Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award to Engage Students in Space, Science & Technology

Press Release From: X Prize Foundation
Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2007


The X PRIZE Foundation creates a new competition in honor of famed Astronaut for High-school-aged teams that develop an original concept to benefit personal spaceflight

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 24, 2007 - The X PRIZE Foundation announced today a new education competition designed to cultivate interest and excitement in the fields of space, science and technology. The Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award, named in honor of the celebrated American astronaut, will be presented for the first time at this year's Wirefly X PRIZE Cup in October. The award will be presented to the high school team that develops the most creative, new space concept to benefit the emerging personal spaceflight industry.

Teams of three students will be required to submit graphical representations, technical documents and business plans of concepts that can accelerate the personal spaceflight industry. Examples of concepts could include new space suit designs and accessories, advanced food items, zero-gravity games, or vehicle cabin design for a better passenger experience. The first place team will receive a $5,000 grant, followed by $2,500 for second place and $1,500 for third.

"Today's students are tomorrow's science and technology leaders," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. "This award was created to both honor the legacy of a treasured American hero and inspire a new generation of young people to dream, risk and achieve breakthroughs in new and innovative areas."

"This prize is a perfect way to honor Pete's achievements," said Nancy Conrad, wife of the late Pete Conrad. "Pete was a pioneer in the privatization of space. He flew early-stage experimental vehicles, created new satellite technologies and was dedicated to finding ways for all of us to travel to space. Together with the X PRIZE Foundation, we will invite students to participate in an extraordinary opportunity to create their own dynamic future."

The Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award was created not only to encourage students to think creatively about space, science and technology, but also to provide a means for the country's top student innovators to showcase their ideas to a wide audience of potential customers. The award process will combine business, marketing, science and math skills to create a cross-disciplinary contest.

The award itself is a large, bronze rocket ship trophy, created especially for this competition by Erik Lindbergh, artist, aviator and grandson of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh. Students will also receive smaller individual rocket trophies.

Eligibility Rules

1) Entrant teams must be composed of three students and one adult Advisor over the age of 18. Teams can be formed from schools or social organizations (Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc.)

2) Student team members must be between the ages of 13 and 18 by Sept 15th, 2007.

3) Teams must be registered by the final registration date of Sept 7th, 2007.

4) All team members, including the team advisor, must be United States citizens.


  • August 3rd - Preliminary Registration Deadline
  • August 6th - Document Submission Opens
  • September 7th - Final Registration Deadline
  • September 15th - Deadline for entry submissions
  • October 2nd - Notification of finalists
  • October 26th-28th - Finalist public voting & Award ceremony

For more detailed information, please visit


Charles "Pete" Conrad, Jr. was the third man to walk on the moon and served on Gemini 5 and 11, Apollo 12, and Skylab 2 missions. Conrad was the recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, awarded for his rescue of Skylab. He was posthumously awarded the Ambassador of Exploration Award by NASA in 2006.


The Wirefly X PRIZE Cup is an annual two-day air and space exposition. This year the Cup will be held in conjunction with Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, NM to create the first ever Air & Space Expo with "live" fire / fly demonstrations and competitions. This event is free and open to the public and will be held on October 27th and 28th from 10am to 5pm. Launch and air show demonstrations will feature Rocket Racing League's X-Racer, Air Force single-ship demos including F-22, F-16 and F-117, as well as the return of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge a two-level, $2 million competition requiring a vehicle to simulate trips between the moon's surface and lunar orbit. Teams are now registering for this year's competition, with NASA funding the prizes through its Centennial Challenges program. Additionally, visitors can tour a massive ground display featuring space and rocket exhibits and Air Force aircraft. For more information, please visit or call (310) 576-3473.


The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. On October 4, 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private vehicle to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The Foundation has since expanded its mission beyond space exploration to offer new prizes for breakthroughs in the life X PRIZE Foundation Announces Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards sciences, energy and the environment, education and global entrepreneurship. In October of 2006, the X PRIZE Foundation announced the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for genomics, which will reward the first private effort to map 100 human genomes in 10 days ushering in a new era of personalized preventative medicine. For more information please visit or email

Sarah Evans 310.582.5903

Marc Schulman 310.576.3084

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