[Space] 2020.12.01

Challenges | Campaigns | Solicitations
NASA seeks innovative approaches for excavating icy regolith and delivering water in extreme lunar conditions to enable human presence on the Moon. $5,000,000 in prizes. Begins November 2020. [Forward]
WEAR is an engineering design challenge seeking wearable technologies for exploring deep space. Open to middle-high school students in formal or informal education institutions. Intent to participate due Dec. 1. [Forward]
NASA’s looking for responses from a vast range of potential partners, including broadcasters and studios, as well as aerospace-specific companies, nonprofits, and schools. Proposals are due by December 11, 2020. [Forward]
Write an essay about leading a one-week expedition at the Moon’s South Pole. Participants receive a NASA certificate. Grand prize is a trip to the Artemis-1 Launch. Closes Dec. 17. [Forward]
Spaceloon is an A.I. based ultra-high altitude balloon controllable by you. It will allow you to launch your own personal satellite in space. Kickstarter closes Dec. 23. [Forward]
NASA seeks scalable ideas that can address how to unload payloads from lunar landers on the lunar surface. $25,000 in total prizes. Submit by January 19, 2021. [Forward]
NASA needs the software for small unmanned aircraft systems usable for live flight operations. There are multiple challenges with $30,700 in total prizes. Closes March 1, 2021. [Forward]
NASA seeks solutions for energy distribution, management, or storage developable for space flight and future operation on the lunar surface. Up to $500K in prizes. September 25 - March 25, 2021. [Forward]
Join 62,361 volunteers and search for Planet 9 and new brown dwarfs in the backyard of the solar system using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. [Forward]
Write or draw your vision of why you think Earth needs Space on a postcard and have it launched into space and back on a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket. [Forward]
Image Credits: NASA/Bill White
Director of NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center and Astronaut Robert D. Cabana will discuss NASA’s Artemis Program and the Gateway program: the planned permanent human presence on the Moon. [Forward]
For €10.00, kids worldwide can ask about space exploration. The event is divided into five one hour panels, each delivered by well-known academics, scientists, and professionals. [Forward]
The free webinar, followed by a Q&A, will be an enriching talk by Ran Livne and Dor Herman, two CEOs on the frontlines of AI in the space industry. [Forward]
NASA Chief Technologist, Dr. Douglas Terrier, will be discussing NASA’s Artemis program and taking questions live and for free. December 10, 2020. 10:00 – 10:45 AM EST. [Forward]
Join TechCrunch's editors in Los Angeles on December 17 for a day of fireside chats and panel discussion with the top investors, founders, and technologists forging the future of space. [Forward]

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// FYI
Space Ecosystem | Startups | Deals
Relativity has raised almost $700 million in total. It’s poised to launch its first-ever fully 3D-printed orbital rocket next year. The new funds suggest they’ll expand aggressively in 2021. [Forward]
Their latest institutional fund will be focused on the applications of space technology, specifically on unlocking the value in space technology stacks such as GPS, Geospatial Intelligence, and Communications. [Forward]
The Launch Company designs mobile launch sites that could be used by multiple small launchers. The acquisition supports Voyager’s long-term plan to be a vertically integrated space company. [Forward]
Space Exploration | Development
The picture-perfect takeoff from Florida to the International Space Station marks the official return of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities. [Forward]
The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program launched its latest spacecraft to the moon this week with the goal of bringing moon rocks to Earth for the first time in 40 years. [Forward]
On December 6, 2020, after six years in space, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa2 spacecraft will finally return to Earth with 100 milligrams of material collected from asteroid Ryugu. [Forward]
Due to the failure of Starship’s latest static fire, engineers are now placing avionics cables in steel pipe shields and they’re adding water-cooled steel pipes to the test pad. [Forward]
Astronomy | Astrophysics | Cosmology
The iconic Arecibo observatory suffered a second cable break, and engineers think it's no longer safe to save the structure. It subsequently collapsed. [Forward]
Signs of phosphine gas in Venus’s atmosphere have faded, but not completely. The reanalysis concludes that average phosphine levels across Venus are about one-seventh of the earlier estimate. [Forward]
A collision of stars several thousand years ago may have created the structure observed today. The new understanding of the blue ring nebula may help astronomers understand other merged stars. [Forward]
Caballero reasoned if the source was another life form, it might live on an exoplanet orbiting a Sun-like star. [Forward]
Improvements to LIGO and Virgo recently led to 39 new discoveries, including two black holes, 66 and 85 solar masses, that combined to form a 142 solar mass black hole. [Forward]