The Microgravity Research Competition is organized and sponsored by the Heinlein Prize Trust, a non-profit foundation which promotes the commercial uses of space. The Trust provides financial prizes to commercial space entrepreneurs, enhances public awareness of commercial space, and uses space to inspire students about opportunities of the next frontier. For more information, see www.heinleinprize.com.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is an entrepreneurial provider of space transportation services to world markets. SpaceX was the winner of a $278M Space Act Agreement with NASA to develop and demonstrate space transportation to LEO and a $1.6B contract to transport cargo to and from ISS. SpaceX is developing the Falcon family of low-cost launch vehicles, the Dragon spacecraft to carry cargo to and from LEO and ISS, and the DragonLab free-flier. For more information, visit www.spacex.com.
Assisting the Heinlein Prize Trust in organizing the competition is the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. The Rice Alliance is a non-profit organization and part of Rice University in Houston, Texas. The mission of the Rice Alliance is to support the commercialization of technology innovations and the launch of new technology-based startup companies. (Rice Alliance and Rice University have no role in selecting judges, finalists, or winner of this competition.) For more information about the Rice Alliance, see www.alliance.rice.edu.