danger we have to accept if we want to progress. I still like my task idea of tearing down and rebuilding an auto, or motorcycle engine. I proposed a million, and they came up with a quarter million (though they recognize that the amount may be too low–it’s driven by legal constraints which will hopefully be removed in the future).

Anyway, it looks like a promising start, and Brant Sponberg should be congratulated. Let’s hope he can keep the ball rolling.