Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cringely Lunar X PRIZE Team?

Bob Cringely from PBS is working on setting up a Lunar X PRIZE Team ... I think. I thought he was just having some fun with an earlier article on setting up the team, but now it sounds like he's really getting into it. For example:

So far we have raised $500,000, with the biggest single investment being $100,000 from a guy whose motivation is to share an adventure with his nine-year-old son. It's a lot of money, sure, but this is money that will never be regretted by those who invested it because it isn't enough to have any impact on their lives -- that is unless we win the prize. It's true mad money. One Team Cringely investor is also bankrolling the iPhone Dev Team hackers group simply to pull Steve Jobs' chain.

... and ...

So Team Cringely now has a Program Manager, a role I gladly hand over so I can go back to evangelizing and raising money. Our Program Manager is Tomas Svitek, who has a PhD from Caltech, was a systems engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the NASA Mars Scout, Mars Surveyor, Mars Sample Return and various Discovery Missions. He was the Principal Scientist for Orbital Sciences Corp., Project Leader for the BlastOff Lunar Lander project and AeroAstro's miniature spacecraft project. He has managed and completed projects for NASA, the U.S. Air Force Research Lab, Microcosm Inc., and SpaceX Corp.. He was lead engineer for Jeff Bezos' Blue Origins crew capsule and has long run his own space consulting company in California.

There's more on the effort in a post on a Google clean energy (wind power via big kites) investment that also covers Cringely interest in a MiG-23 air launcher. There's even more here, here (at the bottom of the article), and the original announcement. Here's part of their web site that's being built with some details on their design.