Saturday, May 24, 2008

Mixing Together Some Lunar Prizes

Here are some quick updates related to 3 lunar prizes:

Heading for the Moon - The Google Lunar Xprize - Mark Posen from RPC Telecommunications announces that RPC Telecommunications has joined up with "InterPlanetary Ventures", a multinational team being formed to enter the Lunar Xprize challenge. Personally, I'm taking on the task of looking after the regulatory and licencing aspects for the IPV team, and will also work with the communications team in designing the Earth-moon communications links.

Interplanetary Ventures hasn't officially registered, but they haven't kept their intentions secret.

Some serious thinking at the Southern California Selene Group - SCSG on GLXP Teams site (link and comments from RLV News) - they are having doubts about launch costs rising, getting a sponsor, and the manned spaceflight vision of the X PRIZE Foundation. On the last point, I'd say what's important is what the team wants to accomplish, not the XPF's spaceflight vision. If they're interested in making robotic missions to moons more feasible (a goal I'm quite sympathetic to, being mainly interested in robotic missions myself unless/until human spaceflight gets a major enabling overhaul such as what XPF hopes for), they should make sure that's what their effort does.

N.C. team shoots for moon in $30M contest - - an article about the new local GLXP team STELLAR

FLOOD! - This was on April 25, but I missed it then, and I don't know how it turned out. It affects unofficial Regolith Challenge team ACME Robotics.

May 2008 Update - Masten Space Systems (Jon Goff) - link from RLV News - This is a major MSS update that covers all sorts of hardware and software work, pictures, design changes, interactions with other LLC teams Paragon and Armadillo, revamping workspaces, igniter sales from Space Access, other potential MSS products and services, team members leaving and new ones arriving, internships available, and business we may hear about later. They're not sure if they'll be able to go for the Lunar Lander Challenge this year.