A challenge is being developed to incentivize airships, lighter-than-air maneuverable vehicles, as a possible platform for cosmic origins investigations (among others) as part of the NASA Centennial Challenge Program (www.centennialchallenges.nasa.gov). Recently a request for information (RFI) about this Challenge has been released.
This presentation puts into historical and programatic context the airship initiative. [PDF]
The RFI is posted here: http://go.usa.gov/7hfS
If the proposed Airships 20-20-20 Challenge is selected to proceed, there will be a two-stage challenge: first to build an airship that flies with a small (20kg) payload for 20 hours at 20km, and in the second stage a 200kg payload for 200 hours at 20km.
One of the criteria NASA will use in deciding whether to proceed with the Challenge will be interest among the science community and potential end users in industry. This includes interest both in participating in the Challenge and in seeing stratospheric airships as a viable platform. Section 6 of the RFI lists some questions that are of particular interest to scientists who might use this platform in the future. We hope that you will all send a response to the RFI indicating your interest in airships as a platform for cosmic origins investigations.
Comments must be submitted no later than 5:00 P.M. Eastern Time on December 1, 2014 to Mr. Sam Ortega at e-mail address:
Use "202020 Challenge" on the Subject line.
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