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Sci-Fi Space Science

Heinlein Prize Established for Space Achievements 26

StJefferson writes "The Heinleins' estate has just announced the establishment of a US$500,000 prize to be awarded as often as annually for individual accomplishment in commercial space activities. What a terrific application of the legacy - both financial and intellectual - of the Dean of Science Fiction!"
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Heinlein Prize Established for Space Achievements

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  • by kalidasa ( 577403 ) * on Thursday October 02, 2003 @01:17PM (#7115040) Journal
    Now we can see that it was intended more as a blueprint than a short story.
  • My favourite Heinlein novel is Friday.

    It features a female lead character who is genetically enhanced for the role of a specialist, and secret, courier.

    There is a tortue scene in the first which I found quite disturbing, mainly because Friday, the female lead, isn't that bothered about being tortured, she is more annoyed that the torturer is rude!

    Anyway, get it, and read it. Then pass it on.
    • Re:Friday (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yeah. I loved "Friday" too. I mean, what other sci-fi novel so perfectly succeeds at making gratuitous sex dull and trite?
    • Dean of SF? How about the Dirty Old Man of SF... Heinlein women are definitely his most bizzare creation.

      Well, it's not like there aren't a ton of others in the same fantasy women vein (Varley, Niven, etc...).
  • RAH !! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crmartin ( 98227 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @01:29PM (#7115176)
    Hooray for the Heinleins. I guess I wondered what would happen when Ginny died; I can't think of any more suitable memorial.
  • by Strange Ranger ( 454494 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @01:30PM (#7115192)
    Commercial Programs for encouraging space travel:

    Free Group Marriage licences for the first one thousand applicants to be married in space.

    A Free Lunch for the 1st person to coin a new term and get others to grok it in space.

    For encouraging colonization:

    Free libertarian handbook for the 1st person to sleep over-night on the surface of the moon.

    Free libertarian handbooks AND Free Lunches for the first 3 or more people to sleep over-night on the moon together.

    And of course, a Clothing Optional Space Station should also win.

    (-"How's it hangin?

    - "Well, sort of up and to the side right now." )
    • We have a winner! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Iron Sun ( 227218 )
      Free libertarian handbook for the 1st person to sleep over-night on the surface of the moon.

      That would be Al Bean and Pete Conrad during Apollo 12. They spent 2 days on the surface and slept a bit between moonwalks. Conrad dies in a motorcycle accident a while ago, but Bean is still around.

  • Radically Pragmatic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by borroff ( 267566 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @02:01PM (#7115511) Journal
    In typical Heinlein fashion, they seem to have come up with an outside-the-box solution that actually has the potential to acheive their goals. It's not clear whether this was all Ginny's idea, or whether R.A.H. had a hand, but either way, it's clearly a great idea.

    Now if there were grants for students....

  • Welcome ! (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I, for one welcome our new Martian flat-cat overlords.
  • Let's hope that the Heinlen award doesn't follow the American Film Institute's (AFI) lead ... they awarded [] the first `Charlton Heston Award' to Charlton Heston himself.

    Sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction :)

  • by tm2b ( 42473 ) on Thursday October 02, 2003 @05:18PM (#7117842) Journal
    On a personal level, the really cool thing about this is that it turns every past purchase of a Heinlein book into monetary support of future space industry.

    Yay! I've been paying to support the commercialization of space since I was 8 years old!

    (Too bad Bill Gates doesn't care enough about space exploration. He really could be the man who sold the moon.)
  • Stranger in a strange land - It should be compulsory reading for all bigots...


  • Is it for commercial "space activities", or "commercial space" activities? Cause I can think of plenty of "commercial space" activities...even if they are dirty
  • by ControlFreal ( 661231 ) <> on Friday October 03, 2003 @08:02AM (#7122545) Journal

    The idea behind rewarding a price for the commercial exploitation of space is not important, it's crucial. The purists among us might claim that space should be for all humanity, and that it should be used in an idealistic way, and that promoting commercialization of space leads to destructive capitalism out there.

    However, please do wake up: as damaging as some of the forces of the free market might be, there is one thing in the free market that even governments have to a much smaller degree. That thing is money. As much as some of us (myself included) might dislike the greedy nature of mankind, fact is that if money is to be made, things will happen, and the end-result might be very good.

    For example, look at the first satellites. Sure, the very first ones were launched for purely political reasons, but then the commercial communication-sats were lanched. Expericience with these kinds of satellites (launching risks, maintenance, reliability) has helped us to safely launch other kinds of satellites as well. E.g. at the moment there are a number of satellites watching over our ecosystem: the GOES [], POES [] and others.

    I firmly believe that if the exploration of space (and that's not limited to just LEO, but can also be extended to Mars or other places) must be a common venture of commercial and "idealistic" initiatives. And therefore I applaud the Heinlein Estate's prize.

    However, I do have my doubt as to who might be able to win such a price: the regulations specifically exclude corporate or government-sponsored initiatives. This seems to mean that only individuals with a big bag of money can ever hope to win the prize. I've checked the main estate site [], but haven't been able to find any nominations or ideas on what kind of initiatives might be nominated yet.

    Any ideas?

  • My first science fiction book author and this is a great cause and in keeping with the fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    If they people at NASA had followed RAH writings we would have people living on the moon today instead of rotating around the Earth in a glorified outhouse. Sigh.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.