Revealed: the finalists for the 2012 Crunchies

Five finalists have been chosen in 20 different categories for the 2012 Crunchies awards, and we’re proud to release the worthy nominees today. Voting for the winners starts today, and the winners will be announced January 31st.

SpaceX, Boeing, Sierra Nevada hit big in NASA sweepstakes

SpaceX is one of 3 rivals competing — with NASA’s help — to power the next U.S. manned space launch. Boeing, Sierra Nevada (no not that Sierra Nevada) and SpaceX will benefit from NASA expertise — and millions of dollars of its dough — under the 21-month contract.

SpaceX launch scrubbed

The anticipated SpaceX launch was aborted at the last possible second after a computer detected a glitch in one of the rocket’s nine engines. The snafu raised anew questions of whether private industry can handle a space program.

The first photos of Tesla’s electric SUV the Model X

At a sneak preview in Hawthorne, Calif. on Thursday, electric car maker Tesla unveiled its third car, an all-electric SUV called the Model X, for the first time to the public. And yep, true to speculation it’s got so-called “falcon wing” doors.

The Daily Sprout

RGGI Auction Sells Out at $3.07 a Ton: All 12.5 million allowances auctioned last week by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, North America’s first cap-and-trade system, sold for $3.07 each, raising some $38.5 million for the member states – Green Inc.

McKinsey Sees Clean Coal Viable in 2030: A new report from McKinsey & Co. estimates that carbon capture and storage technologies at new power plants will be economically feasible in 2030 at a cost of $43 to $65 per ton of abatement. So, in short, hurry up and wait – Green Car Congress.

Kia Eying Ultra-Capacitors for Fuel Cell Car?: The South Korean automaker is reportedly considering ultra-capacitors as an energy storage device for its next-gen fuel cell vehicles with a total voltage of 450v – Telegraph via Autoblog Green.

DOE Puts $17.6M into Early State PV Projects: As part of President Bush’s Solar America Initiative, the Department of Energy has announced up to $17.6 million in funding for six different photovoltaic module developers who are working on new solar designs – DOE.

Mr. Musk, We Have Ignition: Tesla Motors Chairman Elon Musk saw success with his cosmic venture and has successfully launched his privately-funded SpaceX Falcon 1 into orbit – Register.

Michael Jackson to Skype: Beat It

[qi:026] The exodus of senior management from eBay’s Skype division continues. Ten days after co-founder Niklas Zennstrom decided to say sayonara to the P2P telephony company, Michael Jackson, one of its early employees and VP of operations, has left the building. I had wondered why eBay (EBAY) didn’t bump him up to the top spot.

He was said to be chatting with a mobile payments company, but that information turned out to be not true. (My bad!) Instead, he is joining one of Skype’s earliest backers, Mangrove Partners. He’ll take the title of general partner, and is likely to go back to his first love: telecom and mobile. So Euro startups with mobile thrillers, it’s time to call MJ.