Author Topic: Moon Express MX-1  (Read 50122 times)

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8184
  • Australia
  • Liked: 2952
  • Likes Given: 709
Moon Express MX-1
« on: 12/05/2013 10:40 PM »
About the size of a large coffee table, the MX-1 is a completely self-contained single stage spacecraft that can reach the surface of the Moon from a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) commonly used to place communications satellites above the Earth. It is also designed to be a flexible spacecraft platform that can support a number of applications including serving as a flexible, agile upper stage for existing launch systems enabling Earth orbit cubesat deployment, satellite servicing, and "space tug" applications such as cleaning up space debris.

Full press release: http://moonexpress.com/#news
Mirror: http://spaceref.biz/2013/12/moon-express-unveils-breakthrough-mx-1-commercial-lunar-lander.html

--

It uses HTP/RP-1 and is being built by Tim Pickens in Huntsville, Alabama.


« Last Edit: 12/05/2013 10:41 PM by QuantumG »
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8184
  • Australia
  • Liked: 2952
  • Likes Given: 709
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #1 on: 12/05/2013 10:43 PM »
Another pretty rendering.

I'd love to see some real hardware.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #2 on: 12/06/2013 01:53 AM »
The real question is how much payload can it deliver?
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #3 on: 12/06/2013 03:06 AM »
Okay .. an iPhone of space ? Seriously ?

We already have a GLXP update thread, too
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8184
  • Australia
  • Liked: 2952
  • Likes Given: 709
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #4 on: 12/06/2013 03:07 AM »
Okay .. an iPhone of space ? Seriously ?

We already have a GLXP update thread, too

It's not just for GLXP.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline sdsds

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5478
  • "With peace and hope for all mankind."
  • Seattle
  • Liked: 577
  • Likes Given: 677
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #5 on: 12/06/2013 03:09 AM »
I'd love to see some real hardware.

How about some real mock-up hardware?
NBC News has a photo of Bob Richards on stage with some:
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/moon-express-unveils-its-commercial-lunar-lander-design-2D11702824
-- sdsds --

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8184
  • Australia
  • Liked: 2952
  • Likes Given: 709
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #6 on: 12/06/2013 03:13 AM »
The real question is how much payload can it deliver?

Not much.

The lander will be capable of delivering 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of payload to the lunar surface.

From sdsds's link.


Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline mr. mark

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1994
  • Liked: 169
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #7 on: 12/06/2013 02:48 PM »
I've been looking at the design. They seem to be using the fuel tanks as part of the structural support. I've heard during landing that the tanks could absorb part of the shock. What's to prevent a rupture and fuel contamination at the landing site.

Offline simonbp

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #8 on: 12/06/2013 03:33 PM »
The real question is how much payload can it deliver?

Not much.

The lander will be capable of delivering 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of payload to the lunar surface.

From sdsds's link.

For a GTO rideshare, that's pretty good.

I've been looking at the design. They seem to be using the fuel tanks as part of the structural support. I've heard during landing that the tanks could absorb part of the shock. What's to prevent a rupture and fuel contamination at the landing site.

The fact that there isn't any fuel left? And it's in a vacuum, so any volatiles (like kerosene and H2O2) will vaporize  and dissipate?
« Last Edit: 12/06/2013 03:35 PM by simonbp »

Online oiorionsbelt

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1191
  • Liked: 384
  • Likes Given: 948
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #9 on: 12/06/2013 07:49 PM »
From sdsds's link
"We really have tried to create a multifaceted, flexible and scalable spacecraft that can be utilized by other people...."
 How big could this realistically be scaled?

Offline jongoff

  • Recovering Rocket Plumber/Space Entrepreneur
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6037
  • Lafayette/Broomfield, CO
  • Liked: 2015
  • Likes Given: 689
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #10 on: 12/07/2013 12:25 AM »
The real question is how much payload can it deliver?

Not much.

The lander will be capable of delivering 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of payload to the lunar surface.

From sdsds's link.

For a GTO rideshare, that's pretty good.

I've been looking at the design. They seem to be using the fuel tanks as part of the structural support. I've heard during landing that the tanks could absorb part of the shock. What's to prevent a rupture and fuel contamination at the landing site.

The fact that there isn't any fuel left? And it's in a vacuum, so any volatiles (like kerosene and H2O2) will vaporize  and dissipate?

It's also something you can test pretty thoroughly on the ground I would think.

~Jon

Offline Blackstar

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10939
  • Liked: 2424
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #11 on: 12/07/2013 03:14 AM »

Online dkovacic

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 191
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #12 on: 12/09/2013 04:56 PM »
For me, MX-1 is one of the most exciting developments recently (I would dare to say, comparable to F9R):

1. They designed a lander that can easily be put as a secondary payload on most GTO flights - which means there is a potential "launch window" once per month.

2. They use my favorite propulsion combination - HTP/RP-1:) This is high performance, high density, almost hypergolic, no-boiloff, easy to keep in the liquid state, long-term storable combination.

3. Since the lander is secondary payload, launch costs per flight should be in the ballpark od 20 million USD

4. Lander can be used as a general in-space propulsion engine. Besides main propulsion, it will probably have its own RCS, solar panels, GNC and communications. Customers just need to add their payload (instruments) onboard.

5. Combination of low launch costs AND frequent launches AND other deep-space missions (that dont involve landing on the moon itself) means that they could "mass-produce" the lander (for example, to be used as EDS for small payloads) in series larger than 10 per year.

Now, some obvious questions:

1. They did not publish pricing, but since they are in GLXP competition, that should not be too excessive. I would estimate it in 10-20 million. With larger production series, I would expect lower prices.

2. We know that they use HTP, but not the concentration (I would assume 85%, since it allows usage of silver catalysts).

3. In the news I read that HTP is used as the main fuel, and that RP-1 is used as an "afterburner". To me is seems like a typical H2O2/HC combustion cycle, where H2O2 is first decomposed using a catalyst, and then hot O2 gas reacts with hydrocarbon of choice (RP-1 in this case). Is this correct?

4. Now, delta-v. From GTO to the Moon we need 3.2km/s dV (based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-v_budget).

5. What ISP are we talking about? Since they published total mass of 600kg, fuel/oxidizer mass 450kg, payload mass of 60kg that gives ISP around 280s. That is feasible with pressure-fed design with just a few bars of pressure and rather small expansion ratio.

This lander could really enable a lot of small scale missions to the moon, unlike anything that was tried before.

Offline Garrett

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1106
  • France
  • Liked: 104
  • Likes Given: 74
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #13 on: 12/09/2013 05:59 PM »
I'd love to see some real hardware.

How about some real mock-up hardware?
NBC News has a photo of Bob Richards on stage with some:
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/moon-express-unveils-its-commercial-lunar-lander-design-2D11702824
And here's another one of the team in front of the mock-up:
(posted on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Moon_Ex/status/408989189493899264)
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Offline Garrett

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1106
  • France
  • Liked: 104
  • Likes Given: 74
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #14 on: 12/09/2013 06:02 PM »
I'd love to know if they've gone through a Critical Design Review (or equivalent). Then any new hardware will be flight hardware.
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #15 on: 12/09/2013 06:48 PM »
Much more interesting would be actually passing the radiation, ESD, vibration and thermal cycling tests - with flight electronics and other components. Good luck
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Garrett

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1106
  • France
  • Liked: 104
  • Likes Given: 74
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #16 on: 12/09/2013 07:07 PM »
here is their reply to me on Twitter:
Quote
Moon Express Inc @Moon_Ex | 7:44 PM GMT - 9 Dec 13
@ga2re2t Thanks Garrett, we're in the hardware build & test phase of the MX-1, on track for a 2015 launch.
https://twitter.com/Moon_Ex/status/410132856158306305
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Online dkovacic

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 191
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #17 on: 12/10/2013 05:50 PM »
Much more interesting would be actually passing the radiation, ESD, vibration and thermal cycling tests - with flight electronics and other components. Good luck
Well, their CEO was involved in Phoenix lander program. And their senior technical staff has pretty relevant experience in that regard. So maybe they deserve a little credit.

Offline simonbp

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #18 on: 12/12/2013 02:46 PM »
Yeah, their personnel looks fine. My larger concern would be making sure the design actually closes with their advertised payload. The vehicle has to produce a heck of a lot of delta v, and any little weight gain from structures or subsystems could kill them.

Still, I wish them the best of luck, as this would be a really nice capability to have; a bunch of them spread out with seismometers would provide pretty good statistics for the small end of the NEO population, while also giving a much better idea about the Moon's interior structure.

Online dkovacic

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 191
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #19 on: 12/17/2013 02:15 PM »
The same concern applies to most deep space missions. They are not designing anything that has not been achieved before. So they have 50 years of experience on which they can build upon. I am admiring how they chose a "sweet-spot" for a lander that really enables, for the first time, a production economy of scale AND high launch frequency. Dragon has the same promise, but requires an order of magnitude more mass and money. So this lander enables moon landing missions with a budget of less than 100 million USD.

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #20 on: 12/17/2013 04:35 PM »
Much more interesting would be actually passing the radiation, ESD, vibration and thermal cycling tests - with flight electronics and other components. Good luck
Well, their CEO was involved in Phoenix lander program. And their senior technical staff has pretty relevant experience in that regard. So maybe they deserve a little credit.

I said - good luck, and i never questioned anyones credentials on the team. If they actually get into a flight hardware config, i'll be really impressed. Considering that they are camping at Moffett field here and have a close support of Ames, i think its likely they will get there eventually.
But as always, it will take more time and money than anyone in the team thinks.

Your "less than $100 million" is a nice goalpost but also completely unsubstantiated, i think.

My issue with them is their press releases - the hyperbole and self promotion is at obnoxious levels.

A tweet :
"Mini-trailer to our "Behind the Scenes" MX-1 unveiling video under production: <link snipped> " - with a million attached hashtags.
Really ? A mini-trailer to the trailer of unveiling of an engineering mockup ?

« Last Edit: 12/17/2013 04:35 PM by savuporo »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8184
  • Australia
  • Liked: 2952
  • Likes Given: 709
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #21 on: 12/17/2013 05:33 PM »
A tweet :
"Mini-trailer to our "Behind the Scenes" MX-1 unveiling video under production: <link snipped> " - with a million attached hashtags.
Really ? A mini-trailer to the trailer of unveiling of an engineering mockup ?

Yep, which is great because they actually bothered to interview all the incredible people that they invited to the unveiling.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Warren Platts

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #22 on: 12/17/2013 08:57 PM »
Do you all think the lander could be scaled up to land the RPM rover in a polar location?
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #23 on: 12/17/2013 09:38 PM »
Spudis talks about a bigger version here specifically for RESOLVE

http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/leag2013/presentations/spudis_moonexpress.pdf

But its a LOT bigger.

EDIT: Note in this presentation
http://www.kiss.caltech.edu/workshops/lunar-ice2013/presentations/alkalai.pdf

Page 17 is a summary of "NASA Lunar landers under development". RPM would more likely be on one of these.

( As a side note, Lunette is a particularly bad name for a mission concept )
« Last Edit: 12/17/2013 09:46 PM by savuporo »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #24 on: 12/18/2013 04:13 AM »
Not very clear but seems like the MX-1 is capable of a few short flight/hops which would allow it to sample a few areas. Would be ideal for verifying if any the polar craters contain water.

Online dkovacic

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 191
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #25 on: 12/18/2013 10:26 AM »
Not very clear but seems like the MX-1 is capable of a few short flight/hops which would allow it to sample a few areas. Would be ideal for verifying if any the polar craters contain water.
Not likely. They claim that empty tanks would be used as shock absorbers instead of legs. So it very likely that the engine and the tanks will be damaged during the actual landing.

Online dkovacic

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 191
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #26 on: 12/18/2013 11:56 AM »
I said - good luck, and i never questioned anyones credentials on the team. If they actually get into a flight hardware config, i'll be really impressed. Considering that they are camping at Moffett field here and have a close support of Ames, i think its likely they will get there eventually.
But as always, it will take more time and money than anyone in the team thinks.

Your "less than $100 million" is a nice goalpost but also completely unsubstantiated, i think.
This was my ballpark estimate. But the presentation that you included in the follow-up post puts minimum sized mission to $75 million (launch included). Larger payloads with dedicated LV are sized up to $175 mil.
Compare this to LRO (505 mil), LCROSS (79mil), LADEE (263), GRAIL (496). Or even better, compare it to the lander missions: Curiosity (2.3 billion), Spirit/Opportunity (820) or most appropriate - Pathfinder (280 mil). Note that these costs also do not include the launch vehicle. Of course, these missions have widely different requirements and capabilities, but still we are talking about order of magnitude change.

MX-1 enables missions closest to Pathfinder/Sojourner, but on the Moon. Note that the rover development itself cost around 10 million. Everything else: lander, communication orbiter, mission control, deep space network etc added up.


My issue with them is their press releases - the hyperbole and self promotion is at obnoxious levels.

A tweet :
"Mini-trailer to our "Behind the Scenes" MX-1 unveiling video under production: <link snipped> " - with a million attached hashtags.
Really ? A mini-trailer to the trailer of unveiling of an engineering mockup ?
The same logic you can apply to SpaceX or Virgin Galactic or Planetary Resources. They are start-ups that need to fight for their business with as much publicity and marketing as they can. Of course they make big and sometimes unsubstantiated claims. Unfortunately, that often goes hand to hand with a disruption of established business players.
« Last Edit: 01/04/2014 07:57 PM by dkovacic »

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #27 on: 12/14/2014 04:32 PM »
A test article went through hot fire tests at Kennedy a short while ago. Kudos to the team.
Best pictures here : http://www.scoopnest.com/user/Bob_Richards/541726095431958530

Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline obi-wan

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 261
  • Liked: 579
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #28 on: 12/14/2014 07:05 PM »
They're not too forthcoming with numbers, but some BOE calculations show that if they can bring their inert mass in at 40 kg, they could achieve a gross mass of 300 kg, which would let them fly on a proposed growth version of an ESPA ring. (The current ESPA payload limit is 180 kg, way too small for a 60 kg landed lunar payload.)

Having been down the secondary payload road myself a few times, the real problem is getting a ride. You have to find a primary payload which is willing to accept you on their flight. This typically means they want a vanishly small chance that you could do anything to screw up their delivery mission. This generally means no pressurized gases, no chemical energy (i.e., propellants), and if you're lucky only three interlocks to prevent you from powering up before the primary payload is long gone. (Some rides demand you launch with depleted batteries and recharge passively post-separation.) Your typical GTO primary is a communications satellite company with ~$200M+ in the bird and looking at ~50M+/month from transponder revenues - they are not likely to say,"Sure!" when you ask to put 200 kg of rocket propellants (liquids, with unmodeled slosh modes for the LV coupled loads analyses) Onboard and tag along. You're adding a significant increase in the chance of losing their bird, and they're not going to accept that. Moon Express' best chance is to find another similar (almost certainly NASA-funded) payload heading to the moon and tag along, like LCROSS. (Although, for Discovery-class missions led by the PI, I have trouble imagining any of them would accept this as a secondary, either...)

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #29 on: 12/14/2014 07:25 PM »
Having been down the secondary payload road myself a few times, the real problem is getting a ride. You have to find a primary payload which is willing to accept you on their flight...
First, there are secondary payload restrictions and requirements, but actually finding a GTO bound launch with the correct timing and trajectory to get to TLI is a difficult excercise in itself. I just recently read this, which looks at this in perspective of Ariane 5 GTO launches mostly:

https://upcommons.upc.edu/pfc/bitstream/2099.1/9666/1/memoria.pdf
Quote
Manoeuvres before lunar injection greatly depend on the Keplerian elements of the
initial orbit.
The launching inclination should ideally be within the moon inclination interval. If it is
the case, a transfer is almost manoeuvre-free, or has a small mid-course manoeuvre,
if the spacecraft is launched with optimal conditions of:
• argument of perigee and right ascension of ascending node, for GTO transfers
• right ascension of ascending node only for LEO transfers
Some rare GTO Ariane 5 launches provides such conditions.
None-optimal conditions would require expensive manoeuvring which may double
the trajectory total Δv cost.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Online MP99

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #30 on: 12/14/2014 08:19 PM »
They're not too forthcoming with numbers, but some BOE calculations show that if they can bring their inert mass in at 40 kg, they could achieve a gross mass of 300 kg, which would let them fly on a proposed growth version of an ESPA ring. (The current ESPA payload limit is 180 kg, way too small for a 60 kg landed lunar payload.)

Having been down the secondary payload road myself a few times, the real problem is getting a ride. You have to find a primary payload which is willing to accept you on their flight. This typically means they want a vanishly small chance that you could do anything to screw up their delivery mission. This generally means no pressurized gases, no chemical energy (i.e., propellants), and if you're lucky only three interlocks to prevent you from powering up before the primary payload is long gone. (Some rides demand you launch with depleted batteries and recharge passively post-separation.) Your typical GTO primary is a communications satellite company with ~$200M+ in the bird and looking at ~50M+/month from transponder revenues - they are not likely to say,"Sure!" when you ask to put 200 kg of rocket propellants (liquids, with unmodeled slosh modes for the LV coupled loads analyses) Onboard and tag along. You're adding a significant increase in the chance of losing their bird, and they're not going to accept that. Moon Express' best chance is to find another similar (almost certainly NASA-funded) payload heading to the moon and tag along, like LCROSS. (Although, for Discovery-class missions led by the PI, I have trouble imagining any of them would accept this as a secondary, either...)

Could this be the first re-flight of a recovered F9S1, plus the stage recovered a second time?

Would need SpaceX to expend an upper stage, but they get flight experience on a recovered S1, and get it back a second time.

cheers, Martin

Online AnalogMan

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2939
  • Cambridge, UK
  • Liked: 655
  • Likes Given: 20
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #31 on: 01/30/2015 12:05 AM »
Moon Express Completes Initial Flight Tests at NASA's Kennedy Space Center
January 27, 2015

During November and December 2014, Moon Express successfully conducted its lander test vehicle hot fires and initial flight tests at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, with the support of NASA's Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) initiative.

Through an increasingly complex series of tests following vehicle integration, the Moon Express "MTV-1X" proved out its fundamental guidance, navigation and control systems and achieved controlled flight profiles. A highlights video was published by Moon Express following the flight tests.

The Moon Express team shared facilities and coordinated range operations with the NASA Morpheus lander test vehicle, which also had a successful flight test series.

"NASA has been a remarkably helpful and proactive partner to help us achieve our goals," said Moon Express co-founder and CEO, Bob Richards. "The Lunar CATALYST team supporting our partnership is outstanding and our direct Space Act Agreement relationships with Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and Kennedy are providing us access to additional key support and resources to help get us to the moon."

Moon Express is one of NASA's three private sector partners competitively selected to spur commercial cargo transportation capabilities to the surface of the moon.

"We congratulate Moon Express on the successful flight tests of their innovative lunar lander test vehicle," said Jason Adam, NASA's Moon Express partner manager under Lunar CATALYST. "Moon Express is the first private company to build and operate a lander test vehicle at the Kennedy Space Center, and we look forward to working with them as they develop new U.S. capabilities to land on the moon."

For more information about Lunar CATALYST, visit http://www.nasa.gov/lunarcatalyst.

For more information about Moon Express, visit http://www.moonexpress.com

http://www.nasa.gov/content/moon-express-completes-initial-flight-tests-at-nasas-kennedy-space-center/

Photo Captions:

Upper - Moon Express' MTV-1X test vehicle performed a tethered flight test at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  Image Credit: Moon Express Inc.

Lower - A thermal infrared image of Moon Express' MTV-1X test vehicle undergoing a hotfire engine test at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Image Credit: NASA/Lunar CATALYST Initiative

Online AnalogMan

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2939
  • Cambridge, UK
  • Liked: 655
  • Likes Given: 20
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #32 on: 02/05/2015 02:23 PM »
There's a two page article on Moon Express and their test vehicle in the latest issue of KSC's SpacePort Magazine starting at page 34.

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/feb2015.pdf

(Extracted article pages also attached)

Offline grakenverb

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
  • New York
  • Liked: 27
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #33 on: 03/10/2015 02:40 PM »

Offline Moe Grills

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 780
  • Liked: 25
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #34 on: 03/11/2015 03:06 PM »
Article on Yahoo! Finance about Moon Express:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/billionaire-teams-nasa-mine-moon-140000975.html

Thanks for the link. A billionaire in the mix? He's either the sponsor/bankroller, CEO or both.
That's a good sign. The fact that they tested some actual large-scale hardware is another good sign.
NASA's role? Unknown, but welcome.
The big problem is? What booster, and booster service, are they attempting to use? That may be the showstopper, like it has for so many such enterprises over the years/decades.
« Last Edit: 03/11/2015 03:07 PM by Moe Grills »

Offline Sam Ho

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 497
  • Liked: 182
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #35 on: 03/11/2015 06:13 PM »
Article on Yahoo! Finance about Moon Express:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/billionaire-teams-nasa-mine-moon-140000975.html

Thanks for the link. A billionaire in the mix? He's either the sponsor/bankroller, CEO or both.
That's a good sign. The fact that they tested some actual large-scale hardware is another good sign.
NASA's role? Unknown, but welcome.
The big problem is? What booster, and booster service, are they attempting to use? That may be the showstopper, like it has for so many such enterprises over the years/decades.

The billionaire is Naveen Jain, who started Infospace and Intelius.  There's more about him in a previous CNBC story.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101531789

NASA involvement is via unfunded Space Act agreements.

http://www.nasa.gov/lunarcatalyst

Launch vehicle is GTO rideshare, as discussed up-thread.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #36 on: 09/12/2015 09:09 PM »
Presentation from Bob Richards CEO.
There is a good slide at 5 minutes showing the MX1 lander on top of MX2 lander. The MX2 will deliver MX1 to surface, the MX1 will be used to deliver the "sample return" to orbit. This combination of vehicles is called MX3.
MoonExpress reckons these samples could be worth $1B (private collectors?).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_HlJZAA5V0&feature=youtu.be

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12969
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 2833
  • Likes Given: 430
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #37 on: 09/13/2015 04:57 AM »
Launch is now scheduled for 2017, although they still have not announced which launch vehicle they will be using.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #38 on: 09/13/2015 09:15 AM »
Launch is now scheduled for 2017, although they still have not announced which launch vehicle they will be using.

The MX1 has DV of 3.2Km/s with 60kg payload, was designed to fly as secondary payload (600kg) on a GTO mission. Expect launch cost $6-8M.



 

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12969
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 2833
  • Likes Given: 430
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #39 on: 09/14/2015 08:02 AM »
In reading

http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/leag2013/presentations/spudis_moonexpress.pdf

they showed prices for the MX-1 assuming launch on a Falcon 9. I guess that's the most logical option, although time will tell if any primary payload will let them rideshare.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #40 on: 10/01/2015 10:38 PM »
"In an Oct. 1 interview, Bob Richards, co-founder and chief executive of Moon Express, said that Electron will be able to send “something under” 10 kilograms to the surface of the moon. “That’s good for our purposes in our first missions,” he said. “Call it an entry-level lunar mission.” - See more at: http://spacenews.com/moon-express-buys-rocket-lab-launches-for-lunar-missions/#sthash.pP71rYIo.dpuf "

This lander is about 200kg compared to MX1 at 600kg.

Offline GWH

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #41 on: 10/01/2015 10:45 PM »
They state in the article that they are going for another size reduction now, although there is nothing shown on their site.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #42 on: 10/02/2015 12:12 AM »
Here are two more articles on it. We have name for it MX-1E (E for Electron??).
Made up of 2 small (identical??) landers first one acts as booster to get it out of LEO.


http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/01/moon-express-rockets-closer-to-planned-lunar-landing.html

http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/nzs-rocket-lab-signs-contract-company-planning-moonshots-2017

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #43 on: 10/02/2015 08:08 PM »
In theory the MX1E has enough DV to reach Phobos or Deimos. MoonExpress have considered this as per NBR article quote.

Moon Express co-founder and chairman Naveen Jain adds: “Moon Express is building disruptive technologies that will forever change the cost of access to space, including the asteroids and even the moons of Mars. 


Offline sdsds

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5478
  • "With peace and hope for all mankind."
  • Seattle
  • Liked: 577
  • Likes Given: 677
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #44 on: 10/02/2015 08:49 PM »
In theory the MX1E has enough DV to reach Phobos or Deimos.

I think you misread that. Jain spoke of the underlying technology, not the particular spacecraft. Or ... do you have another source, or perhaps some calculations you could share?
-- sdsds --

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #45 on: 10/03/2015 07:51 PM »
"In an Oct. 1 interview, Bob Richards, co-founder and chief executive of Moon Express, said that Electron will be able to send “something under” 10 kilograms to the surface of the moon. “That’s good for our purposes in our first missions,” he said. “Call it an entry-level lunar mission.” - See more at: http://spacenews.com/moon-express-buys-rocket-lab-launches-for-lunar-missions/#sthash.pP71rYIo.dpuf "

This lander is about 200kg compared to MX1 at 600kg.

I wonder whether this is a realistic plan or a product of desperation.

If they could do it in 200kg, why not plan that from the start?  It seems possible that they realized they need a launch contract in three months or they fail entirely, and the only launch contract they could come up with was Electron, so they were forced into 200kg.  If that's their only hope, they might decide to try for it even if an unbiased assessment would say there's no realistic chance they could fit it in 200kg.

Or, it could be that under pressure they realized a way to really do it in 200kg that has a chance of actually working.

There's no way to really tell.

There's also no way to tell whether the launch contract is actually meaningful.  There might be no down payment and RocketLabs might be happy to sign the contract even if Moon Express has demonstrated no capacity or commitment to actually pay, because it is good for RocketLabs to have a customer listed on its manifest.

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #46 on: 10/03/2015 08:11 PM »
I thought 200 kg is completely ludicrous for a lunar lander, but there is this : Japanese SLIM lunar lander proposal. They are planning to fly it on Epsilon. JAXA has a (troubled) history of building the relatively tiny systems, if anyone can make this work its them.
Moon Express ? Probably not, i think this is just the way to drag X-Prize out further
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10313
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 700
  • Likes Given: 728
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #47 on: 10/03/2015 10:16 PM »
I thought 200 kg is completely ludicrous for a lunar lander, but there is this : Japanese SLIM lunar lander proposal. They are planning to fly it on Epsilon. JAXA has a (troubled) history of building the relatively tiny systems, if anyone can make this work its them.
Moon Express ? Probably not, i think this is just the way to drag X-Prize out further

had some of the same thoughts about the weight reduction.   If you look at the cube-nano sats a lot has been accomplished.  It all comes down to their engineering ;)
« Last Edit: 10/03/2015 10:34 PM by Prober »
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline notsorandom

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1681
  • Ohio
  • Liked: 373
  • Likes Given: 87
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #48 on: 10/04/2015 05:05 AM »
In theory the MX1E has enough DV to reach Phobos or Deimos.

I think you misread that. Jain spoke of the underlying technology, not the particular spacecraft. Or ... do you have another source, or perhaps some calculations you could share?
Looks like that might work Delta V wise. From LEO to the lunar surface is about 5.6km/s. LEO to Phobos is about 5.5km/s.

Offline sdsds

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5478
  • "With peace and hope for all mankind."
  • Seattle
  • Liked: 577
  • Likes Given: 677
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #49 on: 10/04/2015 06:47 AM »
Looks like that might work Delta V wise. From LEO to the lunar surface is about 5.6km/s. LEO to Phobos is about 5.5km/s.

Hmm! Does your 5.6 km/s value take into account use of a Belbruno-Miller style "weak stability boundary" transfer to the lunar vicinity, or does it reflect something more like the Apollo "fast path" approach?
-- sdsds --

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #50 on: 10/04/2015 09:45 AM »
They said lander was 2 stages with both stages based on same basic design, of course lander stage will be different from booster. This design offers other possibilities, the booster stage could be used as a third stage enabling earth escape or TLI of cubesats. Being able to send a couple of 6U cubesats to Mars for a launch cost of a few million each would be of great interest to planetary science community.

Offline notsorandom

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1681
  • Ohio
  • Liked: 373
  • Likes Given: 87
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #51 on: 10/05/2015 02:53 PM »
Looks like that might work Delta V wise. From LEO to the lunar surface is about 5.6km/s. LEO to Phobos is about 5.5km/s.

Hmm! Does your 5.6 km/s value take into account use of a Belbruno-Miller style "weak stability boundary" transfer to the lunar vicinity, or does it reflect something more like the Apollo "fast path" approach?
There are a few sources for those figures, none of which agree totally. The 5.6km/s figure was on the low end. Others have it up to 6km/s. At any rate the Delta V is in roughly the same range as needed to get to Phobos. So his statement to that effect does seem reasonable. There are other aspects of the two trips that are quite different. Phobos requires a longer cruise and is much, much father away. Thermal, power, and communications are issues which could require a pretty significant modification.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #52 on: 10/05/2015 05:48 PM »
Looks like that might work Delta V wise. From LEO to the lunar surface is about 5.6km/s. LEO to Phobos is about 5.5km/s.

Hmm! Does your 5.6 km/s value take into account use of a Belbruno-Miller style "weak stability boundary" transfer to the lunar vicinity, or does it reflect something more like the Apollo "fast path" approach?
There are a few sources for those figures, none of which agree totally. The 5.6km/s figure was on the low end. Others have it up to 6km/s. At any rate the Delta V is in roughly the same range as needed to get to Phobos. So his statement to that effect does seem reasonable. There are other aspects of the two trips that are quite different. Phobos requires a longer cruise and is much, much father away. Thermal, power, and communications are issues which could require a pretty significant modification.
My statement was more about Electron being capable of delivering a MX1E BASED lander to Phobo. The Phobo lander would require significant changes for long flight, including heating of RP1 when it is required for the high DV burns.
How much useful science can be done with 10kg is another story.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #53 on: 12/08/2015 03:44 PM »


WASHINGTON — The X Prize Foundation announced Dec. 8 that it has verified a (RocketLab) launch contract announced in October by Moon Express, making the company the second with an approved deal to participate in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize competition to land spacecraft on the moon. - See more at: http://spacenews.com/x-prize-verifies-moon-express-launch-contract/#sthash.p1QOljtT.dpuf

http://spacenews.com/x-prize-verifies-moon-express-launch-contract/

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10313
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 700
  • Likes Given: 728
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #54 on: 12/08/2015 05:24 PM »


WASHINGTON — The X Prize Foundation announced Dec. 8 that it has verified a (RocketLab) launch contract announced in October by Moon Express, making the company the second with an approved deal to participate in the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize competition to land spacecraft on the moon. - See more at: http://spacenews.com/x-prize-verifies-moon-express-launch-contract/#sthash.p1QOljtT.dpuf

http://spacenews.com/x-prize-verifies-moon-express-launch-contract/
Debunked
so much for someone's wild conspiracy theory.
 
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline JamesG123

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 133
  • USA
  • Liked: 48
  • Likes Given: 20
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #55 on: 12/24/2015 04:50 PM »
And unproven spacecraft being launched on an unflown booster.  What could possibly go wrong?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #56 on: 12/24/2015 05:42 PM »
And unproven spacecraft being launched on an unflown booster.  What could possibly go wrong?
The LV should have a few launches under its belt by the time MX fly.

Offline A_M_Swallow

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
  • South coast of England
  • Liked: 254
  • Likes Given: 106
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #57 on: 01/29/2016 09:15 PM »
Moon Express is vacating Pad 36 facilities.  Will be moving to LC 17/18 at Canaveral.  James Dean at FL Today is tweeting about it today as well.

I was at the Space Florida Board of Directors meeting yesterday and didn't get the impression that anything was amiss with Moon Express.  It seemed more like they needed to go somewhere else now that Blue Origin is taking over all of Pad 36 under a new lease.

If Rocket Lab will be performing the space launches then Moon Express will not need to lease a Pad.

Offline sghill

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1306
  • United States
  • Liked: 1438
  • Likes Given: 1993
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #58 on: 01/30/2016 12:27 AM »
Moon Express is vacating Pad 36 facilities.  Will be moving to LC 17/18 at Canaveral.  James Dean at FL Today is tweeting about it today as well.

I was at the Space Florida Board of Directors meeting yesterday and didn't get the impression that anything was amiss with Moon Express.  It seemed more like they needed to go somewhere else now that Blue Origin is taking over all of Pad 36 under a new lease.

If Rocket Lab will be performing the space launches then Moon Express will not need to lease a Pad.

That assumes they are done with testing and ready for flight to the Moon!!! :)
Bring the thunder Elon!

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #59 on: 04/02/2016 02:15 AM »
Here is there first payload.

I'm sure Jeff Bezos would offer Moon Express a free ride for such an important mission.  If only Blue had an their orbital LV ready.

Moon Express (@MoonEx) tweeted at 6:18 AM on Sat, Apr 02, 2016:
We're proud to announce our newest payload to the Moon. #LLAP #TrumpThat https://t.co/Ao9fNY2lL7
(https://twitter.com/MoonEx/status/715951432407588864)

Offline catdlr

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4650
  • Marina del Rey, California, USA
  • Liked: 1466
  • Likes Given: 898
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #60 on: 04/23/2016 07:40 PM »
Moon Express Rocket Engine Tests

MoonExpress

Published on Apr 23, 2016
To land a rover on the Moon, you need a lander. To land a lander on the Moon, you need rocket engines.

This video shows a series of rocket engine test firings during our propulsion developments at Moon Express.

Our primary choice of propulsion technology for our MX series of spacecraft/landers uses a green fuel combination of hydrogen peroxide (HTP) combined with a non-toxic hydrocarbon propellant such as kerosene (RP1). The exhaust bi-product of HTP fuels is primarily super-heated steam.

Moon Express will be powered by steam engines going to the Moon.

In thrust we trust.

Company Site: http://www.moonexpress.com/

YouTube Video Location: https://www.youtube.com/user/MoonExpressInc

Tony De La Rosa

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8618
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 5370
  • Likes Given: 3552
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #61 on: 04/23/2016 11:26 PM »
It even looks kinda steampunkish
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline catdlr

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4650
  • Marina del Rey, California, USA
  • Liked: 1466
  • Likes Given: 898
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #62 on: 06/07/2016 09:07 PM »
U.S. government close to approving private moon mission

LA Times Article  June 7, 2016

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-moon-express-20160606-snap-story.html

Quote
The MX-1 lander, which Moon Express said is capable of carrying scientific and commercial payloads, is set to blast off in 2017 on Los Angeles-based Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket. The rocket is awaiting its first flight.
Tony De La Rosa

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8147
  • UK
  • Liked: 1316
  • Likes Given: 168
Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #63 on: 08/03/2016 04:02 PM »
Now approved.

Moon Express wins U.S. government approval for lunar lander mission

http://spacenews.com/moon-express-wins-u-s-government-approval-for-lunar-lander-mission/

Also new logo & website.

http://www.moonexpress.com
« Last Edit: 08/03/2016 07:52 PM by Star One »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12969
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 2833
  • Likes Given: 430
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #64 on: 08/04/2016 06:39 AM »
Also new logo & website.

http://www.moonexpress.com

Wow, that website is an exercise in minimalism! Attached is their Press Kit.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online Jarnis

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1074
  • Liked: 545
  • Likes Given: 140
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #65 on: 08/04/2016 08:00 AM »
I would have far more confidence in this if they'd have an actual flown booster for their mission before they worry about the paperwork.

Unless they going full yolo and launching this on the very first Electron. If/when it is ready in 2017 (not holding my breath, but I must admit I know very little of their project)

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #66 on: 08/04/2016 10:00 AM »
I would have far more confidence in this if they'd have an actual flown booster for their mission before they worry about the paperwork.

Unless they going full yolo and launching this on the very first Electron. If/when it is ready in 2017 (not holding my breath, but I must admit I know very little of their project)
The Electron is scheduled to have its maiden flight this year. They have a full manifest of missions for next 2 years, where ME fit in that I don't know, but a failure will surely set them back 3-6months.  I'm personally hoping they don't have any failures, unfortunately LV history says a failure in first few missions is likely.

« Last Edit: 08/04/2016 10:04 AM by TrevorMonty »

Online Jarnis

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1074
  • Liked: 545
  • Likes Given: 140
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #67 on: 08/04/2016 11:37 AM »
Good to know - hadn't followed it that closely. Guess it is then plausible, assuming the early flights go fine.

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #68 on: 08/04/2016 04:09 PM »
They have a chance, even if it's a small chance.

I really wish they would dial back on the hype, though.  For example, in their press kit they highlight this quote by their co-founder, filling an entire page with just this one sentence: "IN 15 YEARS, THE MOON WILL BE AN IMPORTANT PART OF EARTH’S ECONOMY, AND POTENTIALLY OUR SECOND HOME.  IMAGINE THAT."  That's so clearly not true that it casts doubt on their judgement.  If they really think in 15 years the moon will be a significant part of the Earth's economy, they're delusional about that, so are they also delusional about their chances of getting MX-1 to the Moon?  And if they don't really believe it, then they're lying, so in that case what else are they lying about?

Offline Phil Stooke

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
  • Canada
  • Liked: 195
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #69 on: 08/04/2016 04:28 PM »
Yes, it's too much hype.  But that's how you raise money.

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #70 on: 08/04/2016 04:52 PM »
Yes, it's too much hype.  But that's how you raise money.

Maybe from some investors.  But it can also turn off other potential investors.

We'll have to see how this approach works for Moon Express.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #71 on: 08/05/2016 08:10 PM »
The MX-1 is not just limited to landing on moon it is also space craft which can act as lunar orbiter with a significantly larger payload. This orbiter mission could also place a few cubesats in lunar orbit.

Alternatively in lower cost version act as earth departure stage to Mars or beyond for large cubesats ie 6-12U. The launch costs for these missions could be well under $10M, really depends how much MX want to charge.

NB to land on moon it will need a DV of 5-6km/s.
« Last Edit: 08/05/2016 08:15 PM by TrevorMonty »

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #72 on: 08/05/2016 08:47 PM »
The MX-1 is not just limited to landing on moon it is also space craft which can act as lunar orbiter with a significantly larger payload. This orbiter mission could also place a few cubesats in lunar orbit.

Alternatively in lower cost version act as earth departure stage to Mars or beyond for large cubesats ie 6-12U. The launch costs for these missions could be well under $10M, really depends how much MX want to charge.

NB to land on moon it will need a DV of 5-6km/s.

Getting cubesats into lunar orbit or into interplanetary space is exciting, but I'm not convinced something like MX-1 is the way to go for that.  I'm more excited about the small ion thrusters being developed for cubesats -- they would be much cheaper and require much less mass be launched into LEO.  The cubesat would have its own SEP thruster and slowly spiral out from LEO and spiral in to lunar orbit or out on a trip to another planet.  That's much more in the spirit of cubesats than having a heavy (by cubesat standards) MX-1-style Earth departure stage.


Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #73 on: 08/05/2016 09:54 PM »
This is link to CAT plasma thruster about the only cubesat propulsion system that I know of capable of >3km/s (7km/s?). Still a while away from flying. There are some systems close to 3km/s, may do earth escape but leaves nothing in tank for mission.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35143.msg1227561.msg#1227561

Offline A_M_Swallow

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
  • South coast of England
  • Liked: 254
  • Likes Given: 106
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #74 on: 08/06/2016 02:28 AM »
This is link to CAT plasma thruster about the only cubesat propulsion system that I know of capable of >3km/s (7km/s?). Still a while away from flying. There are some systems close to 3km/s, may do earth escape but leaves nothing in tank for mission.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35143.msg1227561.msg#1227561

It looks like the University of Michigan has licensed Phase Four to manufacture the CAT thruster.
 ΔV 0.2 - 8km/sec
http://www.phasefour.io/cat-engine.html

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #75 on: 08/22/2016 05:04 PM »
Article on MX mission with some useful lander information.

http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/08/20/its-official-in-2017-we-begin-mining-the-moon.aspx?source=isesitlnk0000001&mrr=1.00

"After seven years of crunching numbers, the solution Moon Express came up with was to build its lander in-house, using lightweight carbon-composite materials, permitting use of a smaller rocket to climb out of Earth's gravity well. Of the lander's 495-pound weight, 90% will be kerosene and hydrogen peroxide (fuel for the third stage of the mission, from Earth to Moon), and about 5% will be payload.

And yes, the entire cost will be $10 million for the first mission -- less than $5 million each for the lander and for the Electron rocket to launch it. Additional missions may be needed if the first attempt fails, though, and against that contingency, Moon Express has already bought two more Electron rockets, and has options on two others."



Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #76 on: 08/23/2016 04:53 AM »
Something doesn't add up.

Their mission is supposed to cost $10 million -- $5 million for the launcher and $5 million for the lander.  And the article says that they have bought two more launch vehicles and have options on two more.  But their first launch attempt is supposed to be toward the end of 2017.  The end of 2017 is the deadline for the GLXP.  So, if their first attempt fails, how can they possibly have time to build another lander and launch it before the end of 2017?  If they really have two more launch vehicles as a contingency, they would need to build two more landers as a contingency, pushing their costs to $30 million.  And even then, if there's a failure on the first mission, there's a good chance it will take a while to figure out what went wrong and/or fix it -- whether it's the launch vehicle or the lander.  So they've inflated their costs by a factor of 3 just to have only modest chances of being able to succeed if the first mission fails.  And, it puts their costs over the total amount they could win even if they do succeed.

S I doubt they really bought two additional launch vehicles as a contingency for the GLXP.  They want to go into business post-GLXP with more lunar missions, so maybe they put down deposits on additional launch vehicles for that.

Offline Johnnyhinbos

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 875
  • Boston, MA
  • Liked: 851
  • Likes Given: 131
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #77 on: 08/23/2016 05:01 AM »
I believe Moon Express is in it for the long haul - GLXP not withstanding...
John Hanzl. Author, action / adventure www.johnhanzl.com

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #78 on: 08/23/2016 05:04 AM »
I believe Moon Express is in it for the long haul - GLXP not withstanding...

I believe they want to be in it for the long haul.  Whether they're funded for the long haul remains to be seen.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #79 on: 08/23/2016 05:25 PM »
Would this lander be big enough to investigate lunar polars for water. eg land in shadow crate and survive long enough to determine state water is in. This may be simple as scanner or more complex like robotic arm and means of testing sample.

I guessing a life measured in hours.
« Last Edit: 08/23/2016 05:26 PM by TrevorMonty »

Offline A_M_Swallow

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8173
  • South coast of England
  • Liked: 254
  • Likes Given: 106
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #80 on: 08/23/2016 07:22 PM »
Would this lander be big enough to investigate lunar polars for water. eg land in shadow crate and survive long enough to determine state water is in. This may be simple as scanner or more complex like robotic arm and means of testing sample.

I guessing a life measured in hours.


Alternatively they land at the top of a crater and send down a rover that keeps coming back to recharge its batteries.

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8618
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 5370
  • Likes Given: 3552
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #81 on: 08/23/2016 09:49 PM »
Something doesn't add up.

Their mission is supposed to cost $10 million -- $5 million for the launcher and $5 million for the lander.  And the article says that they have bought two more launch vehicles and have options on two more.  But their first launch attempt is supposed to be toward the end of 2017.  The end of 2017 is the deadline for the GLXP.  So, if their first attempt fails, how can they possibly have time to build another lander and launch it before the end of 2017?  If they really have two more launch vehicles as a contingency, they would need to build two more landers as a contingency, pushing their costs to $30 million.  And even then, if there's a failure on the first mission, there's a good chance it will take a while to figure out what went wrong and/or fix it -- whether it's the launch vehicle or the lander.  So they've inflated their costs by a factor of 3 just to have only modest chances of being able to succeed if the first mission fails.  And, it puts their costs over the total amount they could win even if they do succeed.

S I doubt they really bought two additional launch vehicles as a contingency for the GLXP.  They want to go into business post-GLXP with more lunar missions, so maybe they put down deposits on additional launch vehicles for that.


I would believe deposits on launches rather than outright purchases... probably a reporter bobble. But I think on the lander front, building a second copy of something doesn't require the R&D that the first copy does, so it's very possible that they can build landers 2 and 3 for a lot less than lander 1....
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #82 on: 08/24/2016 07:41 AM »
Would this lander be big enough to investigate lunar polars for water. eg land in shadow crate and survive long enough to determine state water is in. This may be simple as scanner or more complex like robotic arm and means of testing sample.

I guessing a life measured in hours.


Alternatively they land at the top of a crater and send down a rover that keeps coming back to recharge its batteries.

MX-1 is designed to be the lightest-possible lander that can barely meet the requirements of the GLXP.  I don't think it's going to be able to land so precisely it can end up at the top edge of a particular crater.  And it wouldn't be able to carry a rover that could drive down a crater wall and back up.

It's also not going to be able to carry any significant instruments.

MX-1 won't do science.  It's not designed to do that.  Give the designers credit -- if it could carry out science missions, it's over-designed for meeting the GLXP requirements, so it's more expensive and massive (implying more launch cost) than it should be.

If it's successful, and if someone pays for science missions, MX-2, MX-3, etc. could do science missions.  Not MX-1.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #83 on: 08/26/2016 07:27 PM »
Moon express future plans including returning lunar samples to earth. This company may have capsule to do this
http://terminalvelocityaero.com

Here are some rough guesses on this return vehicles. ISP 280. 55kg wet would deliver 20kg(vehicle + capsule) to TEI (2.8km/s).

NB the Electron lander might just be able to do sample return if it was delivered to TLI on a more capable LV with earth departure stage.

Offline Kryten

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Liked: 217
  • Likes Given: 26
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #84 on: 09/28/2016 08:23 PM »
 Celestis are to have a memorial payload on the first MX-1 flight;
http://www.memorialspaceflights.com/launch-schedule/luna-02-flight/#mission-details

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #85 on: 11/01/2016 05:05 PM »
Synopsis:

Added: Nov 01, 2016 7:59 am

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) is seeking information on the availability of small payloads that could be delivered to the Moon as early as the 2017-2020 timeframe using U.S. commercial lunar cargo transportation service providers. 



https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cbcd56e6afbd7dfad1ef9cd0fb52b6f7&tab=core&_cview=0


Nice to see NASA make use of these XPrize landers. At $10M for MX1, a lunar mission has never been cheaper. With <10kg payload to work with, science teams and their engineers are going need to be resourceful. Astrobotic lander can deliver few hundred KGS but mission costs are likely to be around $100m.

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #86 on: 11/01/2016 05:11 PM »
Synopsis:

Added: Nov 01, 2016 7:59 am

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) is seeking information on the availability of small payloads that could be delivered to the Moon as early as the 2017-2020 timeframe using U.S. commercial lunar cargo transportation service providers.

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=cbcd56e6afbd7dfad1ef9cd0fb52b6f7&tab=core&_cview=0

Nice to see NASA make use of these XPrize landers. At $10M for MX1, a lunar mission has never been cheaper. With <10kg payload to work with, science teams and their engineers are going need to be resourceful. Astrobotic lander can deliver few hundred KGS but mission costs are likely to be around $100m.

I agree that it's great to see NASA pursuing this.  But saying "At $10M for MX1, a lunar mission has never been cheaper." is premature.  None of these companies claiming they will land on the moon has actually flown anything anywhere.  I hope one or more of them succeeds, but we need some evidence before declaring the age of private moon missions has arrived.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #87 on: 11/01/2016 06:55 PM »
If MX1 is delivered to GTO or even better TL1 by more capable LV, it should land with even fuel to do few lunar hops. This would allow it to investigate a few craters for water. 

Offline Phil Stooke

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
  • Canada
  • Liked: 195
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #88 on: 11/01/2016 07:26 PM »
I understand that a mid-latitude site is more likely than a polar site for the first landing.  Tycho has been suggested as a target - within sight of Surveyor 7.

The second mission is supposed to go to Malapert Mountain to deploy the ILOA telescope.

Any other science will be on later missions, assuming they can make it all work.

Offline Davidthefat

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #89 on: 11/01/2016 08:57 PM »
Doesn't Electron have an option for a 3rd stage kick motor? Are the payload capability figures all considered with the utilization of the optional motor?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #90 on: 11/02/2016 04:46 PM »
Doesn't Electron have an option for a 3rd stage kick motor? Are the payload capability figures all considered with the utilization of the optional motor?
I haven't read anything about a 3rd stage option. It would allow for earth escape of smallsats  or cubesats. Moon express could use modified version of their lander as 3rd stage.

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #91 on: 11/02/2016 07:09 PM »
Doesn't Electron have an option for a 3rd stage kick motor? Are the payload capability figures all considered with the utilization of the optional motor?
They were talking about electric propulsion 3rd stage
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3454
  • California
  • Liked: 2691
  • Likes Given: 1700
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #92 on: 05/04/2017 06:55 PM »
Apparently Naveen Jain (co-founder of Moon Express) decided to do some trash talking about Musk/SpaceX and Bezos/Blue Origin.  ;D ;D

https://www.geekwire.com/2017/new-space-race-includes-a-little-earthbound-trash-talking/

Quote
“I love Elon and I love Jeff, and both are our neighbors at Cape Canaveral, so we are a good neighborhood there,” he said. “But – truth be told – they are all underachievers and unambitious people.”
...
“They are all stuck in low Earth orbit so far – and we are going to the moon this year,” Jain said. “We are the only company in the universe that has permission to leave Earth orbit and land on the moon. So when we talk about underachievers, that’s where we put Elon and Jeff. But someday, when they can land on the moon, they can come talk to me about it.”

Truth be told, Moon Express hasn’t yet put anything in space, let alone on the moon. It’s relying on Rocket Lab’s low-cost Electron launch vehicle to send up its lander, but the Electron still has to face flight testing.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2419
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2297
  • Likes Given: 1670
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #93 on: 05/04/2017 07:42 PM »
Heard this also a few years back from Moon Express investor Barney Pell.

(He was doing it when we discussed a deal he did a handshake on. He never honored the handshake. Blew the deal off.)

Don't deal with Barney anymore. He also says he's not focused on space anymore. Even though he said he came from NASA.

Think that Electron won't fly soon, and someone thinks they can declare it a victory and move on.

So ego wise they have landed on the moon in their heads, and reality/Musk has let them down by not offering a cheap flight. Dumb.

Offline high road

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 688
  • Europe
  • Liked: 176
  • Likes Given: 43
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #94 on: 05/05/2017 07:19 AM »
That's hilarious. I feel another 'welcome to the club' tweet in the making when they are eventually outclassed as well.

Is there a video of this? Maybe they said this ironically. Although the video in the article doesn't look like they are that self aware.
« Last Edit: 05/05/2017 07:28 AM by high road »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #95 on: 05/19/2017 10:53 AM »
2kg Cuberover being developed by Astrobotic with NASA funding.

https://www.newsledge.com/astrobotic-working-on-cuberover/

A 2kg rover would be perfect for MX1E especially as its payload is limited to about 10kg. With 2kg there is not a lot of room for science instruments but even a roving high res camera would be useful. At around $10M for a mission it is low cost scouting option.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12969
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 2833
  • Likes Given: 430
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #96 on: 05/26/2017 08:17 AM »
Seems they are going straight to TLI! There might be a good chance MX-1 will miss the Moon entirely, like the early US missions that tried this technique.

As the goal is to reach transfer orbit, “it is an easier mission for us. It’s an easier trajectory for us than Sun-synchronous, so it is very simple with no additional burn needed to circularize the orbit.”

http://aviationweek.com/space/rocket-lab-well-ahead-after-initial-launch-test
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Svetoslav

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 918
  • Bulgaria
  • Liked: 312
  • Likes Given: 42
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #97 on: 05/26/2017 09:22 AM »
Uh... this is behind a paywall, is there a mirror?

Offline Star One

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8147
  • UK
  • Liked: 1316
  • Likes Given: 168
Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #98 on: 05/26/2017 09:59 AM »
Uh... this is behind a paywall, is there a mirror?

Not a paywall as it's free to register on their site. I believe they do this precisely to stop people mirroring their content.
« Last Edit: 05/26/2017 10:00 AM by Star One »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4245
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 2844
  • Likes Given: 950
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #99 on: 07/12/2017 02:26 PM »
Quote
Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust 16m16 minutes ago

Moon Express shows off a full-sized model of its MX-1E lunar lander in D.C.; company CEO Bob Richards at left.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/885138511069945857

Quote
Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust 14m14 minutes ago

Richards says company is on schedule to launch its first spacecraft by the end of the year, pending availability of the Electron launcher.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/885139218351222785

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4245
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 2844
  • Likes Given: 950
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #100 on: 07/12/2017 02:37 PM »
Quote
MOON ΞXPRΞSS‏ @MoonEx 5m5 minutes ago

Today we unveiled our exploration architecture & plans for a robotic outpost at the south pole of the Moon by 2020. http://www.moonexpress.com
https://twitter.com/MoonEx/status/885144363420049408

Here's a write-up:

Quote
Moon Express announces plans to build lunar outpost by 2020
The Moon could soon be open for business.

Eric Berger - 7/12/2017, 3:30 PM
https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/private-company-plans-to-bring-moon-rocks-back-to-earth-in-three-years/

Offline synchrotron

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 299
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 13
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #101 on: 07/12/2017 05:59 PM »
Moon Express shows off mockups, other providers' prototype hardware, and powerpoint slides. Their launch date has slipped year-for-year dating back to 2015. Why are they still getting coverage? Because they tweet?

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #102 on: 07/12/2017 06:12 PM »
Moon Express shows off mockups, other providers' prototype hardware, and powerpoint slides. Their launch date has slipped year-for-year dating back to 2015. Why are they still getting coverage? Because they tweet?

The news outlets covering them get a story that draws readers.  What do they care if it's unrealistic?

There's a reason that some people come to this site, to get an honest discussion, including all the pessimistic viewpoints.  Most people don't know or care enough and just click on the exciting story, without having a filter for what's plausible and what's not.

Offline meberbs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Liked: 1220
  • Likes Given: 312
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #103 on: 07/12/2017 06:16 PM »
Moon Express shows off mockups, other providers' prototype hardware, and powerpoint slides. Their launch date has slipped year-for-year dating back to 2015. Why are they still getting coverage? Because they tweet?
They are still getting coverage because your statements about them are false. They have done tests including powered landing tests on their own hardware. The current expected launch is in less than six months, incompatible with your claim of year for year slips. Especially since expected launch was in 2017 as of 2015.

Maybe you have them confused for some other company.

edit: typo
« Last Edit: 07/12/2017 06:22 PM by meberbs »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4245
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 2844
  • Likes Given: 950
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #104 on: 07/12/2017 06:28 PM »
I’ve seen a fair amount of skepticism today from industry insiders in response to this announcement.

Here’s an example exchange:

Quote
I'd take them more seriously if they had pictures of flight hardware by now instead of just mockups and glossy ambitions.
https://twitter.com/rocketrepreneur/status/885158533091672064

Quote
supposedly they have built two engines.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/885162697146466304

Quote
Have they tested them?
https://twitter.com/nomadicnerd/status/885177227054166016

Quote
They plan to soon, Richards said.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/885184237393129474

Quote
Yeah, they got a 980 on the SAT
https://twitter.com/valleyhack/status/885177704152039424

Online Navier–Stokes

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 200
  • Liked: 174
  • Likes Given: 1375
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #105 on: 07/12/2017 06:33 PM »
Here's Jeff Foust's write-up for SpaceNews: Moon Express releases details of its lunar lander missions
Quote
Richards, standing next to a full-scale mockup of the MX-1E, said work on that initial spacecraft is going well. “We have flight hardware already,” he said, citing development of the lander’s engine, called PECO, that uses rocket-grade kerosene and high-test hydrogen peroxide propellants. Two of those engines have been built and will soon be undergoing tests.

Other components of the spacecraft are either undergoing testing — its laser altimeter, Richards said, is being tested at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center — or are being manufactured. That includes the main spacecraft bus, a carbon composite “unibody” design that includes both the spacecraft structure and propellant tanks. The company did not release photos or videos of that hardware.

Current plans call for integrating the spacecraft components by September at the company’s facility at the former Launch Complex 17/18 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, then shipping the spacecraft to the New Zealand launch site of Rocket Lab, which will launch the spacecraft on its Electron rocket.

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #106 on: 07/12/2017 06:59 PM »
The current expected launch is in less than six months, incompatible with your claim of year for year slips. Especially since expected launch was in 2017 as of 2015.


Aricle from November, 2011
https://www.space.com/13615-moon-express-lunar-lander-naveen-jain-interview.html
Quote
SPACE.com: When do you think your lunar lander could be ready?

Jain: Our team has proven out many of our critical subsystems of our lunar lander systems through rapid prototyping and will be proceeding on [an] accelerated flight program to meet our goal of a late 2013 or early 2014 launch to the moon.

EDIT: i think this right here also describes the problem:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/22/science/space/22moon.html
Quote
Meanwhile, at Moon Express, Mr. Jain’s imagination runs wild. A robot could scrawl a marriage proposal in the lunar dust, take a picture and send it to the customer’s beloved back on Earth. A time capsule filled with mementos or a strand of someone’s hair — and DNA — could be sent to the Moon, where it would persist, pristine in the airless environs.

The imagination in that team, from founders and investors and executives does run far ahead from the art of feasible.
« Last Edit: 07/12/2017 07:04 PM by savuporo »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Online ringsider

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 371
  • Liked: 154
  • Likes Given: 25
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #107 on: 07/12/2017 07:12 PM »
I think the main problem with Naveen Jain is his background.

Not a lot of people know this is the same Naveen Jain who did this:-

1. INFOSPACE

Dissecting The InfoSpace Dot Con

From the revenue?-we-don't-need-no-steenkin'-revenue... dept

InfoSpace was a company that definitely scared off a lot of people, thanks to the sheer hype spewing from the CEO's mouth. During the boom years, there were a lot of people wondering just what the company actually did. In 2002, we noted that atheists were rejoicing when InfoSpace was delisted just a couple years after CEO Naveen Jain was quoted as saying: "There are two kinds of people in this world... those who don't believe in God, and those who believe in God and InfoSpace. That's OK -- the nonbelievers will be converted when we become a trillion-dollar company."

It turns out that Jain wasn't just over-emphasizing the future prospects of the company, that (at the time) was nothing more than a random collection of content services (white pages, weather, horoscopes, etc.), he was outright lying about the existing business situation for the company. The Seattle Times is running a fascinating look at the con-job pulled by Jain to take a company that wasn't anything special, take it public, and then do anything and everything to boost the stock, including lying about the company's prospects and eventually doing a bunch of "lazy susan" deals, where InfoSpace would invest in a company (including one owned by Jain's brother) who would then turn around and "buy" services from InfoSpace -- turning existing cash into revenue. Meanwhile, the folks at Silicon Beat wonder if this sort of scam would have happened in Silicon Valley -- noting that all of the worst dot con scams all seemed to happen outside the Valley. (Updated to correct: InfoSpace was delisted, but did not declare bankruptcy).

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20050307/1735208.shtml

2. INTELIUS

Naveen Jain's Latest Quest For A Trillion Dollar Company May Be In Trouble

From the how-about-that? dept

Naveen Jain is nothing if not confident in himself. Back in 2000, as founder and CEO of InfoSpace, he famously declared both that InfoSpace was bigger than the internet, and that it would be the world's first trillion dollar company. More specifically, he said: "There are two kinds of people in this world... those who don't believe in God, and those who believe in God and InfoSpace. That's OK -- the nonbelievers will be converted when we become a trillion-dollar company." Now, it's one thing to be confident, but it's another thing to be cooking the books to try to get there. After InfoSpace imploded and Jain was sent packing, an investigative report uncovered all sorts of evidence about how much of InfoSpace's revenue was a huge scam, involving outright lies and "lazy susan" deals, where InfoSpace would "invest" in a company, who would turn around and pretend to buy InfoSpace services as a way to boost revenue.

Jain moved on and started a new company called Intelius, which claims to help you get background information on people -- though it's not hard to find many, many, many people who claim that the information is next to useless. Still, it's managed to bring in a ton of revenue, and with that has been planning to go public. However, Mike Arrington did a fantastic bit of sleuthing to discover that much of that revenue seems to come from a very questionable method.

Basically, Intelius gets you to cough up some money for the "information" it has on someone. Afterwards, it asks you to take a short survey, promising to give you $10 for your time. The survey is quick, but down below, in tiny gray-colored hard-to-read print, it notes that in submitting the "survey," you're actually agreeing to sign up for a $20/month "service" that, according to Arrington, doesn't appear to do anything other than charge you $20/month. As for that $10? Well, it's never mentioned again (nor is the $20/month you'll be paying... other than on your credit card bill). The "service" is a separate company (though Intelius gives them your credit card info), but clearly pays Intelius a fee for each signup. Arrington does a few back of the envelope calculations and figures that nearly all of Intelius' "growth" comes from these scammed deals, which, some claim are also difficult to cancel.

The whole thing stinks, and you would think that, given the situation with InfoSpace, the backers of Intelius' IPO would have done a bit more due diligence before agreeing to take the company public.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080530/0238341267.shtml

3. SEC

SEC complaint

https://www.sec.gov/litigation/briefs/2004/dreiling0304.pdf
« Last Edit: 07/12/2017 07:21 PM by ringsider »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #108 on: 07/12/2017 07:50 PM »
I like modular design concept.
Here some ideas for MX1E missions.


MX1E (RL version) while cheapest mission ($10m?) may not have enough payload to achieve much it can still be used as comms relay or observation post. Deliver ashes, DNA or keepsakes to surface.
As OTV it offers a few possibilities, cubesats to lunar orbit while itself staying in orbit as comms relay. Same can apply for asteriod missions. Earth departure for interplanetary cubesat missions.

M2 (VG version) would be about $20m and deliver enough payload to surface to do  useful exploration. Missions to Mars moons and orbit.

Offline meberbs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Liked: 1220
  • Likes Given: 312
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #109 on: 07/12/2017 08:01 PM »
The current expected launch is in less than six months, incompatible with your claim of year for year slips. Especially since expected launch was in 2017 as of 2015.


Aricle from November, 2011
https://www.space.com/13615-moon-express-lunar-lander-naveen-jain-interview.html
Quote
SPACE.com: When do you think your lunar lander could be ready?

Jain: Our team has proven out many of our critical subsystems of our lunar lander systems through rapid prototyping and will be proceeding on [an] accelerated flight program to meet our goal of a late 2013 or early 2014 launch to the moon.
To summarize the status:
2011: 2 - 2.5 years away
2015: 2 years away
2017: 6 months away

Year for year slips is not a valid complaint, at least not anymore.

This doesn't mean that I don't think their current schedule for completion isn't optimistic given their current status, but that is the case for basically any aerospace project.

-- Noting that the sentence above has a triple negative in it - yes, their schedule is probably still optimistic.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2419
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2297
  • Likes Given: 1670
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #110 on: 07/12/2017 08:50 PM »
They have hardware, I've personally seen it. And watched tests. Likely it could function as a payload.

They won't win the GLXP - both LV and SC likely to not make it to a pad for a lunar launch before it expires.

Barney Pell (an investor) trash talked Musk to my face - from the babbling I get the idea they couldn't get a launch (probably free) out of him.

My guess is that they're attempting to reposition post GLXP to get something out of all of this.

Meanwhile Pell said he isn't doing anything in space.

Expect it to totter on. Until it doesn't.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12969
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 2833
  • Likes Given: 430
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline as58

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 737
  • Liked: 243
  • Likes Given: 168
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #112 on: 07/13/2017 07:24 AM »
To be fair, even Richards admits in the SpaceNews article that '6 months' is optimistic:
Quote
Richards admitted that the schedule was tight, both for spacecraft assembly and launch, in order to meet the deadline in the $20 million Google Lunar X Prize competition of launching by the end of the year. “We have a lot to do in a very short timeframe, and Rocket Lab has a lot to do in a very short timeframe,” he said.

Offline synchrotron

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 299
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 13
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #113 on: 07/13/2017 01:24 PM »
Moon Express shows off mockups, other providers' prototype hardware, and powerpoint slides. Their launch date has slipped year-for-year dating back to 2015. Why are they still getting coverage? Because they tweet?
They are still getting coverage because your statements about them are false. They have done tests including powered landing tests on their own hardware. The current expected launch is in less than six months, incompatible with your claim of year for year slips. Especially since expected launch was in 2017 as of 2015.

Maybe you have them confused for some other company.

edit: typo

Incorrect. Better check which post has the false statements.  Moon Express did not develop the landing technology. It's out of Ames.  They have not funded it and they are not the design authority.

Offline synchrotron

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 299
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 13
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #114 on: 07/13/2017 01:28 PM »
The current expected launch is in less than six months, incompatible with your claim of year for year slips. Especially since expected launch was in 2017 as of 2015.


Aricle from November, 2011
https://www.space.com/13615-moon-express-lunar-lander-naveen-jain-interview.html
Quote
SPACE.com: When do you think your lunar lander could be ready?

Jain: Our team has proven out many of our critical subsystems of our lunar lander systems through rapid prototyping and will be proceeding on [an] accelerated flight program to meet our goal of a late 2013 or early 2014 launch to the moon.

EDIT: i think this right here also describes the problem:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/22/science/space/22moon.html
Quote
Meanwhile, at Moon Express, Mr. Jain’s imagination runs wild. A robot could scrawl a marriage proposal in the lunar dust, take a picture and send it to the customer’s beloved back on Earth. A time capsule filled with mementos or a strand of someone’s hair — and DNA — could be sent to the Moon, where it would persist, pristine in the airless environs.

The imagination in that team, from founders and investors and executives does run far ahead from the art of feasible.


Yeah, they don't even know what they don't know. If you are launching a lunar lander in 6 months, you should already be doing integration testing of the spacecraft with the launch vehicle. Their partners (not Moon Express) are still prototyping parts.

The reason this "other peoples' money"/"other peoples' technology" makes me angry is they detract from other more credible providers by discrediting the smallsat approach with their Barnum and Bailey tripe.

Offline synchrotron

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 299
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 13
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #115 on: 07/13/2017 01:30 PM »
The current expected launch is in less than six months, incompatible with your claim of year for year slips. Especially since expected launch was in 2017 as of 2015.


Aricle from November, 2011
https://www.space.com/13615-moon-express-lunar-lander-naveen-jain-interview.html
Quote
SPACE.com: When do you think your lunar lander could be ready?

Jain: Our team has proven out many of our critical subsystems of our lunar lander systems through rapid prototyping and will be proceeding on [an] accelerated flight program to meet our goal of a late 2013 or early 2014 launch to the moon.
To summarize the status:
2011: 2 - 2.5 years away
2015: 2 years away
2017: 6 months away

Year for year slips is not a valid complaint, at least not anymore.

This doesn't mean that I don't think their current schedule for completion isn't optimistic given their current status, but that is the case for basically any aerospace project.

-- Noting that the sentence above has a triple negative in it - yes, their schedule is probably still optimistic.

Nah, you've cherry picked their announcements.  They publicly predicted a 2015 launch in 2013. They are no closer to a mission today.

Offline Phil Stooke

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
  • Canada
  • Liked: 195
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #116 on: 07/13/2017 02:51 PM »
Those launch date predictions are following the GLXP deadline, not really predicting when launch might be possible.

Offline meberbs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Liked: 1220
  • Likes Given: 312
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #117 on: 07/13/2017 03:23 PM »
Moon Express shows off mockups, other providers' prototype hardware, and powerpoint slides. Their launch date has slipped year-for-year dating back to 2015. Why are they still getting coverage? Because they tweet?
They are still getting coverage because your statements about them are false. They have done tests including powered landing tests on their own hardware. The current expected launch is in less than six months, incompatible with your claim of year for year slips. Especially since expected launch was in 2017 as of 2015.

Maybe you have them confused for some other company.

edit: typo

Incorrect. Better check which post has the false statements.  Moon Express did not develop the landing technology. It's out of Ames.  They have not funded it and they are not the design authority.
Yours, on all counts. External funding, partnerships, etc. are an expected part of doing business. It doesn't matter if they got NASA funding or used NASA technology (which is available to U.S. companies for a reason). They have tested hardware, and they are building and testing the flight hardware.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAMPD65dvIY&feature=youtu.be

Offline Phil Stooke

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
  • Canada
  • Liked: 195
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #118 on: 07/13/2017 03:37 PM »
Also, the Ames Common Bus that they worked with some years ago is no longer what they are using.  They have had two different designs since then.  I am more concerned with the constant changes (similarly for Astrobotic).

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #119 on: 07/13/2017 04:23 PM »
.. I am more concerned with the constant changes (similarly for Astrobotic).

Well, this being the 'iPhone of space', as it were, it does require a new version release every once in a while. Mark my words, they'll go wireless control systems and take off refueling port next year. Less is more.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #120 on: 07/13/2017 04:36 PM »
Also, the Ames Common Bus that they worked with some years ago is no longer what they are using.  They have had two different designs since then.  I am more concerned with the constant changes (similarly for Astrobotic).
Original design used toroidal (donut) tank and stacked smaller on larger for bigger lander, would've resulted in different stage designs. They wanted to go as secondary payload on GTO missions, which would've meant complying with owner of missions demands.

Advent of Electron, Firefly and LauncherOne allowed them to buy whole LV starting at $5M. Hence change to new modular design. I'm guessing they designed for Electron first and foremost with bigger LauncherOne giving them two stage option. 

MX5 and MX9 clustering of stages is probably brilliant afterthought. Mass production of common stage helps keep build cost down. You've got give these guys   credit for thinking outside box.

I don't see any reason the MX1E won't fly,  maybe not in 2017. With this lander they have overcome the biggest barrier to space, launch cost.

« Last Edit: 07/13/2017 04:41 PM by TrevorMonty »

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #121 on: 07/13/2017 05:42 PM »
Also, the Ames Common Bus that they worked with some years ago is no longer what they are using.  They have had two different designs since then.  I am more concerned with the constant changes (similarly for Astrobotic).
Original design used toroidal (donut) tank and stacked smaller on larger for bigger lander, would've resulted in different stage designs. They wanted to go as secondary payload on GTO missions, which would've meant complying with owner of missions demands.

Advent of Electron, Firefly and LauncherOne allowed them to buy whole LV starting at $5M. Hence change to new modular design. I'm guessing they designed for Electron first and foremost with bigger LauncherOne giving them two stage option. 

MX5 and MX9 clustering of stages is probably brilliant afterthought. Mass production of common stage helps keep build cost down. You've got give these guys   credit for thinking outside box.

I don't see any reason the MX1E won't fly,  maybe not in 2017. With this lander they have overcome the biggest barrier to space, launch cost.

I don't believe the launch cost has ever been the biggest barrier to landing a probe on the Moon.

Where's the evidence that the money is there to build MX-1?  I haven't even seen any evidence they actually have the $5 million to pay for the Electron launch, let alone the lander.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4245
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 2844
  • Likes Given: 950
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #122 on: 07/13/2017 06:44 PM »
Where's the evidence that the money is there to build MX-1?  I haven't even seen any evidence they actually have the $5 million to pay for the Electron launch, let alone the lander.

From Eric Berger's article I cited yesterday:

Quote
Perhaps most intriguingly, Moon Express says it is self-funded to begin bringing kilograms of lunar rocks back to Earth within about three years. “We absolutely intend to make these samples available globally for scientific research, and make them available to collectors as well,” said Bob Richards, one of the company’s founders, in an interview with Ars.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/private-company-plans-to-bring-moon-rocks-back-to-earth-in-three-years/

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #123 on: 07/13/2017 08:58 PM »
Where's the evidence that the money is there to build MX-1?  I haven't even seen any evidence they actually have the $5 million to pay for the Electron launch, let alone the lander.

From Eric Berger's article I cited yesterday:

Quote
Perhaps most intriguingly, Moon Express says it is self-funded to begin bringing kilograms of lunar rocks back to Earth within about three years. “We absolutely intend to make these samples available globally for scientific research, and make them available to collectors as well,” said Bob Richards, one of the company’s founders, in an interview with Ars.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/private-company-plans-to-bring-moon-rocks-back-to-earth-in-three-years/

In what way is that evidence that they have the money?

You've seen the evidence up-thread that Naveen Jain has a history of lying about the finances of companies he has run, and the term "self-funded" is vague enough to be meaningless.  Companies sometimes use this term to mean that they hope to pre-sell products to fund their development.  Who knows what it means in this instance.

Offline meberbs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Liked: 1220
  • Likes Given: 312
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #124 on: 07/14/2017 05:37 AM »
Where's the evidence that the money is there to build MX-1?  I haven't even seen any evidence they actually have the $5 million to pay for the Electron launch, let alone the lander.

From Eric Berger's article I cited yesterday:

Quote
Perhaps most intriguingly, Moon Express says it is self-funded to begin bringing kilograms of lunar rocks back to Earth within about three years. “We absolutely intend to make these samples available globally for scientific research, and make them available to collectors as well,” said Bob Richards, one of the company’s founders, in an interview with Ars.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/private-company-plans-to-bring-moon-rocks-back-to-earth-in-three-years/

In what way is that evidence that they have the money?

You've seen the evidence up-thread that Naveen Jain has a history of lying about the finances of companies he has run, and the term "self-funded" is vague enough to be meaningless.  Companies sometimes use this term to mean that they hope to pre-sell products to fund their development.  Who knows what it means in this instance.
You asked about the money to build the lander. They literally are already building the lander. I haven't researched what funding sources they have had, but one way or another, they are spending that money now.

Offline synchrotron

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 299
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 13
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #125 on: 07/14/2017 02:34 PM »
Moon Express shows off mockups, other providers' prototype hardware, and powerpoint slides. Their launch date has slipped year-for-year dating back to 2015. Why are they still getting coverage? Because they tweet?
They are still getting coverage because your statements about them are false. They have done tests including powered landing tests on their own hardware. The current expected launch is in less than six months, incompatible with your claim of year for year slips. Especially since expected launch was in 2017 as of 2015.

Maybe you have them confused for some other company.

edit: typo

Incorrect. Better check which post has the false statements.  Moon Express did not develop the landing technology. It's out of Ames.  They have not funded it and they are not the design authority.
Yours, on all counts. External funding, partnerships, etc. are an expected part of doing business. It doesn't matter if they got NASA funding or used NASA technology (which is available to U.S. companies for a reason). They have tested hardware, and they are building and testing the flight hardware.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAMPD65dvIY&feature=youtu.be

I repeat. They have not funded it and they are not the design authority. A prime contractor needs to be in charge of how the money is spent. Aligning yourself publicly via twitter and youtube with people who have funding and technologies in development does not make you the mission lead.

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #126 on: 07/14/2017 04:37 PM »
Where's the evidence that the money is there to build MX-1?  I haven't even seen any evidence they actually have the $5 million to pay for the Electron launch, let alone the lander.

From Eric Berger's article I cited yesterday:

Quote
Perhaps most intriguingly, Moon Express says it is self-funded to begin bringing kilograms of lunar rocks back to Earth within about three years. “We absolutely intend to make these samples available globally for scientific research, and make them available to collectors as well,” said Bob Richards, one of the company’s founders, in an interview with Ars.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/private-company-plans-to-bring-moon-rocks-back-to-earth-in-three-years/

In what way is that evidence that they have the money?

You've seen the evidence up-thread that Naveen Jain has a history of lying about the finances of companies he has run, and the term "self-funded" is vague enough to be meaningless.  Companies sometimes use this term to mean that they hope to pre-sell products to fund their development.  Who knows what it means in this instance.
You asked about the money to build the lander. They literally are already building the lander. I haven't researched what funding sources they have had, but one way or another, they are spending that money now.

Having the money to start building a few parts is not the same as having the money to complete the job.

Offline meberbs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Liked: 1220
  • Likes Given: 312
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #127 on: 07/14/2017 04:52 PM »
Moon Express shows off mockups, other providers' prototype hardware, and powerpoint slides. Their launch date has slipped year-for-year dating back to 2015. Why are they still getting coverage? Because they tweet?
They are still getting coverage because your statements about them are false. They have done tests including powered landing tests on their own hardware. The current expected launch is in less than six months, incompatible with your claim of year for year slips. Especially since expected launch was in 2017 as of 2015.

Maybe you have them confused for some other company.

edit: typo

Incorrect. Better check which post has the false statements.  Moon Express did not develop the landing technology. It's out of Ames.  They have not funded it and they are not the design authority.
Yours, on all counts. External funding, partnerships, etc. are an expected part of doing business. It doesn't matter if they got NASA funding or used NASA technology (which is available to U.S. companies for a reason). They have tested hardware, and they are building and testing the flight hardware.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAMPD65dvIY&feature=youtu.be

I repeat. They have not funded it and they are not the design authority. A prime contractor needs to be in charge of how the money is spent. Aligning yourself publicly via twitter and youtube with people who have funding and technologies in development does not make you the mission lead.
So who is this mystery organization that is letting Moon Express take credit for all of their accomplishments?

Are you claiming this is somehow an unauthorized NASA mission, where the truth of the situation is being cleverly hidden from the organizers of the google lunar x-prize?

Are you claiming that Moon Express's employees just sit around and do PR pieces and none of them have done any design work at all on the missions they claim to be selling?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #128 on: 07/14/2017 07:14 PM »
Where's the evidence that the money is there to build MX-1?  I haven't even seen any evidence they actually have the $5 million to pay for the Electron launch, let alone the lander.

From Eric Berger's article I cited yesterday:

Quote
Perhaps most intriguingly, Moon Express says it is self-funded to begin bringing kilograms of lunar rocks back to Earth within about three years. “We absolutely intend to make these samples available globally for scientific research, and make them available to collectors as well,” said Bob Richards, one of the company’s founders, in an interview with Ars.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/private-company-plans-to-bring-moon-rocks-back-to-earth-in-three-years/

In what way is that evidence that they have the money?

You've seen the evidence up-thread that Naveen Jain has a history of lying about the finances of companies he has run, and the term "self-funded" is vague enough to be meaningless.  Companies sometimes use this term to mean that they hope to pre-sell products to fund their development.  Who knows what it means in this instance.
You asked about the money to build the lander. They literally are already building the lander. I haven't researched what funding sources they have had, but one way or another, they are spending that money now.

Having the money to start building a few parts is not the same as having the money to complete the job.
I going to assume GLXP admin team, NASA lunar CATALYST team and RL have lot more insight into MX business operations than we do.

Drop this discussion, unless you can come up with written evident MX doesn't have finances to complete MX1 and launch.

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #129 on: 07/14/2017 07:51 PM »
Where's the evidence that the money is there to build MX-1?  I haven't even seen any evidence they actually have the $5 million to pay for the Electron launch, let alone the lander.

From Eric Berger's article I cited yesterday:

Quote
Perhaps most intriguingly, Moon Express says it is self-funded to begin bringing kilograms of lunar rocks back to Earth within about three years. “We absolutely intend to make these samples available globally for scientific research, and make them available to collectors as well,” said Bob Richards, one of the company’s founders, in an interview with Ars.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/private-company-plans-to-bring-moon-rocks-back-to-earth-in-three-years/

In what way is that evidence that they have the money?

You've seen the evidence up-thread that Naveen Jain has a history of lying about the finances of companies he has run, and the term "self-funded" is vague enough to be meaningless.  Companies sometimes use this term to mean that they hope to pre-sell products to fund their development.  Who knows what it means in this instance.
You asked about the money to build the lander. They literally are already building the lander. I haven't researched what funding sources they have had, but one way or another, they are spending that money now.

Having the money to start building a few parts is not the same as having the money to complete the job.
I going to assume GLXP admin team, NASA lunar CATALYST team and RL have lot more insight into MX business operations than we do.

Drop this discussion, unless you can come up with written evident MX doesn't have finances to complete MX1 and launch.

I have as much right to comment here as you do.  It's perfectly legitimate to question whether something is true without having evidence it isn't true.  In fact, it would be horrible if people just blindly believed everything someone claimed and felt unwelcome questioning it unless they had proof it wasn't true.


Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #130 on: 07/14/2017 07:55 PM »
Also, it's not the job of the GLXP admin team or NASA lunar CATALYST team to look into the finances of Moon Expression.  They're not vouching for their finances.  And RocketLab have no reason to do so either.  If someone wants to publicly say they're a customer of RocketLab, it's good for RocketLab whether they actually have the money or not.  And, as far as RocketLab is concerned, maybe Moon Express will eventually get the money.  It's no skin off their back to have them sign up as a customer, no matter how unlikely they are to actually buy a launch eventually.
« Last Edit: 07/14/2017 07:55 PM by ChrisWilson68 »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #131 on: 07/14/2017 10:40 PM »
Jan17 they had $40m cash injection. Should be enough to build a couple of MX1 landers and pay for their RL launches.

http://pitchbook.com/profiles/moon-express-profile-investors-funding-valuation-and-analysis

They are not relying on $20m XPrize it is definitely worth going for.

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #132 on: 07/15/2017 12:11 AM »
Jan17 they had $40m cash injection. Should be enough to build a couple of MX1 landers and pay for their RL launches.

http://pitchbook.com/profiles/moon-express-profile-investors-funding-valuation-and-analysis

They are not relying on $20m XPrize it is definitely worth going for.

You're right, it does look like they raised $40 million.

I'm skeptical about whether that's enough to build even a single MX-1 lander, but it gets them off to a good start.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #133 on: 07/15/2017 12:58 AM »
Being able to scale design to suit mission and LV is big plus.

MX5 is ideal for PSLV or Vega.

MX9 at 2,500kg can use F9R or ISRO GSLV. 

I do think MX2 on LauncherOne is probably most useful. With lander + LV around $20m and useful payload to anywhere on moon.
MX1/RL for BLEO cubesat/ smallsat missions.

Offline catdlr

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4650
  • Marina del Rey, California, USA
  • Liked: 1466
  • Likes Given: 898
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #134 on: 07/16/2017 03:06 AM »
Moon Express Expedition 1: Lunar Scout

Moon Express
Published on Jul 15, 2017

EXPEDITION ONE: LUNAR SCOUT
THE 1ST COMMERCIAL VOYAGE TO THE MOON
The Lunar Scout expedition will be the first commercial voyage to the Moon. This historic expedition will demonstrate the cost effectiveness of entrepreneurial approaches to space exploration, carrying a diverse manifest of payloads including the International Lunar Observatory, “MoonLight” by the INFN National Laboratories of Frascati and the University of Maryland, a Celestis memorial flight, Following completion of operations supporting our Lunar Scout expedition partners, we will attempt to win the $20M Google Lunar XPRIZE.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJEkqpcu34U?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline catdlr

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4650
  • Marina del Rey, California, USA
  • Liked: 1466
  • Likes Given: 898
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #135 on: 07/16/2017 03:07 AM »
Moon Express Expedition 2: Lunar Outpost

Moon Express
Published on Jul 15, 2017


EXPEDITION TWO: LUNAR OUTPOST
THE 1ST COMMERCIAL SOUTH POLE EXPEDITION
The Lunar Outpost expedition will enable the first commercial presence and exploration of the lunar South Pole. The poles of the Moon have concentrations of water and other valuable resources, as well as “peaks of eternal light” where permanent sunshine and direct continuous communication with Earth is possible. The primary goals of this mission are to set up the first lunar research outpost, the prospect for water and useful minerals, and accommodate a variety of research instruments for our expedition partners.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGWmDGglIdk?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline catdlr

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4650
  • Marina del Rey, California, USA
  • Liked: 1466
  • Likes Given: 898
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #136 on: 07/16/2017 03:08 AM »
Moon Express Expedition 3: Harvest Moon

Moon Express
Published on Jul 15, 2017


EXPEDITION THREE: HARVEST MOON
THE 1ST COMMERCIAL LUNAR SAMPLE RETURN
The Harvest Moon expedition will take place by 2020 and includes the first commercial sample return mission, which also begins the business phase of lunar resource prospecting. The lunar samples brought back will be the only privately owned Moon materials on Earth and will be used to benefit science as well as commercial purposes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXMr-P7KDuU?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline synchrotron

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 299
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 13
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #137 on: 07/17/2017 01:54 PM »
Moon Express shows off mockups, other providers' prototype hardware, and powerpoint slides. Their launch date has slipped year-for-year dating back to 2015. Why are they still getting coverage? Because they tweet?
They are still getting coverage because your statements about them are false. They have done tests including powered landing tests on their own hardware. The current expected launch is in less than six months, incompatible with your claim of year for year slips. Especially since expected launch was in 2017 as of 2015.

Maybe you have them confused for some other company.

edit: typo

Incorrect. Better check which post has the false statements.  Moon Express did not develop the landing technology. It's out of Ames.  They have not funded it and they are not the design authority.
Yours, on all counts. External funding, partnerships, etc. are an expected part of doing business. It doesn't matter if they got NASA funding or used NASA technology (which is available to U.S. companies for a reason). They have tested hardware, and they are building and testing the flight hardware.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAMPD65dvIY&feature=youtu.be

I repeat. They have not funded it and they are not the design authority. A prime contractor needs to be in charge of how the money is spent. Aligning yourself publicly via twitter and youtube with people who have funding and technologies in development does not make you the mission lead.
So who is this mystery organization that is letting Moon Express take credit for all of their accomplishments?

Are you claiming this is somehow an unauthorized NASA mission, where the truth of the situation is being cleverly hidden from the organizers of the google lunar x-prize?

Are you claiming that Moon Express's employees just sit around and do PR pieces and none of them have done any design work at all on the missions they claim to be selling?

Yes, it appears to me that most of the activity is PR. I have not said that any NASA center is doing anything unauthorized - you are making stuff up. No NASA entities are touting that there is a Moon Express mission in the offing.

If it's not all just PR, can you tell me who is on the Moon Express design team? Who is the chief engineer? Or has any spacecraft equipment organization received a request for proposal for a flight delivery from Moon Express? If launch is in Q2 2019, they must be a year away from delivering flight units for integration into the spacecraft. Why no tweets of the copious amounts of hardware they are building? They seem to have time to send out CGI graphics of the "mission after then next one we gonna fly", so it can't just be that they are too busy.

Offline meberbs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Liked: 1220
  • Likes Given: 312
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #138 on: 07/17/2017 02:38 PM »
I repeat. They have not funded it and they are not the design authority. A prime contractor needs to be in charge of how the money is spent. Aligning yourself publicly via twitter and youtube with people who have funding and technologies in development does not make you the mission lead.
So who is this mystery organization that is letting Moon Express take credit for all of their accomplishments?

Are you claiming this is somehow an unauthorized NASA mission, where the truth of the situation is being cleverly hidden from the organizers of the google lunar x-prize?

Are you claiming that Moon Express's employees just sit around and do PR pieces and none of them have done any design work at all on the missions they claim to be selling?

Yes, it appears to me that most of the activity is PR. I have not said that any NASA center is doing anything unauthorized - you are making stuff up. No NASA entities are touting that there is a Moon Express mission in the offing.

If it's not all just PR, can you tell me who is on the Moon Express design team? Who is the chief engineer? Or has any spacecraft equipment organization received a request for proposal for a flight delivery from Moon Express? If launch is in Q2 2019, they must be a year away from delivering flight units for integration into the spacecraft. Why no tweets of the copious amounts of hardware they are building? They seem to have time to send out CGI graphics of the "mission after then next one we gonna fly", so it can't just be that they are too busy.
They have already built and tested hardware in the past. You are the one who needs to answer who did that if it wasn't Moon Express. I was not making stuff up, but trying to figure out what you were talking about when you claimed they didn't do the funding or designing, yet didn't explain who did. You imagining some NASA conspiracy was the only explanation I could come up with for your nonsensical statements.

As for their team, go look up the company on linkedin. The company profile shows 39 employees, of which 21 are on linked in based on the search results I linked.

Quote
If launch is in Q2 2019, they must be a year away from delivering flight units for integration into the spacecraft.
Even major spacecraft aren't delivered until a few months before, not a year in advance, and especially for a smallsat, 2 years before a launch it wouldn't need to be started.

Anyway, you again seem to be talking about an entirely different company since as I already stated, planned launch is by the end of the year, which is why your original claim about year-for-year slips was wrong. As for hardware for this launch, they have stated they are in  component assembly and test. This does make it seem extremely difficult for them to make the end of year deadline (not quite impossible yet). Ideally, they would be getting started on spacecraft I&T by now.

Offline GWH

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #139 on: 07/21/2017 05:38 PM »
Development contract announced with International Lunar Observatory Association to land an observation station at the Lunar South Pole in 2019:

http://moonexpress.com/news/moon-express-announces-lunar-south-pole-mission-technology-development-contract-international-lunar-observatory-association/

Offline Arch Admiral

  • Member
  • Posts: 88
  • 14th Naval District
  • Liked: 57
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #140 on: 07/24/2017 12:18 AM »
The International Lunar Observatory Association is a vanity project run and funded by Steve Durst, a member of the notorious New York City real estate Dursts, pensioned off in Hawaii due to his loony interests. Google his name for a barrel of laughs. No legitimate space organization in Hawaii will have anything to do with him.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #141 on: 07/24/2017 12:55 AM »
The International Lunar Observatory Association is a vanity project run and funded by Steve Durst, a member of the notorious New York City real estate Dursts, pensioned off in Hawaii due to his loony interests. Google his name for a barrel of laughs. No legitimate space organization in Hawaii will have anything to do with him.
As long as his cheques don't bounce it shouldn't worry Moon Express.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2017 10:37 AM by TrevorMonty »

Offline meberbs

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1326
  • Liked: 1220
  • Likes Given: 312
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #142 on: 07/24/2017 12:55 AM »
"Google his name for a barrel of laughs" is a really unhelpful statement. Although google results will vary by location, search history, etc. I definitely didn't find a barrel of laughs. Mostly obituaries for people with the same name.

I did find 2 relevant things, some space related publishing agency, and the ILOA website. The first of those led me to a news item about China having an agreement with ILOA for observing time on chang'e 3. I'd say that is a fairly legitimate space organization that is willing to have something to do with him.

Checking for a third party source on the information I found this old article, which indicates this newest contract between ILOA and Moon Express has been planned for years now.

Offline GWH

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #143 on: 07/27/2017 10:30 PM »
Great interview with Bob Richards of Moon Express on the SpaceQ podcast:
 http://spaceq.ca/mission-approved-bob-richards-on-the-moon-express-plan-to-commercialize-the-moon/

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #144 on: 08/12/2017 04:14 PM »
A couple of missions for MX.

The first one will use ISRO PLSV, I think India is providing launch for free as their contribution to mission.

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/space-observatories/international-lunar-observatory-new-astrophysical-perspective/

Old article but should still be valid.

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/commercial/moonlight-lunar-laser-ranging-array-to-continue-work-of-apollo/

Offline Comga

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3910
  • Liked: 1232
  • Likes Given: 1047
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #145 on: 08/12/2017 08:31 PM »
A couple of missions for MX.

The first one will use ISRO PLSV, I think India is providing launch for free as their contribution to mission.

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/space-observatories/international-lunar-observatory-new-astrophysical-perspective/

Old article but should still be valid.

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/missions/commercial/moonlight-lunar-laser-ranging-array-to-continue-work-of-apollo/
Quote
Half of the total $24 million cost of the four-mission agreement will be put up by Moon Express.
“We are making this investment to support our customer and contribute to fundamental science of the Moon and our universe,” said Naveen Jain, Moon Express co-founder and chairman. “The establishment of a network of new-generation laser retroreflectors on the Moon is also a good business investment into lunar infrastructure for our future missions.

Huh?

The bulk of the "cost" is the Moon Express lander.  "put up" would mean not charging list price to "the National Laboratories of Frascati (LNF), which is part of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), and .. the University of Maryland (UM)" neither of which has tens of millions of dollars to spend on a lunar retroreflector array.

"a good business investment" enables an economic return.  There is no customer base for ownership of, or use of, lunar retroreflectors.  General Relativity is all well and good, seeing as how it underpins our universe, but it's not a big business, outside of NASA, NSF, and ESA funding missions to test it.

It's not even clear there is a use for more arrays on the Moon.  The Apollo arrays are probably unchanged in a half century.  My (professional) understanding is that most of the laser ranging stations have been shuttered.

This more comports with earlier posts about Naveen Jain's creative terminology about money.  By proposing to heavily discount an as-yet-unseen product for lightly funded academics, he can claim customers and a "strategic" investment.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2017 08:32 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Phil Stooke

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 354
  • Canada
  • Liked: 195
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #146 on: 08/13/2017 07:15 AM »
"It's not even clear there is a use for more arrays on the Moon. "


http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016EGUGA..18.7103C

http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016cosp...41E.386C

(etc. - these cover astrophysics, but more work on lunar motions also will tell more about its interior state)

My (professional) understanding tells me something quite different.  The Apache Point Observatory is doing important work now and plans for new reflectors are in the works.  Everything you say about this particular funding arrangement may be correct, but the value of laser ranging is undiminished.  One major difference from older work is that better ground equipment vastly increases the time resolution and thus precision of the laser returns, allowing ever more sensitive tests of the various things being studied.  Also the old arrays are somewhat limited in distribution, and there is a strong interest in placing reflectors closer to the limb and the poles to improve knowledge of lunar motions.

Offline Comga

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3910
  • Liked: 1232
  • Likes Given: 1047
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #147 on: 08/13/2017 03:12 PM »
Those are cool abstracts.  I will have to get copies of the papers.
It is interesting that if they get a single aperture retroreflector to the Moon one of the next big error terms is the thermal expansion of the lander.
It remains to be seen if they have the funds for one or more MX-1's, even at "half price".

edit:  But that's in response to one of my four paragraphs.  The rest stand.  The "business case" still doesn't seem real.
« Last Edit: 08/13/2017 03:15 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #148 on: 08/13/2017 06:08 PM »
There business case is more build and hope customers will come. Once proven there will be lots of scientists coming up with mission plans to use it and chase NASA for funding.

The orbiter version may have more of a market especially if it can survive Mars trip.

« Last Edit: 08/13/2017 06:11 PM by TrevorMonty »

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #149 on: 08/13/2017 06:39 PM »
There business case is more build and hope customers will come. Once proven there will be lots of scientists coming up with mission plans to use it and chase NASA for funding.

That's been the business case of many a space venture.  It doesn't always pan out.  Dragon Lab and Bigelow come to mind as well-funded examples with real hardware that have built it but haven't had customers come.  There are many more that never got that far.

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #150 on: 08/13/2017 06:48 PM »
There business case is more build and hope customers will come. Once proven there will be lots of scientists coming up with mission plans to use it and chase NASA for funding.

That's been the business case of many a space venture.  It doesn't always pan out.  ...

I'd state this as it rarely, if ever, pans out. Where are examples of this being a successful strategy ?
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #151 on: 08/13/2017 07:34 PM »
They are small company so only few missions per year is all that is needed to keep them going.

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3533
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2083
  • Likes Given: 2460
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #152 on: 08/13/2017 08:55 PM »
They are small company so only few missions per year is all that is needed to keep them going.

That's been the refrain from most such ventures.

The problem is that each mission is expensive enough that it's hard to find even one customer who both has that much money and is willing to pay it, let alone several per year.

Offline GWH

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #153 on: 08/22/2017 11:38 PM »
Looking at the MX-1's claimed deltaV of 5.8 km/s and 30 kg payload with a fully fueled mass of 300 kg gives a pretty insanely low dry mass.

For H2O2/kerosene propellant combo Astronautix lists an ISP of 319 s.
http://www.astronautix.com/h/h2o2kerosene.html

Rounding up to an ISP of 320s for that payload and dV I get a dry mass of 12 kg. This lines up pretty well with what Moon Express is claiming for the MX-5 and MX-9 max dV but shows even better mass fraction than the MX-1.  I get a total dry mass of 56kg for MX-5, and 73kg for MX-9.

Assuming that mass doesn't include the payload I get 42 kg, but that seems pretty strained to line up with launching on Rocketlab's for their first mission.
Trying to use a multiple of the heavier assumption for MX-1 of 42kg makes the MX-5 and MX-9 totally unworkable for the claimed max deltaV's of 9.8 and 10.9 respectively, assuming no payload.
« Last Edit: 08/22/2017 11:42 PM by GWH »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #154 on: 08/23/2017 12:46 AM »
Looking at the MX-1's claimed deltaV of 5.8 km/s and 30 kg payload with a fully fueled mass of 300 kg gives a pretty insanely low dry mass.

For H2O2/kerosene propellant combo Astronautix lists an ISP of 319 s.
http://www.astronautix.com/h/h2o2kerosene.html

Rounding up to an ISP of 320s for that payload and dV I get a dry mass of 12 kg. This lines up pretty well with what Moon Express is claiming for the MX-5 and MX-9 max dV but shows even better mass fraction than the MX-1.  I get a total dry mass of 56kg for MX-5, and 73kg for MX-9.

Assuming that mass doesn't include the payload I get 42 kg, but that seems pretty strained to line up with launching on Rocketlab's for their first mission.
Trying to use a multiple of the heavier assumption for MX-1 of 42kg makes the MX-5 and MX-9 totally unworkable for the claimed max deltaV's of 9.8 and 10.9 respectively, assuming no payload.
From MX website. I don't think its capable of 30kg with Electron hence *.
Electron will get them to moon for very low price, but with very little useful payload.

MX-2 launched on LauncherOne is more useful lander.


THE SINGLE STAGE MX-1 CAN DELIVER UP TO 30KG TO THE LUNAR SURFACE*.

Designed for Scout Class exploration capabilities starting from low Earth orbit, MX-1 delivers flexibility and performance to revolutionize access to the Moon and cis-lunar space.

MX-1 is environmentally green, using eco-friendly fuels, advanced carbon composites and silicates, powered by the Moon Express PECO rocket engine, for an unparalleled capability in space robotics.

Available in orbiter, lander and deep space probe configurations.

*Launcher dependent.
« Last Edit: 08/23/2017 12:56 AM by TrevorMonty »

Online wilbobaggins

  • Member
  • Posts: 16
  • Uk
  • Liked: 4
  • Likes Given: 4
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #155 on: 08/23/2017 11:29 AM »
Looking at the MX-1's claimed deltaV of 5.8 km/s and 30 kg payload with a fully fueled mass of 300 kg gives a pretty insanely low dry mass.

For H2O2/kerosene propellant combo Astronautix lists an ISP of 319 s.
http://www.astronautix.com/h/h2o2kerosene.html

Rounding up to an ISP of 320s for that payload and dV I get a dry mass of 12 kg. This lines up pretty well with what Moon Express is claiming for the MX-5 and MX-9 max dV but shows even better mass fraction than the MX-1.  I get a total dry mass of 56kg for MX-5, and 73kg for MX-9.

Assuming that mass doesn't include the payload I get 42 kg, but that seems pretty strained to line up with launching on Rocketlab's for their first mission.
Trying to use a multiple of the heavier assumption for MX-1 of 42kg makes the MX-5 and MX-9 totally unworkable for the claimed max deltaV's of 9.8 and 10.9 respectively, assuming no payload.

My understanding is that 30kg is the maximum payload it can propulsively using the small RCS thrusters the video shows it using.
Hence the same "maximum payload" for both MX-1 and MX-2.


It really annoys me that they posted a deltaV statistic (more than most do to be fair) without any reference as if payload did not influence DeltaV. DV on its own means basically nothing.
It would be really great to see a Payload/Dv graph.


Offline GWH

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #156 on: 08/23/2017 04:32 PM »
From MX website. I don't think its capable of 30kg with Electron hence *.
Electron will get them to moon for very low price, but with very little useful payload.

MX-2 launched on LauncherOne is more useful lander.

Agreed, I think they are using the MX-1 to make up a portion of the delta-V to orbit, and lower the payload capacity to suit given the 250 kg fully fueled mass.   
From Rocket Lab's website the max payloads are listed as:
SSO Circular x 300 km: 167 kg
LEO elliptical 180 km x 300 km: 225 kg 

Of course this just means that the dry mass cannot be as high as 40kg without payload, the dV would be nowhere near enough without significantly higher ISP than 320. LEO to Moon surface is listed at 5.93 km/s dV, add in extra to make up the shortfall with the Electron and then more for the lunar surface 500m "hop" to win the xprize.... Assuming a total dV of 6.3km/s and 320 ISP the total dry mass including payload would need to be 33 kg.

*Edited crossed out some assumptions. Relistening to the SpaceQ podcast where Bob Richards of Moon Express sates that the first missions on RocketLab will be placed into circular LEO orbits where the spacecraft will briefly loiter.

For Launcher 1 max payload to LEO 230km circular is 500 kg.

My understanding is that 30kg is the maximum payload it can propulsively using the small RCS thrusters the video shows it using.
Hence the same "maximum payload" for both MX-1 and MX-2.


It really annoys me that they posted a deltaV statistic (more than most do to be fair) without any reference as if payload did not influence DeltaV. DV on its own means basically nothing.
It would be really great to see a Payload/Dv graph.

That payload limit might be true, I had assumed structural limits which is probably less likely.

If one takes the minimum deltaV of 6.5 km/s listed for the MX-9 at 320s ISP that works out to a max dry mass of 295 kg, or 33 kg per "module".*

All in all not a very useful way of listing things, hence to attempts to figure it out by working through the dV listed of the different variants to try and hone in on a reasonable dry mass for MX-1.

*For the MX-9 no staging was assumed, since that isn't depicted in their animations.
« Last Edit: 08/23/2017 09:24 PM by GWH »

Offline savuporo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5168
  • Liked: 969
  • Likes Given: 344
Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #157 on: 10/11/2017 04:31 AM »
http://spacenews.com/moon-express-and-nanoracks-partner-on-lunar-payloads/

Quote
Commercial lunar lander company Moon Express announced an agreement with NanoRacks Oct. 10 to carry commercial payloads to the surface of the moon.

Under the agreement, NanoRacks, a company best known for transporting satellites and other payloads to the International Space Station, will handle sales, marketing and technical support for payloads that will fly on Moon Express’ series of lunar lander missions, starting in early 2018.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #158 on: 10/11/2017 04:14 PM »
Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) tweeted at 2:22 AM on Thu, Oct 12, 2017:
Paul Spudis: first Moon Express MX-1 mission could be an orbiter, not a lander [not something the company has mentioned before] #leag2017

If it wasn't for Xprize being up for grabs I'd say orbiter makes lot of sense. MX-1 landed payload using Electron is very small   but orbiting payload should be in tens of kg range.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Moon Express MX-1
« Reply #159 on: 10/15/2017 06:36 PM »
Found quote from Bob Richards about MX1E launch mass 495lbs  225kgs (450 fuel, 25 drymass, 20 payload), 5% dry mass is incredible for a lander.

With 319 ISP that is 7.4km/s. I suspect they've reduced payload to give themselves more margin, needs enough fuel for 500m hop.

LauncherOne will allow it to be fully fuelled plus give it extra boost as L1 is good for 500kg to LEO.

« Last Edit: 10/15/2017 06:48 PM by TrevorMonty »

Tags: