NASA today revealed its newest batch of Centennial Challenges. As well as pointing to future directions for space science, they’re a gentle booster for President Obama’s plans to get more people involved in the space biz–including you.
The Centennial challenges are competitions a bit like the X-Prize that NASA uses to encourage novel thinking about space missions from non-government bodies, and these are the first new ones since 2005. The hope is that the space industry gets a nice community-spirited PR boost, and NASA may benefit from unusual ideas that it may never have dreamed up inside its own R&D laboratories: It’s a kind of “everybody wins” thing. In fact, there really are winners, as there’s a cash prize associated with each challenge, and this part of NASA’s budget is one of those rare bits that’s actually increased. This year the fund’s risen to $10 million, where it’ll remain per year until 2015. Though that’s a huge amount to the winners, it’s mere small change for NASA.
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.