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Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?

Posted by: Ben - Fri May 04, 2012 7:15 pm
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Will the prize be won by the end of 2014? 

Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?
No prizes will be won. 71%  71%  [ 10 ]
Yes, at least one prize will be won. 29%  29%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 14

Will the prize be won by the end of 2014? 
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Post Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Fri May 04, 2012 7:15 pm
A followup poll given the deadline extension. Given the current rules, will any part of the N Prize be won by 31 December 2014?


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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:32 pm
As I have said before, with the current rules it will never be won.

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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:54 pm
Why? I don't seem to recall research costs being added into the mix...

Personally, I think that the best course of action is to go with the rockoon idea, but making the balloon reusable, and using a series of super-cheap solid rockets to reach orbit. You don't need to plan to reach a specific orbit, as long as its perigee is over 100km altitude... though you do have to stop the thing from spinning out of control. Surely the most expensive part will be guidance and control?

I do think that the mass limit shouldn't be there. One would think getting 2kg to orbit for under £1000 is more impressive than getting 20g to orbit for that price anyway, and I think it would be better to limit the competition to the launch vehicle.


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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:54 pm
The mass limitation really isn't the problem. It just requires that a larger satellite ejects a 20-gram satellite. The real problem is trying to put something into orbit under the budget constraints. Also, the amount of the award is too small to be much of a motivation.

It's makes a lot more sense to go after the NASA prize. This would lead to a business that could provide low-cost launch vehicles for small payloads. Even if the N-Prize goals could be achieved within the budget constraints it doesn't really scale very well to cube-sat sized payloads.


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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:31 pm
In my personal opinion, N-Prize rules are achievable but still near-impossible. I vote for to keep the original rules as they are. For me, it is very exciting to be in the limit of the state of the art. It is a matter of time.

WikiSat has developed a 20 grams femto-satellite prototype published here:
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/articleD ... er=6096137


Now we are developing the related mini-launcher within the budget limits. Still a lot of work to do but at the end, my research team will build something real:
http://pdf.aiaa.org/preview/2011/CDRead ... 11_546.pdf


In fact, IRIDIUM will release this month a 11.4 grams module, able to track the satellite and I don't know, perhaps we can attempt to recover it after the reentry:
http://www.iridium.com/products/Iridium ... tegoryID=2


Guys, let's keep the spirit of the competition and don't give up now after a long road walk.

Best,
Joshua Tristancho


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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:13 am
DaveHein wrote:
It's makes a lot more sense to go after the NASA prize. This would lead to a business that could provide low-cost launch vehicles for small payloads. Even if the N-Prize goals could be achieved within the budget constraints it doesn't really scale very well to cube-sat sized payloads.


NASA's termination of the NanoSat prize just made that an impossibility while the N-Prize challenge still goes on thanks to Paul. If a team could win this prize within the budget constraints, the possibilities would be unlimited for such a business.


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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:50 pm
Over the years we have seen many armchair-rocketeers making claims that seem to put our work to shame. Claiming something is possible without actually demonstrating the claim is useless.

I work in the Aerospace industry and am confronted almost daily with people that think orbiting a satellite is something to do while bored over the weekend. Frankly, I have no time for people telling me that what we do is trivial. My standard reply is: "Oh really, build it and I'll come see it".

Some years ago John Carmack also got tired of 'these' people and created the first Carmack prize. To this day it has not been won. Why, because every single person who supported this claim has failed to build a rocket engine with the required specifications. That prize is still open AFAIK.

This is part of what I liked about the N-Prize. A public place to put up or shut up. If you think it can be done, do it. Don't just talk about it, do it. Within the rules you are forced to do it on a budget that most people in the developed world can afford. Further, if you recently heard about it and can't register a team, don't despair. Join one of the existing teams, they will welcome you with open arms if you can make it work.

Trust me, even if you overlook the budget and size limitations of the N-Prize and managed to orbit a satellite, you will be richly rewarded.

Actually I believe that if teams like Prometheus and WikiSat did their research without the constraints of the N-Prize rules, they might have reached orbit already or soon. Even if they exceed the cost constraints by an order of magnitude, it would still be the lowest cost satellite ever.

I feel that anyone who still believes it is possible, but have not built any hardware by now should keep their opinions to themselves. As they say, you talk the talk but can you walk the walk?

I also like Dr. Dear's comment that he might even try it himself. I would feel cheated if the person who claims that this Prize can be won, doesn't show personally that it can. I don't mind waiting till 2015 to see Dr. Dear's attempt.

Since the original deadline came and went without even a single attempt, I believe the Prize was not won and extending the deadline doesn't change that fact.

(Sorry for the rant)

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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:42 pm
The Carmack prize was won back in September. The rocket was a 2-stage N-to-M rocket that weighed 61 pounds on the pad. Putting a satellite in orbit is at least an order of magnitude harder than launching a rocket to 100K feet. Doing this within the budget constraints of the N-Prize is unrealistic.


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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:03 am
Hi Dave,

you are correct that it was won in September, but the prize you are referring to is the 2nd Carmack Prize. Ken Biba and friends were the winners.

The first Carmack prize was established almost 10 years ago IIRC. It is for a liquid-propellant rocket engine that could among other things deliver 300s Isp IIRC. The prize is less well-known but still open to be claimed.

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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:52 pm
Are any of the teams still working toward the September 2013 deadline? It seems like Wikisat is the only team reporting any progress. Prometheus hasn't posted here in a long time. Have all the teams just given up the idea of putting anything into orbit?


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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:25 am
DaveHein wrote:
Have all the teams just given up the idea of putting anything into orbit?

Hi Dave, How have you been?

We were disappointed when NASA pulled the plug on the Centennial Challenge but had already decided to concentrate our efforts on a decent size payload for orbit. We will be doing a test in the not too distant future. Our test vehicle is nearing completion with flight expected in a few months...already have the waiver.

With regards to Sugar Shot, we are near to doing our third DSS motor test after having problems with the propellant cracking. Addition of 0.5-1.0% carbon fiber has nearly doubled the tensile strength and a new design is expected to solve the CATO issue with the first two motors.

On an unrelated thing, this past Saturday while searching for the sustainer of a Stanford University rocket I found a ZnS rocket belonging to a friend that had launched it two years ago. After sitting out exposed to the elements (we're talking Mojave Desert after a ballistic landing) he put in a new battery and was able to retrieve the data. Reminded me of a balloon flight last year that landed on a military base mountain for 99 days before we were able to retrieve it...still functioning as well.

At this stage in my life, most people have retired so realisticly I having been helping others, mostly college students, get a foot in the door. Currently I'm mentoring 17 students who in turn are mentoring younger students. We have reached over 2,000 since last September.

For Black Rock, we have three projects, two sim to 120,000' plus and are both nearly complete, the third to be finished if I find the time.

I'm sorry we never got to meet...ever been to Balls?

Rick


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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:39 pm
Hi Rick, good to hear from you. I've been following the progress of the Sugar Shot team, and I'm always impressed by the organized approach that you guys are taking.

I've never made it out to a BALLS launch, though I would love to go sometime. Black Rock, NV is just a bit to far from here for me to justify going. I have gone to the last couple of LDRS launches in Kansas, which I really enjoyed.


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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:08 pm
There are 3 months left till the N-Prize deadline. I wonder if it will be extended for another year.


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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:49 am
I recall that the current deadline was announced as the final extension. Let's see. Technically the prize was lost when the original deadline expired without a winner. Extending the deadline indefinitely doesn't change the fact that nobody won the prize within the original rules.

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Post Re: Will the prize be won by the end of 2014?   Posted on: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:41 am
I hadn't heard of the N-Prize before I joined this forum, but the idea is quite compelling, and this discussion has been a fascinating read.

I'm inclined to agree that the contest would be more realistic with a higher budget and more prize money (even a multiple of 100 on the budget would be quite an achievement), but I love the idea and I hope to see a lot more of these contests in the future.

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