Rocket Prize Awards
Author: Jim Bowery
I hereby, and until notice to the contrary, endow the Bowery Award for Amateur Rocketry with $1000 going to the next amateurs launching a vehicle to a height in excess of 200 kilometers, to be disbursed at my sole discretion.
I encourage others to take similar stands in favor of amateur technology.
The Internet provides a unique opportunity to promote space technology via prize awards.
Individuals can post a public pledge of money as a prize award for any technical objective they see fit, to be disbursed at their sole discretion. With enough diversity of people and technical objectives, there would be a "fuzzy" gradient of incentive created for ever higher performance amateur rockets, not dependent on the credibility of any one organization's political structure for "fairness" or good technical judgement. A periodic posting of all such prize award offers in this, and related, newsgroups, would serve as an ongoing challenge to technical excellence and as an inspiration for young people.
As the individual primarily responsible for introducing and passing launch vouchers legislation, and as someone who has worked professionally on the commercialization of the Peacekeeper missile technology as a launch system, I have a tremendous respect for many "amateur" rocket enthusiasts and believe they can make critical contributions to the advancement of the space frontier through technical excellence -- particularly if they are given the recognition they deserve. Prize awards, paltry as they might be in terms of compensation, can at least provide a real demonstration of recognition from the community served by such innovators.
See also The Stark Draper Open Source Rocketry Award