2006-2007 Flying into the Future---- Space Exploration Innovation Contest in Asia” took place from July 4 to 7. This contest has been jointly organized by Chinese Society of Astronautics and The Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust. From April 2006 to July 2007, after one year, the contest was successfully completed. The final presentation and award ceremony were held in National School of Administration in Beijing on July 7.
The contest is open to university students, post-graduate students, young specialists and space science amateurs who were born after July 1, 1976 in Asia. The contest aims to encourage enthusiasm and spirit in students and young specialists to pursue studies in science, to recognize talented individuals and help them develop innovative ideas, to discover unique ideas in the field of commercial space activities for the benefit of humankind.
The contest was carefully planned and prepared. On September 9, 2006, the Organizing Committee of Asian Region was established and the first meeting of the organizing committee was held in Beijing. The committee was composed by experts from 7 countries and regions in Asia. They are from China, Japan, Korea, India, Singapore, Israel, and China Taiwan. In the meeting, members of the organizing committee discussed carefully on issues, such as advertisement, organization, call for works, contest procedures, evaluator nomination proposal, first evaluation and final presentation. They gave their suggestions and reached an agreement on those issues. They all agreed to promote the contest and organize works when they come back home.
At the beginning of April 2007, after nomination by the members of organizing committee, the Evaluation Committee was established.
On May 20, 2007, contest office delivered 54 pieces of contest works to the evaluators. China delivered 44 works from total 89 works it collected, India and Japan delivered 4 works severally, Singapore delivered 2 works. The works were evaluated blindly by evaluators according to four criteria: novelty and originality, in-depth research and technical feasibility, anticipated economic and social benefits, and commercial value and investment appealing. All evaluators carefully reviewed every work and gave scores seriously. On June 6, summing up all scores given by the evaluators, the contest office selected 17 Chinese works, 2 Japanese works, 1 Indian work as the entries to final contest.
On June 28, Chinese Society of Astronautics held a press conference for the contest. Reporters from over 20 news media in Beijing attended the conference.
The Journal of Space Exploration of Chinese Society of Astronautics published the advertisement for the contest in 7 issues.
On July 5, the final presentation was held. Co-chairmen of the contest, Mr. Xia Guohong, gave a speech before the final presentation. He said that the final presentation is a good opportunity for all the participants to exchange ideas, learn from each other and probe into some technical issues. He hoped that original and good-quality contest works will be produced. He hopes young space amateurs, with the knowledge and skills they you have learned, bring their wisdom into full play, continuously explore new fields in future space exploration, and give their dreams a pair of strong wings and set them free to fly into the space. Only when they have dreams, they will have a splendid future.
The opening ceremony of the final presentation was presided by Mrs. Gong Jinyu, vice secretary general of Chinese Society of Astronautics. From July 5 to 6, the final presentation was held. Authors of the works used PowerPoint to present their works and displayed them by 3-D cartoon. The presentation language is English. 40 authors of 20 works presented their works by group. They worked harmoniously and displayed strong team spirit. All evaluators listened to the presentation carefully in spite of their tiredness. They worked very hard, carefully listened the authors’ presentations, gave them good suggestions, guided them to widen their visions, helped the authors make their works more perfect. The final presentation is full of experts’ care to young people.
July 7 is the 100th anniversary of Mr. Heinlein, the late American fiction writer’s birthday. It is meaningful that prize awarding ceremony was held on this day. Members of organizing committee in Asia and representatives of The Trust attended the ceremony. Mr. Yang Junhua, vice president and secretary general of Chinese Society of Astronautics made a speech on behalf of the organizers. Co-chairmen, Mr. Xia Guohong and Mr. Art Dula, awarded students with diploma and prizes.
Young professionals from Beijing Research Institute of Mechanical & Electrical technology, China Aerospace Engineering Consultation Center, and students from Beijing Institute of Technology attended the ceremony.