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NASA 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge Kicks Off

Press Release From: California Space Authority
Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2009

image Energy and Excitement Abounds as Teams Begin Competition

Young People are Inspired; Adults are Intrigued

MOUNTAIN VIEW - With clear skies the 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge got underway this morning. With judges certifying that excavators have met the required specifications, the competition is underway. Exceeding expectations, hundreds of audience participants are meeting with team contestants, viewing the robotic creations, exploring exhibits and eagerly watching the competition unfold. Three of the 23 teams who originally registered for the competition withdrew on their own accord.

"We have teams here today who have come from around the country and who represent a variety of backgrounds," stated Lynn Baroff, Executive Director of CSEWI. "It is exciting to feel the energy and enthusiasm exhibited by these innovators. Their out-of-the-box designs have pushed the bounds of technology and just may forge the foundation for a permanent outpost on the lunar surface. Having the opportunity to observe these innovations is inspirational. We're enthused that many of the young faces in the audience will be motivated to become the space scientists, engineers and technicians of the future."

"We are very excited at how the 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge is unfolding this year," added Andrea Seastrand, Executive Director of CSA. "We have an amazing roster of teams, an interesting group of exhibitors, and a lineup of speakers that are offering insights into space exploration, robotics and next generation inspiration. In addition to expecting a winner to walk away with the grand prize this year, we are excited about how the experience will affect the many young people who have attended."

"It's fabulous to see so much interest in our future on the moon," said Greg Schmidt, deputy director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute at NASA's Ames Research Center. "There are a lot of innovative ideas that these teams have had, which could play into our future lunar exploration strategies. It's great to look up at the moon in the sky and think that some of these robots could some day make their way to our nearest celestial companion. And perhaps even more importantly, we're passing the torch to a whole new generation of creative young people who are going to lead us in our next journeys to the moon."

For more information about the 2009 Regolith Excavation Challenge, please go to:
http://regolith.csewi.org.

For pictures and videos of the competition as it unfolds, please go to:
http://www.californiaspaceauthority.org/html/regolith2009.html


Eric A. Daniels
Director, State and Local Government Relations
California Space Authority
916-551-1543 phone
916-551-1579 fax
eric.daniels@californiaspaceauthority.org
www.californiaspaceauthority.org

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