Space Frontier Foundation announce $200 Ridiculous Rocket Space Prize

Space Frontier Foundation announce $200 Ridiculous Rocket Space Prize

September 11, 2012 Press Releases

The Space Frontier Foundation today announced a contest for the best suggestion on what Congress could do with the Space Launch System (SLS).  This Ridiculous Rocket – truly a Rocket to Nowhere – is a heavy lift launch vehicle with no clear mission and no funded payloads.  And one that NASA can’t afford.

People can enter the contest – with a $200 prize – by going to

The idea for the contest was inspired by a House Science, Space & Technology Committee hearing scheduled for this Wednesday morning where NASA and industry witnesses will try to convince Congress that all is going well with SLS.  But they’ve also invited a top scientist to talk about some of the wonderful Big Science Projects Congress should fund to fly on top of the Ridiculous Rocket.


We can’t help assure Congress that this rocket will ever show up, let alone on schedule or within budget,” said Jonathan Card, Executive Director for the Space Frontier Foundation, “but we’ve heard some hilarious ideas for what it could launch… if it ever got off the ground.

Like many space organizations, we have called the SLS the Senate Launch System because it was designed in the United States Senate to serve political, rather than space goals.

The Senate Launch System is truly ridiculous,” said Bob Werb, Chairman of the Board for the Space Frontier Foundation.  “NASA’s own studies show it’s unneeded but will devour $20+ Billion of NASA’s budget in the next decade.

Even worse, it’s all make-believe. There is very little chance that SLS will ever become operational and none whatsoever that NASA’s budget will ever be big enough to pay to actually launch it and build the ridiculously expensive payloads it enables.  And, there are several private sector systems that are cheaper, faster and better.

 “We figure that if Congress can play make-believe, the rest of us can as well,” continued Mr. Werb.  “So we set up a Facebook event where anybody can post their own crazy ideas on what the Ridiculous Rocket might be able to do. While we don’t have NASA’s budget to provide billions in cost plus contracts or tens of millions in consulting fees, we will award a $200 prize for the idea that receives the highest “Like” rating.”

The facebook event page can be found at

We wish Congress would take our future in space more seriously, instead of just using it to fund special interests.  Until then, though, we’ll make fun of their ridiculous priorities… and their Ridiculous Rocket.