30$ Million Google Xprize!

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Boris_Badenov

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Sorry buddy, but this news came out more than a month ago.<br /><br /> Google Lunar X PRIZE <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#993300"><span class="body"><font size="2" color="#3366ff"><div align="center">. </div><div align="center">Never roll in the mud with a pig. You'll both get dirty & the pig likes it.</div></font></span></font> </div>
 
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spacester

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Hi Boris<br /><br />There was one thread on M&L but it petered out. I think we can afford the room here in the Bizness section.<br /><br />One huge opportunity here is Lunar Bandwidth. With Falcon 9 costs of $2000 per pound, I would expect there to be a business case for a primitive yet effective comm system able to reach most lunar real estate. Initial customers would be GLXP TEAMS.<br /><br />Anybody here have ideas on how to set up a reliable Lunar comm network on the cheap? <br /><br />The new draft rules came out Oct 13, I just got done reading them. Pretty straightforward, but acquiring the required datasets of video and stills is going to be non-trivial. They seem to be trying to keep design options wide open, but at the same time they seem to be thinking rover with attached cameras, driving off a lander.<br /><br />I'm pretty excited by this prize. There are a lot of messages being sent here. Google will eventually end up with a space program, for one thing. They could afford one at today's prices, but they and others will drive costs down first. I predict Google has more stuff for space where this came from.<br />***<br />***<br />Just for the heck of it . . . <br /><br />I have a spreadsheet workbook available on my website, on the LLR page. It shows how do-able this mission is. It's worth downloading if you're interested in noodling around with cis-lunar space flight.<br /><br />Here is a summary of a straightforward way to get to the lunar surface:<br /><br />Translunar injection from 275 km circular orbit to 275 km x 384400 km (Start Hohmann Earth Orbit transfer) = 3023 m/s<br /><br />Lunar Orbit Matching to circularize to 384400 km Earth orbit (End Hohmann Earth Orbit transfer) = 44.4 m/s<br /><br />Lunar Orbit Transfer - Hohmann from 6500 km circ to 50 km circ LLO (Total Hohmann Lunar Orbit transfer) = <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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adrenalynn

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Are you looking for a ground station setup to direct link with a low-power device on the lunar surface? At what kind of bandwidth?<br /><br />Shouldn't be all that hard unless you're needing a lot of bandwidth. I've done weak signal work bouncing off the moon. "EME" - Earth Moon Earth. Basically using the moon as a giant reflector. This is much harder than communicating with a device on the surface, since the moon isn't terribly reflective (5-10%). Up in the 1.2-1.3Ghz range, you're looking at a ~240dB round-trip loss. Even with that kind of massive loss it takes little more than a moderate dish (circular polarized), moderate amp, and a good preamp on the receive. 10++mhz/channel, somewhere near equivalent to 3G cell networks...<br /><br />If you're an experience RF tinkerer, building a ground station under $1000, including your radios, shouldn't be out of the question. There's a lot of good cell radio stuff that's guttable out there, and ham experimenter bands were, imho, create just for this (assuming we're not talking commercial traffic [yet]). <br /><br />[edit] Oh - now that I reread, it looks like you're thinking of building a communication network on the lunar surface itself? Hrm. Different kind of question. What are the constraints as to where the repeaters go? Mount Huygens is something like 18K ft (5500m). A repeater up there could get an awful lot of LoS (Line of Sight) coverage! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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h2ouniverse

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I am surprised that nobody has opened the pot to public's donations.<br />tens of thousands of space enthusiasts giving few hundreds dollars to increase the pot might double or triple the sum...
 
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j05h

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To much money in the pot might attract larger entities to compete, perhaps Raytheon or Boeing. I'm pretty sure part of the goal is to encourage university teams and other modest groups to compete in it.<br /><br />josh <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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keermalec

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Hi spacester, nice to read you again.<br /><br />I agree with most of your numbers except the lunar landing bit.<br /><br />Using the online calculator (surface to orbit transfer) I get 2.12 km/s for landing on the Moon. This equates with the Apollo lander which had fuel providing for 2.4 km/s (margin for hovering around if needed).<br /><br />The dv budget is composed as follows:<br />Cancelling orbital velocity: 1.65 km/s<br />Cancelling vertical velocity after dropping down to 16 km altitude: 0.32 km/s<br />Gravity loss after slowing down from 16 km altitude to 0 @ 0.34 Gs thrsut: 0.15 km/s<br />Total: 2.12 km/s <br /><br />Also, I believe the 0.44 km/s for circularizing the hohman transfer orbit is not needed as you can capture directly into lunar orbit at the end of the transfer.<br /><br />Therefore total dv to get from LEO to the lunar surface =<br />Injection into hohman transfer from 200km LEO: 3.13 km/s<br />Capture into lunar orbit: 0.83 km/s<br />Total LEO to LLO: 3.96 km/s<br /><br />Using a storable non-cryogenic bi-propellant such as N2O4/MMH (I suppose this simplifies the mission techically) and a low thrust of 0.2 Gs, the useful payload transported to LLO will be 16% of the mass at LEO.<br /><br />Using a similar engine for lunar landing but with a thrust of 0.34 Gs (twice lunar gravity), the useful payload landed will be 35% of that in LLO.<br /><br />Thus net landed payload on the Moon will be 16% x 35% = 5.6% of the mass launched to LEO.<br /><br />The Falcon 1e launcher can place about 712 kg in LEO (200 km x 200 km) for 8'500'000 USD, according the the SpaceX Payload Guide.<br /><br />That means 5.6% x 712 = 40 kg useful payload on the Moon.<br /><br />Using a liquid Oxygen / liquid Hydrogen engine with active coolling techniques (more high tech and not yet tested in space) would raise the useful payload on the Moon to <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>“An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” John F. Kennedy</em></p> </div>
 
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keermalec

Guest
I worked it out a bit further:<br /><br />The biggest cost issue, after launch cost, will be the cost of the landing engine.<br /><br />Using the R40-B engine (N2O4/MMH) as an example: its cost is 10'000'000 USD. Therefore the mission can only afford one of these. Therefore it must be used for the LEO - /> LLO transfer AS WELL as the lunar landing bit.<br /><br />The R40-B weighs 7.26 kg and has a thrust of 4000 N, therefore it can accelerate a 712 kg vehicle at 0.058 Gs initially.<br /><br />In order to reduce gravity losses it should accelerate in several phases, say 5 x 10 minutes at each periapsis of its orbit around the Earth. The orbit will become more and more elliptical at each acceleration, until its apoapsis reaches the Moon at 384'400 km. The whole operation should take about 7 days.<br /><br />Fuel could be divided into two different pairs of tanks:<br /><br />1 pair for Hohmann insertion<br />1 pair for lunar capture and landing<br /><br />This way, the first pair of tanks can be jettisoned after initial burn, thereby increasing the useful payload on the Moon.<br /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>“An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” John F. Kennedy</em></p> </div>
 
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keermalec

Guest
Assuming inital burn tanks are jettisoned, the mass break-down of the Mission could look like this:<br /><br />LEO to lunar capture<br /><br />Delta-v: 3.13 km/s + 0.05km/s (gravity loss, instead of 0.25 if accelerated in a single burn)<br />Initial vehicle mass: 712 kg<br />Engine thrust: 4'000 N<br />ISP: 309 seconds<br />= /> Final mass: 249 kg (from rocket equation)<br />= /> Fuel mass: 463 kg<br />= /> Tank mass: 23 kg<br />= /> Acceleration: 0.6 to 1.6 m/s<br />= /> Total burn time: 3'170 seconds (10 x 5 minutes)<br /><br />Lunar capture<br />Delta-v: 0.83 km/s + 0.00 km/s (gravity losses)<br />Initial vehicle mass: 226 kg<br />Engine thrust: 4'000 N<br />ISP: 309 seconds<br />= /> Final mass: 172 kg (from rocket equation)<br />= /> Fuel mass: 54 kg<br />= /> Tank mass: 3 kg (negligeable: no jettison)<br />= /> Acceleration: 1.8 to 2.3 m/s<br />= /> Burn time: 7 minutes<br /><br />Lunar landing<br />Delta-v: 2.18km/s + 10% contingency = 2.4 km/s (includes 0,15 km/s gravity loss)<br />Initial vehicle mass: 172 kg<br />Engine thrust: 4'000 N<br />ISP: 309 seconds<br />= /> Final mass: 78 kg (from rocket equation)<br />= /> Free fall to 22 km altitude<br />= /> Propulsive braking from 22 to 0 km<br />= /> Acceleration: 2.4 to 5.2 m/s<br />= /> Soft land after a 153 second burn<br /><br />Assuming 20 kg for structure, landing legs, avionics, RCS thrusters, and 8 kg for the engine and piping, the useful payload landed on the Moon can be about 50 kg.<br /><br />** COST **<br />8.5 million USD (-10%) = 7.65 million USD for launch<br />10 million USD for the single R40-B engine<br /><br />Leaves 2.35 million USD for development, testing, construction and operation... <br /><br /><br />------------XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX--------------------------------<br />------------X----------------------------------------------------------------X--------------------------------<br />------------X----------------------------------------------------------------X--------------------------------<</safety_wrapper> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>“An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” John F. Kennedy</em></p> </div>
 
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spacester

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NICE!<br /><br />Very very nice corrections. I accept them all. I alluded to some of them, but was hoping someone like you would take the ball and run with it. Touchdown!<br /><br />I think we can be assured that the profile you have shown here is the most accurate and complete on the web. All the for-real GLXP folks are keeping their cards close to the vest.<br /><br />I only recently started getting deeply into cis-lunar orbital mechanics. My focus for years has been Mars trajectories and the pursuit of NEOs. I was recently contacted by Robert X. Cringely about his GLXP effort and I'm going to be using some of your numbers, if you don't mind, in my report to him.<br /><br />Nice job, I'm going to be taking a closer look after this post. I almost forgot about this thread, ooops. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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keermalec

Guest
Many thanx spacester. My effort is very much reduced actually as I use the online calculator to get quick numbers.<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>I'm going to be using some of your numbers, if you don't mind<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />That goes without saying! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>“An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” John F. Kennedy</em></p> </div>
 
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solarspot

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Keermalec; Isn't the R40-B engine a bit big for this competition? You wrote that this would accelerate a 712kg vehicle at 0.058 G's, but to me that looks like it should be closer to 0.58 G's, or over 3 times the acceleration of gravity on the Moon... If the lander has a mass of 40kg, the R40-B would give an acceleration of over 9 G's (on Earth...). I'm fairly certain most landers in this size range could make due with engines around 100N thrust, not 4000.<br /><br /> I once went through the numbers for a 20kg lunar lander, and found it could easily land using 4-5 thrusters around 20-30N thrust each. I don't actually know how expensive these would be, but they are unlikely to cost much more than $200 000 each, or around $1m for the lander. Larger landers might need more thrust, but not a $10m engine. ISP would be an issue tho, and may require the lander to ride as a secondary payload on a launch to GTO, to reduce the Dv required of the lander. You might notice, I have basically just outlined my favorite architecture.
 
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keermalec

Guest
Hey Solarspot, you are right! I screwed up my Newtons and kg.<br /><br />The lander weighs 172 kg in lunar orbit, therefore required thrust should be minimum 172kg X 1.624 N/kg(lunar gravity) = 279N.<br /><br />A 400 N thruster would do just fine. The R40-B has a thrust of 4,000 N and so is oversized for this project. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>“An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” John F. Kennedy</em></p> </div>
 
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Swampcat

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<p><font color="#000000"><strong>New Teams Join Private Race to Moon</strong></font></p> <p><em>Two new teams have joined the robotic race to reach the moon and send pictures back to Earth in a bid to win $30 million in cash prizes.</em></p> <p><em>A Malaysian aerospace firm and students from the University of Central Florida make up the latest of 14 registered teams in the hunt for the Google Lunar X Prize offered by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based X Prize Foundation. The announcement this week occurred at the AGI User's Conference in Chicago, where the firm Analytical Graphics Inc. revealed that it will be offering services to teams as a Google Lunar X Prize preferred partner.</em></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="3" color="#ff9900"><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong><em>------------------------------------------------------------------- </em></strong></font></p><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong><em>"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government."</em></strong></font></p><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong>Thomas Jefferson</strong></font></p></font> </div>
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
Bump and refresh :

http://www.googlelunarxprize.org : About the Google Lunar X Prize
The Google Lunar X PRIZE is a $30 million international competition to safely land a robot on the surface of the Moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to the Earth. Teams must be at least 90% privately funded and must be registered to compete by December 31, 2010. The first team to land on the Moon and complete the mission objectives will be awarded $20 million; the full first prize is available until December 31, 2012. After that date, the first prize will drop to $15 million. The second team to do so will be awarded $5 million. Another $5 million will awarded in bonus prizes. The final deadline for winning the prize is December 31, 2014.
...


Wiki : Google Lunar X Prize
The Google Lunar X PRIZE, abbreviated GLXP, sometimes referred to as Moon 2.0,[2][3] is a space competition organized by the X Prize Foundation, and sponsored by Google. It was announced at the Wired Nextfest on 13 September 2007.[4] The challenge calls for privately-funded spaceflight teams to compete in successfully launching, landing, and then traveling across the surface of the Moon with a robot, while also sending back to Earth specified images and other data.
...

There are already a couple threads about teams on this forum :
ARCA progress

First private craft on the moon! (mostly about Part Time Scientists)

and bits and pieces all over the place.


Here comes the news :

http://www.nasa.gov : NASA Awards Contracts For Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data
Oct. 15, 2010

WASHINGTON -- NASA has awarded Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data (ILDD) contracts to six companies for the purchase of technical data resulting from industry efforts to develop vehicle capabilities and demonstrate end-to-end robotic lunar landing missions. The data from these contracts will inform the development of future human and robotic lander vehicles and exploration systems.

The ILDD Broad Agency Announcement resulted in multiple award firm-fixed price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts with a total value of up to $30.1 million over a period of up to five years. For each selected contractor, the minimum government purchase is $10,000, and the maximum government purchase is $10.01 million.

The contracts were awarded to:
Astrobotic Technology Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa.
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.
Dynetics Inc., Huntsville, Ala.
Earthrise Space Inc., Orlando, Fla.
Moon Express Inc., San Francisco
Team FREDNET, The Open Space Society, Inc., Huntsville, Ala.

The ILDD contracts provide for issuance of delivery orders that will specify data associated with system testing and integration, launch, in-space maneuvers, braking burns, lunar landing and other enhanced capabilities. Knowledge acquired from this data will be applied to the development of lander systems necessary to execute human and robotic missions to the moon, near-Earth asteroids or other solar system destinations. They will contribute to NASA's efforts to enable affordable and sustainable space exploration.

Awarded contracts will be managed by the Lunar Lander Project Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
www.googlelunarxprize.org : Astrobotic wins $10M NASA contract for lunar data
Fri, 10/15/2010 - 20:29 — Astrobotic

PITTSBURGH, PA – October 15, 2010 –Astrobotic Technology today was awarded a NASA contract worth up to $10 million for a robotic expedition to the Moon in April 2013.

Astrobotic revealed that the alliance for this pursuit includes Carnegie Mellon University, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Aerojet, Scaled Composites, International Rectifier, Harmonic Drive LLC and Caterpillar Inc.

The expedition has 220 pounds of payload capacity available for customers at universities, space agencies, and corporate sponsors. The mission also will pursue $24 million through Google’s Lunar X PRIZE and Florida’s $2 million launch prize.

The mission will explore the lunar surface near an Apollo site with a “social” robot able to Tweet and update its Facebook account as it chats with fans on Earth. The robot’s high-definition cameras will show the Moon in 3D as it is directed by amateur drivers over the Web and at science centers.

NASA awarded its contract under the Innovative Lunar Demonstration Data (ILDD) program. It will pay Astrobotic for data about how to land at a precise location, which hasn’t been done by previous Mars and Moon robots, as well as how to avoid last-minute obstacles like boulders and small craters unseen from orbit. The NASA contract also pays for information about how the Astrobotic robot survives the lunar night – two weeks of deep freeze as cold as liquid nitrogen.

Each accomplishment is worth $500,000 to $2.5 million. Astrobotic can collect up to $1.1 million with data delivered prior to launch, and the remainder after its spacecraft lands.

Astrobotic plans to send its spacecraft to a lunar trajectory via a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX, a “new space” company that won a $1.6 billion NASA assignment to bring cargo to the International Space Station.

Carnegie Mellon University backs the project with the experience of its Robotics Institute, where several prototype lunar robots have been developed and field tested. The University’s expertise includes winning the DARPA Urban Challenge with a Chevy Tahoe that autonomously drove through city traffic, planning its own path, avoiding obstacles and obeying the California traffic code. This sensing and software technology is being applied to a precision landing on the Moon.

“This private-sector Moon expedition combines small and large companies, and taps into the intellectual capital of the world’s leading computer science and robotics university,” said Dr. William “Red” Whittaker, founder of Astrobotic Technology and the Field Robotics Center at Carnegie Mellon. “Together we’ll create a lunar exploration mission at a breakthrough cost that enables public participation from around the world.”

“International Rectifier is pleased to provide engineering expertise and the hardware associated with power conversion and motor drive within the lunar rover. IR has extensive experience in radiation hardened, high reliability power electronics for space missions and looks forward with enthusiasm to participation in this exciting endeavor,” said Fred Farris, Vice President, HiRel Sales and Marketing for IR.

"Aerojet is excited to be a part of the Astrobotic team," said Carl Stechman, Aerojet lead propulsion engineer. "As someone who worked on the original Apollo propulsion for the lunar lander, I look forward to returning to the moon."

Astrobotic team member Scaled Composites LLC, which won the first X Prize competition with piloted flights to the edge of space, showed how prizes can spawn new industries: Sir Richard Branson turned its vehicle into the basis for his Virgin Galactic spaceline.

“Harmonic Drive LLC is thrilled to once again work with Red Whittaker and the talented team from CMU and the other Astrobotic alliance partners,” said Doug Olson, CEO of Harmonic Drive. “We have a long history with space flight applications and has manufactured thousands of Harmonic Drive™ gears for satellites, landers, and rovers. Harmonic Drive built the wheel drive gearing system used in the Apollo Lunar Rover Vehicles for the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 missions. We are excited for the opportunity to return to the moon again and take a drive with our alliance partners.”

“As a global company, Caterpillar has been supplying its cutting edge technology to customers around the world for years, and now to be part of a collaboration that is heading into space is simply amazing,” said Eric Reiners, manager of Automation Systems in Caterpillar’s Product Development & Global Technology Division. “The alliance will develop technologies that will ultimately benefit Cat customers as they face the demands of moving to more remote and harsh locations to provide the resources the world demands.”

A unique aspect of the expedition is the inclusion of interdisciplinary arts projects created by students and faculty based in the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon's College of Fine Arts.

“The many extraordinary artistic projects seek to embody the Earth to the Moon and in turn embody the Moon to the Earth in multidisciplinary interactions involving global audiences,” said Lowry Burgess, a professor who is coordinating this historic Moon Arts project.

About Astrobotic Technology:
A spin-out from Carnegie Mellon University, Astrobotic delivers payloads and collects data for space agencies, aerospace corporations and academic researchers. The first expedition in April 2013 will carry scientific instruments, engineering experiments and sample components that space agencies and companies want to test in the lunar environment. For corporate sponsors, it will deliver promotions that involve customers directly in the adventure of lunar exploration. Subsequent expeditions will prospect at the Moon’s poles for water and methane that can be transformed into propellant to refuel spacecraft for their return to Earth. Other expeditions will explore recently found “skylights” that pierce the lunar soil down to volcanic caves that offer shelter from the Moon’s temperature extremes, radiation and micrometeorites. Astrobotic also plans a robot able to outrun lunar sundown, always keeping its solar panels illuminated and avoiding the immobilizing cold of the long night. More information is available at: www.astrobotic.net.
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Links and more in the article.
 
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SteveCNC

Guest
Sounds like what you could do is use a small hybrid from SpaceDev . They can custom size a motor for almost any task and they would be far cheaper than 7million . I've personally made several different sized motors for them mostly R&D and then later a few satellite's for UC Berkeley .
 
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aaron38

Guest
There should be a bonus if the mission finds ice. I'd like to see encouragement to target the areas where radar says it should be. We need to determine the location for a base best able to use it. Not having to ship water or LH2 is the name of the game.
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
They recently had a summit on the Isle of Man :

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoEqDkFehiU[/youtube]
GoogleLunarXPRIZE | October 21, 2010

Representatives of the Google Lunar X PRIZE teams, the X PRIZE Foundation, Google, and the Isle of Man met on October 4-5, 2010 for the 4th annual Google Lunar X PRIZE Team Summit located in Douglas, Isle of Man (United Kingdom). Teams presented technical updates, participated in educational events, and discussed the competition.

News links from The glxp-teams Daily :

http://www.prnewswire.com : NASA Awards Contract to Team FREDNET, Google Lunar X PRIZE Contender

http://www.googlelunarxprize.org : The Barcelona Moon Team at the International Astronautical Congress in Prague

...



Very nice collection of links and reading suggestions :
http://www.googlelunarxprize.org : Lunar Bibliography and Resource Guide
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
www.spaceref.com : Google Lunar X PRIZE Update
By William Pomerantz

Posted Monday, October 25, 2010

The past few weeks have been a flurry of activity for the Google Lunar X PRIZE. After helping our colleagues celebrate the awarding of the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE, we hit the road to attend the 61st International Astronautical Congress in Prague, and then to host the 4th annual Google Lunar X PRIZE Team Summit on the Isle of Man. With all of the recent activity, and with the competition just having celebrated its third "birthday," now seems like a good time for an update.
...
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
http://www.moonexpress.com : Moon Express Enters the $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE Competition Featured
Last modified on Tuesday, 26 October 2010 15:22

Written by Daven Maharaj

San Francisco, CA (October 26, 2010) – Today, Moon Express Inc, a privately funded lunar transportation and data services company, announced its official entry into the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a $30 million competition that challenges space professionals and engineers from across the globe to build and launch to the Moon a privately funded spacecraft capable of completing a series of exploration and transmission tasks. Team MoonEx, headquartered in San Francisco, CA, is among 24 teams from a dozen countries that are competing for their share of the $30 million prize purse.

Moon Express is also among six U.S. companies award a contract by NASA, the US civil space agency, as part of its $30M Innovative Lunar Demonstration Data (ILDD) program. The ILDD contract is for the purchase of technical data resulting from industry efforts to develop vehicle capabilities and demonstrate end-to-end robotic lunar landing missions. The data from these contracts will inform NASA in the development of future human and robotic lander vehicles and exploration systems.

"The Google Lunar X PRIZE and NASA's Innovative Lunar Demonstration Data program are very exciting competitions that represent the knee in the curve of opportunity for the commercial lunar industry," said Moon Express Team Leader, Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards.

“We are very excited to have Moon Express as one of our Google Lunar X PRIZE teams,” remarked William Pomerantz, Senior Director for Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation. “With NASA already signed on as a customer, Moon Express enters the competition on great footing, and promises to be an extremely strong competitor.”
...
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
www.googlelunarxprize.org : Dynetics, Company Leader of the Rocket City Space Pioneers, Announces Plans for New High-Tech Facility
Fri, 11/05/2010 - 13:42 — Tom Baumbach

Last week, Dynetics announced the start of our new $50M prototyping facility here in Huntsville, Ala. At 225,000 square feet, it will provide a place to assemble, integrate and test our entry into the GLXP competition. We’ve set aside lab space for assembling satellites of many sorts, complete with an overhead crane and a large clean room for integration. We have a separate lab for vacuum/thermal tests. The facility will also expand our current capability to fabricate micro-electronics such as those we do for our modular telemetry system.

Also last week, we had a Rocket City Space Pioneers Team meeting to map out our strategy for everything from educational outreach and sponsorship activities to the schedule for our SCR with NASA coming up soon. Team Leader Tim Pickens led the meeting.

The day after the meeting we had a successful high pressure firing of the warm gas lunar lander we’ve fabricated. It is headed toward a full system test under the direction of teammate Teledyne Brown Engineering in a NASA test facility by February 2011. We’ll post some video of the most recent test very soon.

http://www.rocketcityspacepioneers.com/
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIxdhXF_uAQ[/youtube]
GoogleLunarXPRIZE | November 12, 2010

Potential Google Lunar X PRIZE teams must register for the competition by the end of the day on Dec. 31, 2010. Will Pomerantz, Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation, briefly answers some frequently asked questions about registration for the competition.

Please visit http://www.googlelunarxprize.org for more information and to download registration materials.
 
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