MIT wins DARPA’s Great Red Balloon Hunt

Almost as soon as it was , in only nine hours in fact, the (DARPA) announced that the won the $40,000 cash prize in the DARPA Network Challenge, a that required participants to locate 10 large, red balloons at undisclosed locations across the United States. The MIT team received the prize for being the first to identify the locations of all 10 balloons.

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“The Challenge has captured the imagination of people around the world, is rich with scientific intrigue, and, we hope, is part of a growing 'renaissance of wonder' throughout the nation," said DARPA director,Dr. Regina E. Dugan in a statement.

DARPA last month offered up the rather interesting challenge: find and plot 10 red weather balloons scattered at undisclosed locations across the country. The first person or team to identify the location of all the balloons and enter them on the challenge Web site will win a $40,000 cash prize.

According ton the agency, the balloons were in readily accessible locations, visible from nearby roadways and accompanied by DARPA representatives. All balloons are scheduled to go on display at all locations at 10:00AM (ET) until approximately 4:00 PM on Saturday, December 5, 2009. Should weather or technical difficulties arise with the launch, the display will be delayed until Sunday, December 6 or later, depending on conditions. If, for any reason, the balloon is displayed in one location then moved to a second location, either location will be accepted.

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