Up to three winning teams will be selected to receive an initial prize of $200,000 each. During System Build Round 1, Winners will have the opportunity to compete for an additional award of $200,000 each by developing their universal payload interface system in preparation for a flight test. Emphasis should be placed on maximizing compatibility of the universal payload interface system with common commercial flight vehicle (e.g., suborbital, orbital, lander) interfaces.
Winners will participate in a System Build kick-off call in June 2024 with ongoing check-in calls to present their plans for development of the interface system and progress to date. The calls will be with subject matter experts who will provide feedback regarding the potential feasibility, performance, adaptability, and compatibility with a diverse set of laboratory payloads and common commercial flight vehicle interfaces.
Field Judges will conduct an on-site visit in October 2024 to evaluate the progress each winner has made to determine if they qualify for the System Build Round 1 prize of $200,000 and proceed to System Build Round 2.
The scoring criteria for System Build Round 1 is as follows:
Winners must receive at least 80 points in order to receive the $200,000 award for this round.