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Design semifinals scheduled

More than 20 teams of creative young inventors will come together next Tuesday for the semi-final judging of the MIT Soldier Design Competition. Students and others will present designs for products of use to soldiers and other first responders, such as police, firefighters and EMTs. This year's entries include a powered rope ascender and a hands-free casualty carrying system.

Judging will take place Nov. 16 from 6-9:30 p.m. in Room 26-100. Winning teams will receive seed funds from the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies to build a prototype for the final competition in February. All MIT community members are invited. Write to for more information.

X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis to discuss space exploration

A student-run conference on space exploration, SpaceVision 2004, will be held on campus from Nov. 11 to 14.

Organized by Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) and the MIT Mars Society, the SpaceVision 2004 Conference will feature nationally recognized speakers, including X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, an MIT alumnus who founded SEDS. NASA adminstrator Craig Steidle and Mars Society president Robert Zubrin also will speak at the conference. Speakers will examine the balance between public and private space programs and the formation of national space policy.

The four-day conference is organized so that each day will focus on a particular theme. For Nov. 11 organizers have planned forums on the value proposition of human space flight and space advocacy; on Nov. 12, communicating the vision of exploration; Nov. 13, commercialization and private enterprise; and Nov. 14, government space programs. Other events during the conference will include a demonstration of the space elevator climber, a space industry career fair and a poster session.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 10, 2004 (download PDF).

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