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Google backs private Moon landing, Google is offering a $30m prize pot to private firms that land a
ugordan
post Sep 15 2007, 02:26 PM
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My thoughts exactly there, Doug. It's pointless to even try to prove something to those guys, it's best to just let them go.


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nprev
post Sep 16 2007, 01:12 AM
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Believe it or not, I used to work with a contractor--a satcom guy!-- that subscribed to this, er, [insert polite term for what I'm thinking]. He believed in satellites, of course, but maintained that the logistics of getting to the Moon were patently impossible.

Another guy I knew a few years ago was an absolutely brilliant electronics technician who maintained, with utter solemnity, that Apollo proved that the Earth-Moon system was only 6000 years old because 'NASA's computers crashed every time they tried to reconstruct orbits' farther back than then.

What's scary is that both of these men are extraordinarily good at what they do, and work in technically demanding fields. I took it as a lesson in the dangers of insufficient imagination combined with unrestrained credulity towards negative arguments. Keep on educating, UMSFers...


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climber
post Sep 17 2007, 05:18 PM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Sep 14 2007, 07:08 PM) *
But for the whole scene, overall, I think that Tranquility Base ought to remain untouched and "unsullied" for now. I'd have no problems with rovers visiting any of the other five Apollo landing sites -- they're historical, but not so much as that first one. A few more rover tracks wouldn't damage anything at, say, Hadley or Taurus-Littrow. Or even at Fra Mauro.
In fact, I think Fra Mauro would be a great place for an unmanned rover. Work it right and we might *finally* get to look into Cone Crater. I think it would be appropriate to allow Ed Mitchell to drive a rover right up to Cone's rim and be the first to look inside... or maybe, if Ed can't do it, let Jim Lovell and Fred Haise do it!
-the other Doug

I like these ideas O Doug, lot of souvenirs....

I like also Nprev's : Heck, I vote for Apollo 12; it's a two-fer, along with Surveyor 3!

but because Apollo 12 is the only site where we didn't get LIVE TV transmissions wink.gif


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tuvas
post Sep 20 2007, 03:30 AM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 15 2007, 07:03 AM) *
You underestimate the level of creativity of those guys. They'd claim that either the hardware had been deposited, unmanned, more recently - or that the visiting spacecraft was simply part of the conspiracy itself.


Okay, it wouldn't convince the diehards, but it would convince just about anyone else... I mean, if you can see the footprints, can see the leftover lander equipment, from a totally private enterprise, well, that's quite a feat to deny...
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Stu
post Sep 20 2007, 04:13 PM
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This week's "Carnival of Space" has some interesting blog entries about the Lunar X-Prize... wink.gif


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Del Palmer
post Sep 28 2007, 11:26 AM
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Looks like the cringemaster wants a piece of the action:

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pu...927_003043.html

Team UMSF.com? wink.gif


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djellison
post Sep 28 2007, 11:40 AM
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Nahh - we're doing balloons smile.gif

Doug
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Jim from NSF.com
post Sep 28 2007, 12:35 PM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Sep 14 2007, 01:23 PM) *
Yeah; I was wondering about opportune piggybacks as well. Also, how many commercial GEO launches are using kick motors (Star-48s, etc.) these days to get there from LEO? Most of the gov ones I know use Hall Effect xenon thrusters, which takes a lot of time & obviously does not impart much dV per sec.


Hall Effect xenon thrusters are only used for station keeping and not perigee raising. Kick motors for GTO only exist on Delta II's. Atlas, Delta IV, Proton and Ariane have all liquid upperstages. The last commercial Delta II GTO mission was in 1998.
Perigee kick motors have been long gone, liquid systems are used since they are:
1. more efficient
2. left over prop can be used for station keeping
3. more flexible
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cndwrld
post Oct 1 2007, 11:44 AM
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I was at the International Aeronautical Congress conference last week, in India. The X-Prize people did a large presentation there about the prize. They had a Google rep there, too, but the presentation was done by a guy from Ansari X. Most of what was said is on the web site, so I won't repeat it. And I didn't take much in the way of notes, so this is from memory.

I asked if an employee of a large, ponderous, out-of-date giant aerospace organization could volunteer time to the competitors. They said yes, most definitely. You'd just have to document somehow that you worked and didn't get paid in any way.

By last week when I talked to them (Thu, 27 Sept), they had receieved seven team registrations and expected more soon.

It costs $1000 to register your team. And as for the launch costs, they had an official launch 'partner' who would offer discounted launches to the teams that wanted them. I think it was Space-X, and the discount was about 10% off, as I recall.

There was also a group who was offering the use of their ground station for free to all the teams. Located in California, I think. Don't recall the name.

And they seconded the idea expressed earlier in this thread about the money covering the costs. There is no intention that the prize money finance the whole cost. It is indeed meant as an incentive to the winning team. The intention is that the winner (of this or any of their prizes) immediately becomes the leader in their field and can leverage the prize money and prize notoriety into a viable business which provides real returns.


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Moon Saloon
post Dec 3 2007, 04:03 AM
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QUOTE (cndwrld @ Oct 1 2007, 03:44 AM) *
It costs $1000 to register your team.


The registration cost is $10,000 if submitted before the end of 2008. The letter of intent requires a $1000 deposit, towards the
registration fee.

First team to complete registration is "Odyssey Moon":
History Making Moon Mission To Be Unveiled December 6th

San Jose, CA - The first team to complete registration for the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE will unveil its plans on December 6th at the Space Investment Summit in San Jose, California. Representatives of Odyssey Moon will announce their plans to make history with the first private robotic mission to the surface of the Moon and their intent to win the Google Lunar X PRIZE. Odyssey Moon's inaugural mission will involve a unique small robotic lander designed to deliver scientific, exploration and commercial payloads to the surface of the Moon.

There website is given as http://www.odysseymoon.com but
I'm having problems connecting to it at the moment.

The domain contact for odysseymoon.com is given as:

Technical Contact:
Domain Discreet
ATTN: odysseymoon.com
P.O. Box 278
Yarmouth, NS B5A 4B2
Canada
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nprev
post Dec 4 2007, 03:59 AM
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QUOTE (Jim from NSF.com @ Sep 28 2007, 04:35 AM) *
Hall Effect xenon thrusters are only used for station keeping and not perigee raising.


Advanced EHF SVs are actually going to use their HETs for perigee raising, and station keeping thereafter...105 days of continuous thrust to reach GEO from LEO. (Yeah, I know what you're thinking; I was initially incredulous as well. Trade-off seems to be that a bit more vehicle mass budget outweighs time to get there, given that modern spacecraft have pretty long lifetimes.)


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