The Heinlein contest 2005 in Russia and Europe
The representatives of Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust and the Flight into the Future organisation committee have established contact with the ESA Permanent Mission in Moscow.
The Heinlein Prize Trust announced in Moscow the start of the Robert A. Heinlein “Flight into the Future” Project Contest. The 2005 contest could become a part of ESA efforts to organise educational programmes, they said.
This contest is a competition to promote innovative scientific work and is being held to commemorate the memory of the famous American writer, and one of the founders of modern science fiction, Robert A. Heinlein.
The main goal of the competition is to identify and support talented young researchers and to encourage innovative activities to help bring humanity closer to Heinlein’s dream of our future in space. The competition is part of the Heinlein Prize project, created to encourage commercial activity in space.
The Heinlein Prize, a major new award for practical accomplishments in commercial space activities, was announced during the 54th International Aeronautical Congress held in Bremen, Germany in 2003. Trustees of the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust revealed that the first Heinlein Prize award had been set at US$500,000. The idea of the associated Flight into the Future contest also arose during this Congress.
The Flight into the Future contest opened officially on 1 November 2004 and is open to all citizens of European, African and Middle Eastern countries, including students, post-graduate students and young specialists under 30 years of age at the time of the award ceremony on 7 July 2005, the birth date of Robert Heinlein. The authors of the winning projects will receive monetary prizes and Heinlein Trust Diplomas at the ceremony.
The participants' projects should be in the field of space exploration and its peaceful use: projects whose realisation would result in significant economic benefit to humanity. The submitted works should include scientific and technical details and an economic business plan of the proposed project to show the potential for its practical realisation, and the expected economic and social benefits. The projects will be judged by an international Expert Committee.
In 2004, the pilot Flight into the Future contest was conducted in Russia by the Trust and the Russian Aviation and Space Scientific Innovation Educational Complex (RASSIEC). RASSIEC, an association of leading Russian aerospace industries and universities that have joined together to promote new forms of professional education and international cooperation programmes, will act as the Trust contractor for the Flight into the Future 2005 Contest.
The Heinlein Prize honours the memory of Robert A. Heinlein, a renowned American author. Through his body of works in fiction spanning nearly 50 years during the start of man's entry into space, Mr Heinlein advocated human advancement into space through commercial endeavour.
After Mr Heinlein's death in 1988, his widow, Virginia Gerstenfeld Heinlein, established the Trust to further her husband's vision of humanity's future in space. Funding for the Heinlein Prize came from Mrs Heinlein's estate after her death in 2003.
The competition will be evaluated by the Expert Committee according to the novelty and originality of the proposal, its economical and social benefit, technological substantiation and profoundness of research, veracity and the investment attractiveness of the proposed technical and economical business plan.