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X-Prize for Moon and More

March 3, 2014

The X-Prize Foundation is best known for the Ansari-funded prize for repeatable spaceflight for a hu/manned craft, in 2004. Now there’s a Google Xprize to be won for putting a rover on the moon by 2015. The design above is by Astrobotic.

But the foundation supports other kinds of prizes–including prizes in life science. The Brain-Machine prize will reward a “reliable, non-harmful interface between the digital world and the human cortex.” In other words, a cyborg; or the future Toynet world of Frontera. Other prizes reward health sensors and organogenesis. There’s even a Jurassic prize for guess what.

Suppose we combine the two fields of space exploration and artificial life? I’d like to see a self-printout prize: A prize for a rover-printer that can print out a working copy of itself. A sort of lunar cockroach–once you set down one, you’ll never need to send another.

What Xprize would you like to see?

5 Comments
  1. March 4, 2014 2:18 am

    “A prize for a rover-printer that can print out a working copy of itself. A sort of lunar cockroach–once you set down one, you’ll never need to send another.” say this in a deep voice and it will be a passable impression of God, planning the Earth.

  2. SFreader permalink
    March 4, 2014 10:57 am

    If the experiments don’t actually have to be conducted in space .. I’d like to see a ‘variable gravity’ lab set up so that various biota and life-systems can be studied in different gravities for extended time periods without having to spend millions for each experiment. Ideally, have this done before the Mars mission lifts off.

  3. SFreader permalink
    March 5, 2014 12:06 pm

    An example of the type of research I mean: “Bright pulses of light could make space veggies more nutritious, says CU-Boulder study” Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 – 09:09 in Biology & Nature

  4. March 12, 2014 11:41 am

    I’m really interested in the last comment, on pulses of light making veggies more nutritious. It would take electricity from either batteries or direct sources to provide the light pulses, but by comparison in unintended side effects, this might be a greener technology with fewer side effects than fertilizer and/or GMO seeds. And something relatively easy for small, especially family farms/backyard gardens.

    • March 12, 2014 12:53 pm

      I’m not sure what the bright pulses of light do, but it certainly sounds intriguing.
      Good to hear from you, Betty.

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