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$350,000 awarded at the

2009 Astronaut Glove Challenge

Held at the historic

Astronaut Hall of Fame

 in Titusville, Florida

November 18-19, 2009

Peter Homer (Right Center) won 1st prize of $250,000, and

Ted Southern (Left Center) won 2nd prize of $100,000

Kennedy Space Center (November 19, 2009)  – Peter Homer of Southwest Harbor, Maine won $250,000 and  Ted Southern of Brooklyn, NY won $100,000 at the 2009 Astronaut Glove Challenge. The competition was held at the historic Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville, Florida near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.  It was managed for NASA by Volanz Aerospace Inc., a non-profit space education organization based in Owings, Maryland.   Secor Strategies LLC of Titusville was the commercial sponsor for the event.

The Astronaut Glove Challenge seeks innovative glove design concepts to reduce the effort needed to perform tasks during spacewalks.  In this challenge, competitors demonstrated their glove design by performing a range of tasks with the glove in an evacuated chamber. The gloves were also tested to ensure that they would not leak. In order to qualify for a prize, the gloves had to meet all of the basic requirements and also exceed the flexibility of the current NASA spacesuit glove.  For the 2009 Challenge, teams had to provide a complete glove, including the outer, thermal-micrometeoroid-protection layer and the inner, pressure-restraining layer.  In the 2007 competition, only the pressure-restraining layer was required. 

The two competitors were tied in several categories but Peter Homer, who won $200,000 in the first Astronaut Glove Challenge in 2007, claimed first prize this time by outscoring his rival in joint-flexibility and in the pressure test.  Ted Southern, who captured second place, also competed in 2007 but was not successful in his first attempt.  According to Alan Hayes, Chairman and CEO of  of Volanz Aerospace  Inc., “Both competitors improved their designs significantly from 2007, but Ted’s progress was especially impressive.” 

The designs presented in the competition were measured and evaluated by engineers from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center and NASA’s spacesuit-manufacturer, ILC Dover.  “It is remarkable that two designers working on their own could create gloves that meet the requirements for spaceflight – a task that normally requires a large team of experts”, said engineer Kate Mitchell of the Johnson Space Center.

The Astronaut Glove Challenge is one of six Centennial Challenges managed by NASA's Innovative Partnership Program, which provides the prize funds. This was the fourth consecutive Centennial Challenge event with prize winners and the program has awarded 3.65 million dollars this year.  “Our challenges have been difficult, multi-year efforts and in many cases it has taken several years for competitors to perfect their designs.  We are now seeing the results of their perseverance.” according to Andrew Petro, Centennial Challenges Program Manager.

The next Astronaut Glove Competition will be announced in early 2010

Download the latest edition of the 2009  RULES (5.1)

Download the latest edition of the 2009

Team Agreement (5.2)


Glove Capabilities/Contest Goals

  • ¨Reduced hand fatigue

  • ¨Improved manual dexterity and flexibility

  • ¨Lighter weight, stronger, more durable


Questions, Questions, and more Questions...

Got a question about the competition?  Send all inquiries to:

ahayes at juno.com

(take out spaces, and replace at with a @)

 

Please Note:  This is a new (and temporary) email address!


 

We wish to thank

our new sponsor:

 

SECOR STRATEGIES, LLC

Paul Secor, President


FUNDING STRATEGIES  | PROGRAM STRATEGIES
We find it, we write it, we help you manage it!
 

3435 South Hopkins Ave. Unit #5
Titusville, FL  32780
Phone: 321-720-8683
Fax: 321-268-2144


2007 Astronaut Glove Challenge

May 2007:  Peter Homer, an unemployed former aerospace engineer, claimed the first payoff in the  NASA-backed  Centennial  Challenges competition  by  building  a  better  astronaut  glove.  Congratulations Peter!

AGC Technical Corner

 

Phase VI EVA Glove

Finger Torque Measurement

 

Finger torque has historically been measured using a mechanical force gage and a linear scale to measure the moment arm.  The figure below shows one method for measuring finger torque on an unmanned pressurized glove.  This method has a significant level of subjectivity and care must be taken to attain the desired range of motion without overshooting the angle.  The method should be performed multiple times until the operator can show consistent results.  Example torque data from a Phase VI glove without the TMG installed and pressurized to 4.3 psid is:

 

Index - .6 inlbs

Middle - .7 inlbs

Ring - .6 inlbs

Little - .6 inlbs

Thumb - .8 inlbs

 

 


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Version 8.0 -  November 22, 2009

 

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