The inaugural Space Exploration Masters competition, which was formally announced last month at the Paris Air Show, is targeted at international start-ups, entrepreneurs, researchers, university teams and SMEs. Among its sponsors are the European Space Agency, Airbus and Merck KGaA. The closing date for the competition is September 8, 2017. The Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser spacecraft is unique, having flown more than 450 space missions in course of which it has delivered over 4,000 products.
Entrants to the new business innovation category are required to create a proposal that encompasses the most imaginative use of the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser, the reusable automated cargo lifting-body spaceplane, in a commercial venture that goes beyond the shuttle’s day-to-day use as cargo and crew delivery vehicle to the International Space Station (ISS), or in Earth Observation (EO).
The winner of the New Business Innovation Prize will receive 10,000 euros worth of business analysis from Astrosat as well as food, travel and lodging valued at up to 10,000 euros from the Huntsville Chamber to fund the winner’s arranged meetings with leading, global aerospace and technology companies.
Steve Lee, the CEO of Edinburgh-based Astrosat, said that competitions such as Space Exploration Masters are a fantastic calling card for those who see their future in space. Rather than the usual tried and tested EO challenge, the judges of the new business innovation category will be looking for original thinking, rooted in good commercial sense, and with an eye for detail and imagination that will make the space sector even stronger.