NASA Future of Flight Challenge cash prize winners revealed

NASA has announced the winners of its Future of Flight Challenge, which was posted on the HeroX platform offering cash rewards to those who were chosen as winners. A total of nine awards are being given with cash prize values ranging from $500 to $7,500 USD. Team Sparkletron took first place with their "Turbologic Density Interop."

NASA's "Future-Scaping Our Skies" challenge asked participants to help the agency "think ahead" about the future of aviation and the impact it may have on life, including technological, societal, economic, environmental, political, and regulatory impacts. The participants were told to focus on the next three decades.

Participants were tasked with discussing how the above categories would both influence and be influenced by aviation technology over the next 30 years. The contest was open to any organization or person located in the US and now this week the winners have been revealed:

- First place $7,500: Turbologic Density Interop – Team Sparkletron

- Second place $5,000: Open Source and the Future of Aviation – Matthew Congrove

- Third place $2,500: A Look at the World of U.S. Aviation in 2051 – Craig Payne

- Fourth place $2,500: Stars and Scars: A Tale of Two Air Systems – Jeff Morse

- Fifth place $1,000: Sustainable Skies: Aviation in a United World – Finn Russom

- Sixth place $1,000: Better Tomorrow and Future of Aviation – Team Better Tomorrow

- Seventh place $500: Urban eVTOL Futurescape – Pete Bitar

- Eighth place $500: Re-Learning to Fly – Brian Dawson

- Ninth place $500: Sovereign Skies – Jes Foster

According to NASA, Team Sparkleton, the winner, took first place by talking about how advancing machine learning and computation may "better model changes" in both personal and commercial aviation. Matthew Congrove took second place with an idea involving open data and software creating "a wide variety of technologies" that usher in a "new wave of innovation."