Author Topic: Moon Express MX-1  (Read 50247 times)

Offline Arch Admiral

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Online savuporo

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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

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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 »

Offline wilbobaggins

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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 »

Online savuporo

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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 Expressí series of lunar lander missions, starting in early 2018.
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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 »

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