Monday, September 29, 2008

Google Lunar X PRIZE and Falcon

Next for SpaceX: Falcon 9, NASA, Humans and the Moon? Wired (Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides) - This article covers a lot of interesting ground including subjects like the DragonLab. Here's some of the part most pertinent to space prizes:

For those who are looking for a low-cost way to get beyond low Earth orbit, SpaceX will be rolling out the Falcon 1e, a special version of the Falcon 1 they are building with the $20-million Google Lunar X Prize in mind. The $7.9 million Falcon 1 can launch 420 kg to low Earth orbit which is not enough to get a spacecraft to the moon. The Falcon 1e, however, will be able to lift 1010 kg and will still only cost $9.1 million (a Falcon 9 lunar launch would cost $46.75 million — more than the prize itself). SpaceX expects to roll out the Falcon 1e by 2010, well before the prize expires on December 31, 2012.