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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

Centennial Challenges Program Cube Quest Challenge

Registration is now open for NASA's Cube Quest Challenge. Competitors have a shot at a share of $5 million in prize money and an opportunity to fly their very own CubeSat to the moon and beyond as secondary payload on the first integrated flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket. A series of four ground tournaments will take place prior to launch.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $5,000,000
Type of Challenge: Creative (design & multimedia)
Partner Agencies | Non-federal: Ames Reseach Center, Marshall Space Flight Center
Submission Start: 12/01/2014 12:00 AM ET
Submission End: 12/31/2018 12:00 AM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here: http://www.nasa.gov/cubequest

Description

Challenge objectives include designing, building and delivering flight-qualified, small satellites capable of advanced operations near and beyond the moon.  The challenge and prize purse are divided into three major areas: -- Ground Tournaments: $500,000 in the four qualifying ground tournaments to determine who will have the ability to fly on the first SLS flight; -- Lunar Derby: $1.5 million purse for demonstrating communication and CubeSat durability at a distance greater than almost 2.5 million miles (4,000,000 km), 10 times the distance from the Earth to the moon; and -- Deep Space Derby: $3 million purse for demonstrating the ability to place a CubeSat in a stable lunar orbit and demonstrate communication and durability near the moon. The Cube Quest Challenge seeks to develop and test subsystems necessary to perform deep space exploration using small spacecraft.  Advancements in small spacecraft capabilities will provide benefits to future missions and also may enable new mission scenarios, including future investigations of near-Earth asteroids.

Prizes

Ground Tournament 1
Cash Prize Amount: $100000
The five highest scoring Competitor Teams with composite scores greater than 3 will each be awarded $20,000.

Ground Tournament 2
Cash Prize Amount: $150000
The Five Highest Scoring Competitor Teams with composite scores greater than 3 will each be awarded $30,000.

Ground Tournament 3
Cash Prize Amount: $150000
The Five Highest Scoring Competitor Teams with composite scores greater than 3 will each be awarded $30,000.

Ground Tournament 4
Cash Prize Amount: $100000
The Five Highest Scoring Competitor Teams with scores greater than 3 will each be awarded $20,000.

Rules

Rule 1:  Eligibility to Compete and win prize(s)

A:  In order to be eligible to win a Prize, the Team Leader must be (i) a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, or (ii) an Entity that is incorporated in and maintains a primary place of business in the United States. Competitor Teams must furnish proof of eligibility (including proof of citizenship or permanent resident status, for Team Leader, and proof of incorporation and primary place of business, for an U.S. Entity) that is satisfactory to NASA in its sole discretion. A Competitor Team’s failure to comply with any aspect of the foregoing requirements shall result in the Competitor Team being disqualified from winning a Prize from NASA.

B: A Foreign National person (non-U.S. Citizen) or non-U.S. Entity may participate in the Cube Quest Challenge as a Team Member but not as a Team Leader. All Team Members working on the Challenge must be physically located in the United States.

C:  No Team Member shall be citizens of a country on the NASA Export Control Program list of designated countries. (The current list of designated countries can be found at http://oiir.hq.nasa.gov/nasaecp/).

D:  A Federal Entity or Federal Employee may not participate in the Cube Quest Challenge if acting within the scope of their employment.

E:  An Entity Employee, or Entity, contracted by the US. Government and physically located at a Federally Owned Facility may not participate if acting within the scope of the contract.

F:  Each Team Member shall acknowledge by their signature in the Registration Data Package that NASA shall make Prize payments to the Team Leader, also indicated in the Registration Data Package. Any failure of the indicated Team Leader to make payments of any kind to Team Members is the responsibility of the Team Leader and not the responsibility of NASA.

G: A Competitor Team may only submit a single CubeSat into competition to win a Cube Quest Challenge Prize; however, a Team Member may support more than one Competitor Team.

Rule 2:  Competitor Team Responsibilities and Agreements

A: Competitor Teams are responsible for compliance with all applicable regulations and laws including obtaining any necessary approvals for foreign student or employee participation.

B: Prospective Competitor Teams shall submit their notice of intention to compete, and a Registration Data Package (defined in Section 5.0), via the Cube Quest website. In addition, Competitor Teams must submit a Mission Concept Registration Data Package, as defined in Rule 3, within 60 calendar days after their registration. The prospective Competitor Team will receive a formal acknowledgement receipt of their package within 5 business days of submittal and a formal acceptance as Challenge Competitor Teams within 15 business days.

C: Liability insurance – All Team members agree to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its related Entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in the competition, whether such injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term `related Entity' means a contractor or subcontractor at any tier, and a supplier, user, customer, cooperating party, grantee, investigator, or detailee.

Team Members must obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility, in the amount of $1,000,000 for claims by—

  1. A third party for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with participation in a competition, with the Federal Government named as an additional insured under the registered participant's insurance policy and registered participants agreeing to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to competition activities; and
  2. The Federal Government for damage or loss to Government property resulting from such an activity.

D:   Use of NASA Name and Insignia

Competitor Teams may not use the name or insignia of NASA on its hardware and printed materials related to the participation of Competitor Teams in the Challenge without NASA's prior written consent.

Competitor Teams agree that unauthorized use of such names, trademarks, and insignias shall result in elimination from Challenge participation if Competitor Teams continue unauthorized use after being notified to cease and desist by NASA.

E:       Compliance with Existing Laws - Competitors will comply with all U.S. laws, regulations and policies, including those relating to export control and nonproliferation, and the laws of relevant state and local jurisdictions that pertain to or govern any activities conducted by Competitors in connection with the Challenge.

F:       Reporting - On a monthly basis, Competitor Teams agree to provide NASA with a written total (a single amount) of the following: Competitor Team's incremental and cumulative financial, property (capital), personnel, and any other investments, and/or expenditures (direct or in-kind) made to conduct any and all activities related to or required by participation of the Competitor Team in the Challenge. NASA will not make this information public except in aggregate form for all Competitor Teams competing in the Challenge.

G:      Media Rights

The Competitor Team retains all Media Rights related to the story of its participation in the Challenge.

The Competitor Team agrees that NASA will retain all Media Rights related to the story of the Challenge.

Each Team Member agrees to let NASA use the name and likeness of such Team Member (without charge) as may be reasonably required in connection with the media material prepared and distributed by NASA relating in any way to the Challenge.

The Competitor Team agrees to provide NASA reasonable amounts of video footage or access for recording activities related to participation of Competitor Team in the Challenge and the right to use said footage for public affairs and/or educational purposes.

The Competitor Team agrees that its failure to furnish video footage or access for recording purposes based on NASA’s reasonable requests may result in the Competitor Team’s removal from participation in the Challenge.

H:      Purchase and Sales Rights

The Competitor Team agrees that NASA retains the non-exclusive right to purchase from Competitor Team the resultant or derived product, service, or technology used to win the Challenge. This section does not guarantee a purchase of the resultant or derived product, service, or technology and is subject at all times to the parties reaching mutual agreement after the Challenge.

The Competitor Team retains all rights to sell the resultant or derived product, service, or technology used to win the Challenge to whomever they wish, provided they abide by all local, state, and federal laws and regulations regarding the sale and export of technology.

I:         Intellectual Property Rights

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in these rules, NASA claims no intellectual property (IP) rights from the Competitor Team. All trade secrets, copyrights, patent rights, and software rights will remain with each respective Competitor Team.

To the extent the Competitor Team owns IP resulting from its participation in Challenge, the Competitor Team agrees to negotiate in good faith with NASA for a grant of a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, license to practice or have practiced for or on behalf of the United States, the intellectual property throughout the world, at reasonable compensation, if NASA chooses to pursue such a license.

J:        Delay, Cancellation or Termination

The Competitor Team acknowledges that circumstances may arise that require the Challenge to be delayed indefinitely or cancelled. Such delay or cancellation, and/or the termination of the challenge, shall be within the full discretion of NASA, and the Competitor Team accepts any risk of damage or loss due to such delay, cancellation, and/or termination.

Rule 3:  Competitor Teams shall submit to NASA a Mission Concept Registration Data Package within 60 calendar days after their registration (and 30 calendar days before they may participate in any of the GTs). The Mission Concept Registration Data Package includes:
  • Concept of Operations
  • Conceptual Mission Design
  • Conceptual method for CubeSat disposal
  • Preliminary Frequency Allocation Data Package
Rule 4:  CubeSat Mass, Volume, and Interface Requirements

A:      To be eligible for NASA EM-1 Launch, the Competitor’s CubeSat shall meet all the requirements of the SLS Secondary Payload Deployment System Interface Definition Requirements Document (IDRD). In the event of a conflict between the SLS IDRD and these Competition Rules, the SLS IDRD shall take precedence. The IDRD will be available to Competitor Teams no later than GT2.

B:       To be eligible for NASA EM-1 Launch, the Competitor’s CubeSat shall meet all the requirements of the SLS Secondary Payload User’s Guide (SPUG). The SPUG will be made available on the Challenge web site upon document release (anticipated 01/2015).

C:      For both EM-1 and non-EM-1 launches, payloads shall meet 6U size and mass requirements as defined in the latest version of the SLS Secondary Payload User’s Guide.

D:      A Competitor Team may submit and operate only one single payload, compliant with the 6U volume and mass constraint as specified in the SLS Secondary Payload User’s Guide, eligible for Prizes.

E:       Competitor Teams with non EM-1 launches shall be responsible for determining, and complying with, their own respective responsibilities and requirements with the third-party launch vehicle provider. NASA will not assist with compliance with third party launch provider requirements.

F:       In case of any discrepancy between the volume and mass allowances of Non-EM-1 launch providers and those of the NASA EM-1 launch, the allowances of the SLS Secondary Payload User’s Guide and IDRD shall take precedence for Challenges eligibility.

G:      Competitor Teams with non-EM-1 launches shall submit a Required Data for Competitor Teams with Non-NASA Launch package (defined in a separate document) at least 2 weeks prior to payload integration, and shall allow a Challenge-designated government inspector to verify by inspection, test, or other method of verification, the data it contains.

Rule 5:  Radio Frequency Authorization

A:      Competitors agree that use of Radio Frequencies (RF) for any purpose, such as spacecraft tracking and control, information (data) transmission to and from the spacecraft, or active sensors, will be in accordance with all U.S. laws and regulations, and with the International Radio Regulations promulgated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The controlling organization for each CubeSat shall obtain Federal Communications Commission (FCC) radio frequency authorization in accordance with the Rules and Regulations, Title 47, of the Code of Federal Regulations. FCC Public Notice DA: 13-445 (http://www.fcc.gov/document/guidance-obtaining-licenses-small-satellites) is useful in deciding authorization options to consider.

B:       For all communications, including communications eligible for these Challenges, any electromagnetic spectrum frequency (e.g., RF, infrared, visible light, etc.) is allowed, subject to all applicable RF licensing and spectrum allocation Rules.

C:      Competitors are responsible for obtaining necessary RF operating licenses for both their CubeSat space stations and for all ground stations under their control, and are responsible for abiding by National and International Rules governing radio operators in their operating spectrum.

Rule 6:  Competitors shall permit NASA to non-invasively monitor any space-based communication relevant to the Challenges, using NASA’s resources without prior notification to the Competitors. This monitoring may be used to verify compliance with the Challenge Rules and may be used to validate Competitor Team’s submissions. This monitoring will not be used as a Competitor Team’s official entry into competition. Competitor Teams may not use data encryption (other than encryption authorized by NASA) for transmission of commands or data relevant to the Challenges. Rule 7:  Competitors shall permit NASA visits to Competitor’s operations sites, and permit inspection of cubesats, dispensers, ground equipment and operating procedures. Visits may be used to verify compliance with the Challenge Rules. Rule 8:  Constraints on Ground Tournament Participation

A:      Registered Competitor Teams may participate in any, or all, of the Ground Tournaments (GT). Competitor Teams that arrange for independent, third-party launches may, but are not required to, participate in any GT. They will be judged by the same standards for probability of mission success, and compliance to specific Challenge Rules and SLS Interface Requirements as those Competitor Teams that intend to launch on EM-1.

B:       Competitor Teams shall submit a Mission Concept Registration Data Package (defined in Rule 3) at least 30 calendar days prior to participating in their first GT.

C:      Before each GT, Competitor Teams shall declare whether they intend to compete in either the Deep Space Derby or the Lunar Derby or both. Competitors may change their declaration prior to each GT. These declarations may be made publicly available on the Challenge website.

D:      Prior to each GT, Competitor Teams shall declare their intention to compete for integration and launch on EM-1, or their intention to arrange for their own independent, third-party launch. Competitors may change their declaration until GT4 at which point they must make a final declaration. These declarations may be made publicly available on the Challenge website.

E:       Competitors shall participate in at least GT4 to be considered for selection as a secondary payload on the EM-1 launch.

Rule 9:  Ground Tournament Judging

A:      For each GT, Competitors shall submit required documents and data as listed on the Judges Score Card, at least 30 calendar days in advance of each GT. (The Mission Concept Registration Data Package defined in Rule 3, must be submitted at least 30 calendar days prior to a Competitor Team’s first GT, in addition to documents and data listed on the Judges Score Card.) GT judging templates will be provided in advance to the Competitor Teams.

B:       Competitors shall permit Judges, or designee, (upon request) to conduct site inspections, inspections of competition hardware and/or software, and allow component or subsystem tests witnessing in order to verify submitted documentation.

C:      Competitor Teams shall allow their composite scores to be posted on the Challenge website after each GT. (Competitor Team technical Intellectual Property will not be publicly released.)

D:      All Competitor Teams shall be judged by the same criteria at each GT for (1) probability of mission success, and (2) compliance with specific Challenge Rules and with SLS Interface Requirements (even if they intend to launch on a vehicle other than the SLS.)

E:       For each GT, 40% of each Competitor Team’s assigned total score will be determined by the probability of mission success using the Judge’s Scorecard.

F:        For each GT, 60% of each Competitor Team’s assigned total score will be determined by compliance to specific Challenge Rules and SLS Interface Requirements as defined in the SLS SPUG and SLS Secondary Payload Deployment System IDRD.

Rule 10:  To participate in the GT1 and be eligible for GT1 Prize Awards, Competitor Teams shall provide to NASA the input listed on the Judges Score Card. Rule 11:   To participate in the GT2 and be eligible for GT2 Prize Awards, Competitor Teams shall provide to NASA the input listed on the Judges Score Card. Rule 12:  To participate in the GT3 and be eligible for GT3 Prize Awards, Competitor Teams shall provide to NASA the input listed on the Judges Score Card. Rule 13:  GT4 Rules and Requirements

A:      Prior to GT4, Competitor Teams must declare their final intention to compete for selection to launch on EM-1, or their intention to arrange for their own third-party launch. Competitor Teams must also declare their final intention to compete in the Deep Space Derby, or the Lunar Derby, or both.

B:       To participate in the GT4 and be eligible for GT4 Prize Awards, and to be eligible for selection, integration, and deployment on EM-1, Competitor Teams shall provide to NASA the input listed on the Judges Score Card

C:      Only Competitor Teams that receive a GT4 score of at least 3 and are in compliance with specific Challenge requirements and Space Launch System Secondary Payload Deployment System Interface Definition and Requirements Document (IDRD) requirements will be qualified for integration, launch, and deployment on EM-1.

D:      Only those Competitor Teams that declared, prior to entry to GT4, their intention to launch on EM-1 (and meet Rule 13.C) are eligible to launch on EM-1.

Rule 14:  In the event that the total number of qualified CubeSats exceeds the available EM-1 secondary payload slots allocated for these Challenges, then the following down-select Rules shall apply:

A:      Judges shall rank all Competitor Teams in order based on the GT4 total score. In case of a tie, the tie breaker will be the highest cumulative score across all GTs.

B:       As of this document release, the top three ranked Competitor Teams shall be selected for EM-1 integration. Additional opportunity slots will be announced, if and when they become available.

C:      The GT4 total score ranking will be used to select backfill Competitor Teams (“runners up”) in the event that any EM-1 selected Competitor Team cannot deliver their CubeSat for vehicle integration. “Runners up” should be prepared (at a moment’s notice) to replace any selected Competitor Team up until actual vehicle integration date.

Rule 15:  In-Space Competition Start (“Start of Competition”)

A:      Competitors that have arranged their own third party launches shall notify Judges within one day of their deployment confirmation receipt. The positive deployment confirmation time shall be considered the start time of the first competition day of their respective “Start of Competition”.

B:       For Competitors with CubeSats deployed from EM-1, the positive deployment confirmation time shall be considered the start of the first competition day for all Competitor Teams with CubeSats deployed from EM-1. (Note that the SLS Payload User’s Guide and/or the SLS Secondary Payload Deployment System Interface Definition and Requirements Document may specify a timed delay before CubeSats may begin powered operation after the deployment from the SLS. Nevertheless, the deployment confirmation time shall be considered the “Start of Competition” for CubeSats deployed from EM-1.) In support, NASA will notify Competitors within one day of their successful deployment from EM-1 SLS.

Rule 16:  Competitor Ground Stations

A:      Competitor Teams may communicate with, and update, their CubeSat as often as desired within the competition period. This includes commands, revised operating instructions, software updates, etc.

B:       Earth-based transmissions and receptions may be performed from the same ground station or differing ground stations.

C:      Competitor Teams may not use Government controlled stations as their primary data communications stations for the purposes of communications achievements eligible for in-space Prizes, unless appropriate compensation is provided and the station is also made available under the same terms to all Competitors.

D:      Competitor Teams will not be charged for communications monitoring by Government-controlled stations strictly for the purpose of authenticating claimed communications distances, or for verifying the achievement and maintenance of lunar orbit. See Required Navigation Artifacts for Authenticating Claimed Comm Distances and Verifying Achievement and Maintenance of Lunar Orbit.

E:       Ground station operators may be Team Members (Rules 1 and 2 apply), or ground station services or facilities may be procured by the Competitor Team (Rules 1 and 2 do not apply, except for Rule 1.C).

Rule 17:  Planetary Protection

A:      Competitor Teams shall submit Orbital Debris Assessment Reports (ODARs) and End of Mission Plans (EOMPs) that are compliant with NASA-STD-8719.14 Process for Eliminating Orbital Debris, in order to be compliant with U.S. National Space Policy of the United States of America (June 2010), the U.S. Government Orbital Debris Mitigation Standard Practices (February 2001), and other National and International policies and guidelines for limiting Earth-orbiting debris.

B:       Competitor Teams shall submit their ODARs and EOMPs to Judges no later than Ground Tournament 4.

C:      Competitor Teams with CubeSats that enter lunar orbit shall submit an End of Mission Plan that, to the satisfaction of Judges, complies with “NASA's Recommendations to Space-Faring Entities: How to Protect and Preserve the Historic and Scientific Value of U.S. Government Lunar Artifacts” found at http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/617743main_NASA-USG_LUNAR_HISTORIC_SITES_RevA-508.pdf

D:      Competitor Team mission designs must be compliant with requirements of NPR 8020.12 Planetary Protection Provisions for Robotic Extraterrestrial Missions. For Competitor Teams that demonstrate to the satisfaction of Judges (by trajectory simulation/analysis or other documentation) that their CubeSats will not encounter any protected planet (beyond Earth and Earth’s moon), then written documentation compliant with NPR 8020.12 is the only requirement for planetary protection. (Tests and demonstrations would not be required.)

E:       Competitor Teams shall submit a letter to Judges explaining their planetary protection plan at GT1. Competitor Teams shall submit their final planetary protection plan at GT4. Competitor Teams shall submit a Pre-launch report for purposes of compliance with NPR 8020.12 at L-60 calendar days. Competitor Teams shall submit a post-launch report at L+60 calendar days. Competitor Teams shall submit an EOMP at mission end.

Rule 18:  Communications Competition Procedure for Both In-Space Challenges.

A:      Each Competitor Team shall inform Judges a minimum of 24 hours prior to the start of each operating period (as specified in CommsProc). If the Competitor Team does not announce operating periods, then Judges will not consider any operations that day for competition purposes.

B:       Competitor Teams shall generate their random data using the algorithms and protocols specified in CommsProc. Judges will not accept data generated by any other methodology.

C:      The Competitor Team shall supply a CubeSat communications log to the Judges to verify competition timing.

D:      Competitor Teams may choose to wrap data blocks in a convenient protocol for transmission to assist with block accounting and sequencing as long as the Judges can verify that data were generated by the prescribed algorithm.

E:       The Competitor Team shall receive the data blocks over the communications link, perform any required error correction deemed necessary, and arrange the blocks in correct sequence. Any blocks that are not completely received within the operating period will not count towards the operating period total.

F:       The Competitor Team shall deliver to NASA properly sequenced, unique (nonduplicative) error-free data blocks received at the ground station(s) within 10 minutes of the operating period closure. If the Competitor Team requires a data retransmission to achieve an error-free block, the Competitor Team must complete that transaction by the end of the operating period.

G:      As specified in CommsProc, the Competitor Team shall provide the evidence that authenticates actual transmission achievement from their spacecraft in space and ground station receipt to the Judges. The Competitor Team shall make raw data available to the Judges at the same time as the Competitor Team presents the sequenced data. Judges shall also receive contact logs from the ground station operators. Logs are to include (at minimum) pointing data, AZ/EL coordinates, and receiver start/stop times. Competitor Teams shall provide documented Rule 19.G compliance procedures before GT3.

Rule 19:  Competition End for Both In-Space Challenges (“End of Competition”)

A:      For Competitor Teams that have arranged their own third party launch, all activities for the purposes of these Challenges shall end exactly 365 competition days after their respective CubeSat deployment confirmation time, or exactly 365 competition days after the EM-1 deployment confirmation time, whichever occurs first.

B:       For Competitor Teams deployed on EM-1, all activities for the purposes of these Challenges end exactly 365 competition days after the EM-1 deployment confirmation time.

C:      No activity taking place later than exactly 365 competition days after the EM-1 CubeSat deployment shall be counted for Challenge purposes, regardless of the respective launch dates.

D:      For Competitor Teams that have arranged their own third party launch, data transmissions after 365 calendar days will only be used for longevity category entrants regardless of data burst rate or data aggregate volume. Data transmissions must meet minimum requirements based on the prize.

Rule 20:  If, for any reason, a CubeSat does not successfully deploy from EM-1 (a dispenser malfunction, for example), then that Competitor Team shall be ineligible for any In-space Prizes. Rule 21:  Competitor Teams shall acknowledge that NASA reserves the right to share information about Competitor Team accomplishments and progress, after verification by Judges, throughout the Challenge period. Accomplishment or progress information may include, for example, the data volumes communicated, time of lunar orbit, and cubesat distances from Earth. NASA also reserves the right to publicly announce when Competitor Teams are planning to attempt a communications task or propulsion maneuver before results have been confirmed by Judges. Rule 22:  Achievement and Maintenance of Verifiable Minimum Required Distance from Earth

A:  Competitor CubeSats shall achieve and maintain a verifiable minimum required distance from Earth’s surface of at least 4,000,000 kilometers (+/- 4,000 km allowable tolerance) during any operations that would count toward the Deep Space Derby Prizes achievements.

B:   Competitors shall provide evidence that demonstrates, to the Judges’ satisfaction, the spacecraft distance from Earth. (Acceptable evidence to be submitted to NASA for purposes of authenticating the claimed distance from Earth is specified in Required Navigation Artifacts for Authenticating Claimed Comm Distances and Verifying Achievement and Maintenance of Lunar Orbit, a separate document.)

C:  In the event that no CubeSat successfully reaches the minimum distance from Earth (Rule 22.A) within 365 competition days of the EM-1 launch, NASA will declare the Deep Space Derby over with no winner and no prizes awarded.

Rule 23:  Deep Space Derby Prizes

A:  Best Burst Data Rate: $225,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team that receives the largest, and $25,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team that receives the second largest, cumulative volume of error-free data (above the minimum volume of one 1024 bit data block) from their CubeSat over a 30-minute period while satisfying Challenge Rules and definitions. If only one Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum volume, they are awarded $250,000. If no Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum volume, no Best Burst Data Rate prize will be awarded. In case of a tie, all qualifying tied Competitor Teams will receive an equal portion of this prize amount.

B:   Largest Aggregate Data Volume Sustained Over Time: $675,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team that receives the largest, $75,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team that receives the second largest, cumulative volume of error free data (above the minimum volume of one thousand 1024 bit data blocks) from their CubeSat over their best contiguous 28-day (calendar days) period while satisfying Challenge Rules and definitions. If only one Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum volume, they are awarded $750,000. If no Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum volume, no Largest Aggregate Data Volume prize will be awarded. In case of a tie, all qualifying tied Competitor Teams will receive an equal portion of this prize amount.

C:  Spacecraft Longevity: $225,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team with the longest elapsed number of competition days, and $25,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team with the second longest elapsed number of competition days, between the date of their first and last, confirmed reception of error-free, 1024-bit data blocks from their CubeSat while maintaining at least the minimum required distance from Earth, and before the “End of Competition” (above the minimum number of 28 elapsed competition days) while satisfying Challenge Rules and definitions. If only one Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum number of 28 elapsed competition days, they are awarded $250,000. If no Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum number of 28 competition days, no Longevity Contest prize will be awarded. In case of a tie, all qualifying tied Competitor Teams will receive an equal portion of this prize amount.

D:  Farthest Communication Distance From Earth: $225,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team that receives from the CubeSat at least one, error-free, 1024-bit data block, from the greatest, and $25,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team with the second greatest distance from Earth (above the minimum distance of 4,000,000 km), and before the “End of Competition”, while satisfying Challenge Rules and definitions. If only one Competitor Team receives at least one, error-free 1024-bit data block (above the minimum distance of 4,000,000 km from Earth), they are awarded $250,000. If no Competitor Team receives data, no Farthest Communication Distance prize will be awarded. In case of a tie, all qualifying tied Competitor Teams will receive an equal portion of this prize amount.

Rule 24:  Achievement and Maintenance of Verifiable Lunar Orbit

A:  Competitor CubeSats shall achieve and maintain a verifiable lunar orbit, during any operation that would count towards the Lunar Derby Prizes achievements.

B:   For the purpose of the Lunar Derby, a lunar orbit is defined as at least one complete orbit of minimum distance always above the lunar surface of 300 km, and with an aposelene that never exceeds 10,000 km.

C:  Competitors shall provide evidence, to the Judge’s satisfaction, that demonstrates that they have successfully achieved a lunar orbit, as defined in Rule 24.B. (Acceptable evidence to be submitted to NASA for purposes of authenticating claimed lunar orbit is specified in Required Navigation Artifacts for Authenticating Claimed Comm Distances and Verifying Achievement and Maintenance of Lunar Orbit, a separate document.)

D:  Competitor Teams shall provide evidence demonstrating their CubeSat has maintained a minimum altitude of at least 300 km above the lunar surface at all times, before intentional end-of-mission disposal maneuvers.

E:   Competitor Teams shall provide evidence, to the Judge’s satisfaction, demonstrating that their CubeSats has maintained a lunar orbit (as defined in Rule 24.B) during any operations counting towards competition achievements or prize awards.

F:   In the event that no CubeSat successfully achieves verifiable lunar orbit (as defined in Rule 24.B) within their respective 365-day (calendar days) competition, NASA will declare the Lunar Derby competition over with no winner and no prizes awarded.

Rule 25:  Lunar Derby Prizes

A:  Lunar Propulsion: All contestant Competitor Teams that successfully demonstrate their CubeSat has achieved at least one verifiable lunar orbit and satisfy Challenge Rules and definitions shall be awarded an equal share of the $1,500,000 Lunar Propulsion Competition Prize, with a maximum of $1,000,000 to any one Competitor Team.

B:   Best Burst Data Rate: $225,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team that receives the largest, and $25,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team that receives the second largest, cumulative volume of error-free data (above a minimum volume of one 1024 bit data block) from their CubeSat over their best 30-minute operating period while satisfying Challenge Rules and definitions. If only one Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum volume, they will be awarded $250,000. If no Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum volume, no Burst Data Rate prize will be awarded. In case of a tie, all qualifying tied Competitor Teams will receive an equal portion of this prize amount.

C:  Largest Aggregate Data Volume Sustained Over Time: $675,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team that receives the largest, $75,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team that receives the second largest, cumulative volume of error free data (above a minimum volume of one thousand 1024 bit data blocks) from their CubeSat over their best contiguous 28-day (calendar day) period while satisfying Challenge Rules and definitions. If only one Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum volume, they will be awarded $250,000. If no Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum volume, no Aggregate Data Volume prize will be awarded. In case of a tie, all qualifying tied Competitor Teams will receive an equal portion of this prize amount.

D:  Spacecraft Longevity Contest: $450,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team that achieve the longest elapsed number of competition days between the first and last confirmed reception (greater than a minimum number of 28 elapsed competition days), and $50,000 will be awarded to the Competitor Team with the second longest elapsed number of competition days, of an error-free, 1024-bit data block from their CubeSat while satisfying Challenge Rules and definitions. If only one Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum number of 28 elapsed competition days, they will be awarded $500,000. If no Competitor Team achieves more than the minimum number of competition days, no Longevity Contest prize will be awarded. In case of a tie, all qualifying tied Competitor Teams will receive an equal portion of this prize amount.

Rule 26:  The Centennial Challenge Program (CCP) has made significant effort to develop fair and just competition rules. In the event that the CCP deems it necessary, additional rules or requirements may be administered with the concurrence of all currently registered Competition Team(s). Failure to adopt or follow such additional rules or requirements shall be grounds to terminate a Competition Team and all Team Members from the Challenge. Submission and Registration requirements can be found on the Challenge website.  If any conflict exists between the rules listed above and the Challenge Rules (CCP-CQ-OPSRUL-001, latest version), the Challenge Rules shall take precedence.

How To Enter

Registration Instructions are provide on the Challenge website.