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Filed in General Information by on September 1, 2011 6 Comments

Hopefully I am not being too optimistic in posting this, but the team agreement and final rules are at their last stop with NASA, and I am hopeful that we will be able to get them to you in the very near future. Once they are approved and notices published, we will be able to post them to the web and open registration.

Here are some more details on registration:
– There will be a form online to begin the registration process. Once you fill out an inquiry, you will receive a dated copy of the team agreement. Once you submit a signed team agreement (and it is signed here at WPI), your registration fee will be due. You can pay online via credit card or by check. If you seek to make payments in installments, that will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis.
– Regular Registration ($3000) will close on 2-Jan-2012 at 11:59 PM. After that, registration is subject to judge committee approval and will be at the late registration fee ($5000).
– Once your team has registered, you will be given a single team account to log into the forum. This forum is what you may use to officially submit questions for review and discuss the challenge. All questions and answers will be made public through the FAQ. If you submit a question through a private channel (like email), I will likely remind you, before it is answered, that the question and answer do become public. However, there is no penalty for early submission of a preliminary proposal (or resubmitting particularly in the case of significant change in your design.. in fact it’s expected). Any proposals or other documentation submitted to the judge committee to comply with required deadlines is confidential.

I hope to have excellent news very soon for everyone hoping to compete!

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  1. SpaceMiners says:

    NASA Centennial Challenges main purpose is to attract corporations, universities, etc into the space industry. i don’t know how universities manage thier funding for these events. but i do know that corporations dish out all thier donations after the 1st of the year. the only teams that will be able to afford $3000 by Jan 2nd, 2012 will be privately owned companies. plus, all the holidays coming up… i think it’s the worst time of the year for a deadline.

    the teams need time to form and recruit members, make plans to build a robot based on the rules, rally up a few sponsors, present the sponsors with the plan and it’s financial needs. companies are slow to respond as they have many donation requests at the beginning of every year to consider. rarely do companies offer cash or cover travel expenses. most companies donate products.

    the largest single check we ever received from a sponsor was only $2000. it’s difficult to aquire more than half a dozen sponsors as it’s very difficult to promote and advertise more than that many, and the sponsors know this. so, teams are left with approx 6-8 sponsors to cover approx $100,000 for all expenses of the project.

    this is just another block in the road that filters out smaller teams who can only participate with the use of corporate donations. what is the reason for setting the deadline at the very beginning of the year? if you want this competition to be a success i think you should start looking at the administration from a team leader’s viewpoint. you want to have strong teams with great sponsors, not teams beat up from all the administrative redtape and poorly scheduled deadlines. this contest is almost not worth entering. the main purpose of having Centennial Challenges is getting lost!

    • To spaceminers: Do you realize that this competition is for $1.5 million dollars? $1,500,000? It should require a lot of work and effort, _including_ strong networking and professional skills for making business relationships.

      “i think you should start looking at the administration from a team leader’s viewpoint. you want to have strong teams with great sponsors, not teams beat up from all the administrative redtape and poorly scheduled deadlines.”
      -You do not think that Colleen and others have even “started” looking at the event from a team leader’s viewpoint? I think that is an absurd assumption,

      I believe Colleen has been competing in, and running, large robot events for much of her life, including competing in a Centennial Challenge… I find it very amusing that you are being beat up from “red tape” already, and ample deadlines. I feel you will most likely have trouble working on any large project or competition in a professional environment.

      I wish you luck in competing. You may have better luck seeking sponsors if you re-read what you write before you post it, and use capitalization, proper grammar, etc.

      -Paul Ventimiglia

      • SpaceMiners says:

        paul, obviously you do not understand the situation. you did not address any of my concerns. all you did was complain about my comment.

        have you ever seeked sponsorship for your team? have you ever spent $100,000’s of your own life savings to keep a project alive due to lack of sponsors? are you lacking sponsors due to events that occur ‘out-of-season’? do you want Centennial Challenges to be successful? then listen to what i have to say. until the administration realizes thier scheduling mistakes, these challenges will not be as large and spectacular as we would want them to be.

        fact: sponsors give out donations from Jan to about May. after that they are all tapped out. setting a 1-2-2012 deadline for $3000 is impossible to get sponsored. therefore, i am forced to ask $5000 from sponsors for late entry. this does not sit well with sponsors as it makes our team seem less organized and ‘not on top of things’.

        complaining about my grammar and capitalization just shows how much of a perfectionist you are. that being said, don’t you want to have a perfectly administered competition?

        [this is not a formal letter. it’s a comment. no proper grammer and/or spelling required. i have two paralyzed hands. i type with one finger at 20wpm. i write formal letters when required.]

  2. Sid says:

    The cost of the competition is a great barrier to entry. While balancing the need to attract professional teams, and the cost of hosting such a competition, i think that the registration cost is a bit steep. The deadline is fast approaching, so mostly big universities or companies with big pockets will be able to compete. Obviously the organizers having taken this into consideration, have spoken loud and clear as to who they want competing for this. Its time to move on 🙂

  3. Noah Zemke says:

    The picture that is painted here by the responding posts is one of actuating despair, and that this is an un-reachable goal. I think you will find that there are a lot of companies that will fund a group with what is called a general managers fund. These tend to be there all year round and are available at relatively any time of the year. The time span that you gave for January through March is very inaccurate as all companies are different in where they start their fiscal year. There are many things that you can do to get more funding like show how you will be giving back to the community and the tax breaks that are available in donating money. This competition is far from over and we’re only a couple months in. Personally I am grouping with just a CAD engineer and myself (a software engineer), total price for all equipment, fabrication and transportation across the country to the competition came at a total of $25k(that includes the standard 10% buffer). All I’m really saying here is that this can be done if you look in the right places. There are people who have a passion for the things that you are going to strive for in this competition and it’s your job to locate those people. Good luck to all those who are competing and know that this isn’t all doom and gloom, this is a dream to show the world that you can build your ideas and show the true innovation that made America what it is today.

  4. James Wakefield says:

    The 3,000.oo for the entry fee isnt bad. I mean look at other competitions that cost 40,50 up to 250k to enter. The teams dont cry about deadlines or the money. My team is only me, No sponsors, no highly funded corporations, no high tech engineers. Just an offshore subsea specialist with the desire to win. My design along with all related cost (Operations Van, Travel, Testing, Parts etc) comes to aboout $30,000.00 and that includes a buffer just in case something comes up at the last minute. All of this iis funded out of pocket by a single person with no funding. I mean come on if you want to enter something like this then stop complaining about deadlines, high entry cost etc and just do it and build the best design that you can in hopes of winning the big prize. If you want everything handed to you oon a silver platter then dont worry about entering and go bacck to dreamland. Competitions like this are started for COMPETITION, not for who has the deepest pockets.

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