Team Michael and Talia Wins 2007 Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award

Team Michael and Talia Wins 2007 Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award

Alamogordo, N.M., October 28, 2007 – After a weekend of presentations by the 10 finalists of the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award, and voting by the attendees of the 2007 XPRIZE Cup, Team Michael and Talia was named the First Prize winner. Michael Hakimi and Talia Nour-Omid, students from Los Angeles, came up with an idea for a pair of sunglasses that would effectively monitor all of a human being’s vital signs while in space. The winners receive a $5,000 prize, sponsored by NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program, a trophy and a display of their ideas at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The award itself was presented by Nancy Conrad, wife of Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad and creator of the prize, and Erik Lindbergh, XPRIZE Foundation Trustee, great-grandson of Charles Lindbergh and designer and sculptor of the First Prize trophy. Funding for the prizes are provided through a grant from NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program.

“We’re so proud of Team Michael and Talia, and all of the teams,” said Conrad. “It was wonderful to hear them explain their concepts to thousands of spectators as they described the power of their idea through interactive presentations. I can’t think of a better way to honor Pete than by recognizing the creativity and ingenuity of all of these young people.”

The Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award is a competition for teams of high school students to create a concept to benefit the personal spaceflight industry in some way. Teams submitted graphical representations, technical documents and business plans of concepts that might accelerate the personal spaceflight industry.

Two other teams were also presented with awards. Team Gad Astro from Northbrook, IL won the $2,500 second place award with their concept of a self-healing material that would rapidly fix any punctures, maintaining safety in space. Team Penguin Education from Friendswood, TX won the $1,500 third place award with their idea for a company that works with private and public schools to provide a high level of space education.

Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr. was the third man to walk on the moon and served on Gemini 5 and 11, Apollo 12, and Skylab 2 missions. Conrad was the recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, awarded for his rescue of Skylab. He was posthumously awarded the Ambassador of Exploration Award by NASA in 2006.

The XPRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. On October 4, 2004, the XPRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private vehicle to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE. The XPRIZE Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon XPRIZE for Genomics and the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, and will continue to offer new prizes for breakthroughs in the areas of life improvement, exploration, equity of opportunity and sustainability. The Foundation is widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit www.xprize.org.

NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program creates alliances with industry, academia, and other non-traditional sources to develop and transfer technology in support of national priorities and NASA’s missions. The programs and activities resulting from the alliances engage innovators and enterprises to fulfill NASA’s mission needs and promote the potential of NASA technology. For more information please visit www.ipp.nasa.gov.

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