Monday, April 28, 2008

The Moon on a Shoestring

Hometown Annapolis has an article on local space entrepreneur Liam Sarsfield of Google Lunar X PRIZE team Quantum3. Here are a couple of excerpts:

Mr. Sarsfield's work for the Rand Corp. entitled, "The Cosmos on a Shoestring," is widely considered the primer on smaller scale space exploration.

Mr. Sarsfield and his two prime partners, Paul Carliner and Courtney Stadd, both veterans of the U.S. space program, said putting a much smaller craft on the surface is easier to do than the larger craft in the Apollo program, and they don't have to bring anyone home.

The 30-person American team hopes to take home the prize with a launch some time next year.

Their ambitions go beyond the prize:

In addition to rising to the challenge of the Google Lunar X PRIZE, Quantum 3 is developing plans to move well beyond the prize mission. He said the goal is to be able to continue missions that are reliable.

"We will be able to do this quickly, effectively and repeatedly," he said. "We have a mission planned to land on Mars. We also are aiming to land a craft on an asteroid."

They want to get the public involved, with a mission control glassed in a public area, and with a lot of types of student participation.