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Google Lunar X Prize
Phil Stooke
post Oct 23 2010, 06:50 PM
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One other thing I could have added... I always regarded Odyssey moon as a leading contender, but they have not updated their website for over a year. Recently their leader, Bob Richards, quit, and resurfaced in a 'new' team, Moon Express, which has evolved out of another team. Moon Express is one of the winners of the recent NASA data purchase competition.

Richard Speck, leader of Micro-Space, has just died, casting doubt on the future of that team.

Phil


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Phil Stooke
post Feb 6 2017, 03:47 PM
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Resurrecting a long-dormant thread... as things are finally moving towards success (or failure). I have supported the basic concept of private missions to the Moon for quiite a while now, but it has been very slow going, and as expected the greatest difficulties arose from raising money and mastering technology.

I think GLXP started out naively assuming that a few techies working in a garage somewhere could design a moon lander using off-the-shelf materials and fly cheaply to the Moon. Well, off the shelf doesn't cut it, and the cheap launches expected at the time faded away (Falcon 1) or didn't materialise. The new entrants in that field are untested, though I think Rocket Lab have a shot.

So where are we now? Five teams reached the mandatory launch agreements before the end of 2016 and can proceed. They are SpaceIL, Indus, Hakuto, Moon Express and Synergy Moon. Hakuto flies with Team Indus, not on its own. Long-time favourite Astrobotic is delaying until 2019 and so not in the GLXP competition any more. PTScientists made a booking with a ride-share broker (to fly as a secondary payload on another launch) but as the broker did not have a slot in place soon enough they lost out, but may still fly later.

There is a nice abstract at LPSC this year:

http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2017/pdf/1914.pdf

about SpaceIL's landing site planning. Quite well planned, I must say. Three candidates so far, all at magnetic anomalies. The other teams have not published much about site selection, though Synergy Moon had a past study on the Apollo 17 site: http://www.synergymoon.com/ELSa.pdf

Moon Express has hinted at landing near Surveyor 7, and certainly in the southern mid-latitudes. Team Indus has a site in Oceanus Procellarum: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1410.3266.pdf .

PTScientists have suggested landing near Apollo 17 and examining its roving vehicle. And Astrobotic has a site in Lacus Mortis near a 'skylight' pit.


Here's a map of currently suggested sites:

Attached Image


Phil


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nprev
post Feb 7 2017, 12:24 AM
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Interesting re SpaceIL's site selection strategy. They looking for large iron-nickel meteorites?


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mcaplinger
post Feb 7 2017, 01:45 AM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Feb 6 2017, 04:24 PM) *
They looking for large iron-nickel meteorites?

Maybe buried black monoliths. wink.gif


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Disclaimer: This post is based on public information only. Any opinions are my own.
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Phil Stooke
post Feb 7 2017, 01:53 AM
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Good one! Mike, you were always much more sceptical than I was about the ultimate success of GLXP. I'd say you have been 90% correct so far. I'm just hoping I can still get my 10%. If nothing else, it makes a good story in a certain forthcoming book.

Phil


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