Author Topic: GLXP Update Thread  (Read 76686 times)

Offline racshot65

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GLXP Update Thread
« on: 08/21/2011 04:25 PM »
Noticed we didn't have one of these so I thought I'd start it


To kick it off ...

Omega Envoy lander mockup update


Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #1 on: 08/22/2011 12:10 PM »
EuroLuna mid August update



1st Projected launch of Romid 1 coming soon currently working on software development

Attitude control software has been loaded into the cube sat


Romid 2 - A single cubesat to test 2 technologies for the moon a passive stabiliser and faster radio transmitter

Launch in March / April 2012

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #2 on: 08/24/2011 12:44 PM »
Testing of Mono Propellants by Team Independence X Aerospace




Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #3 on: 08/27/2011 03:06 PM »

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #4 on: 08/28/2011 03:00 PM »

Offline racshot65

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Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #6 on: 08/29/2011 11:15 AM »
A very good write up on team Astrobotic's

Astrobotic’s Race to the Moon

http://link.cs.cmu.edu/article.php?a=620

Offline Diagoras

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #7 on: 08/29/2011 05:42 PM »
Thanks for all the updates, racshot, as GLXP news tends to be a little spread-out by its nature. I appreciate someone collating it all.
"It’s the typical binary world of 'NASA is great' or 'cancel the space program,' with no nuance or understanding of the underlying issues and pathologies of the space industrial complex."

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #8 on: 08/29/2011 06:29 PM »
The unofficial scorcard

http://evadot.com/glxpscorecard/

shows that four teams are very serious about winning: Moon Express, Astrobotic, Rocket City space Pioneers, Part Time Scientists.

It looks like it comes down to two major items progress and funding that seperates this group from the next. What is not shown and probably should be a good indicator of who is ahead is the gap between funding and the total of funds required to get to the Lunar surface. But alas such internal cost estimates will probably never be available.

One indicator though of the costs is the LV choosen. Astrobotic has choosen F9, while RCSP has choosen Atlas V (probably a 401 config). The Atlas V 401 has a higher TLI payload than the F9 because of the LOX/LH2 Centaur US. Just the cost difference between these two LV's ~$60M for the F9 and >$85M probably as much as $110M for the Atlas V 401 says alot about how much this gap could be. Since the only team with a launch agreement is Astrobotic the others could also end up on less expensive boosters, a decision driven by funding.

edit- I wanted to recheck my understanding of what LV RCSP was going to use and to my suprise I found a SpaceX logo on their homepage. So they are using the same booster F9 as Astrobotic. The other two may be thinking the or arranging the same. I will check them as well.
« Last Edit: 08/29/2011 06:38 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline simonbp

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #9 on: 08/29/2011 07:21 PM »
I'm not sure I believe that scorecard; OdysseyMoon seems one of the more professional teams, yet scores very low (mainly due to a lack of public information)...

Offline as58

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #10 on: 08/29/2011 09:21 PM »
I'm not sure I believe that scorecard; OdysseyMoon seems one of the more professional teams, yet scores very low (mainly due to a lack of public information)...

Yeah, and it seems a bit silly to include things like "social networking", "inspiration" and "participatory exploration" in the total score with the same weight as "progress" and "lander completion". The most important metrics are probably the ones that have the most uncertainty due to very limited amount of public information from some teams.

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #11 on: 08/30/2011 07:14 PM »
And on the MTA topic ...

Euroluna are now fully compliant with the Master Team Agreement



New software has been compiled for the cube sat

« Last Edit: 08/30/2011 07:16 PM by racshot65 »

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #12 on: 08/30/2011 07:27 PM »
This is good

Lunar Lion - Hopper Spacecraft Simulator


Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #13 on: 08/31/2011 10:48 AM »
Lunar Excavator Development by team Astrobotic




Also the GLXP has a new website

http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/

Offline Moe Grills

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #14 on: 08/31/2011 07:29 PM »
Explain!

In one of the the Youtube videos, an imminent Romid 1 launch is claimed.
Is the expected Romid 1 launch supposed to be orbital or suborbital?
  I recall Euroluna said something about a launch last December.

« Last Edit: 08/31/2011 07:35 PM by Moe Grills »

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #15 on: 09/03/2011 07:19 PM »
UA Space Systems Engineer and Moon Express Team Eye $30 Million Google Lunar X Prize

http://engr.arizona.edu/news/story.php?id=337

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #16 on: 09/07/2011 10:59 AM »
Moon Express Lander Development - The Prequel


Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #17 on: 09/09/2011 12:59 PM »
« Last Edit: 09/09/2011 01:00 PM by racshot65 »

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #18 on: 09/09/2011 12:59 PM »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #19 on: 09/09/2011 06:24 PM »
This seems kinda related, as much as I know our members only link other sites.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/09/protecting-apollo-sites-future-visiting-vehicles-nasa-evaluation/

Offline racshot65

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Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #21 on: 09/12/2011 10:34 AM »
SpaceMETA Slides from Presentation at CEO Summit 2011 GLXP

http://www.slideshare.net/IdeaValley/spacemeta-status-report-ceo-summit-at-nasa-google-lunar


TechShop & Team Phoenicia

« Last Edit: 09/12/2011 10:46 AM by racshot65 »

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #22 on: 09/13/2011 07:05 PM »

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #23 on: 09/17/2011 09:47 AM »
Team Italia - Techno System developments presentation for the AMALIA Moon mission


Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #24 on: 09/19/2011 10:14 AM »
White Label Space: Lander Structural Model - CFRP Panels


Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #25 on: 09/20/2011 12:23 PM »
Barcelona Moon Team - Update on the rover design

http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/teams/barcelona-moon-team/blog/update-rover-design


Team Arca - The aerodynamic simulations for the IAR-111 supersonic airplane were completed

http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/teams/arca/blog/aerodynamic-simulations-iar-111-supersonic-airplane-were-completed

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #26 on: 09/21/2011 11:17 AM »

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #27 on: 09/25/2011 08:50 PM »

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #28 on: 10/18/2011 04:28 PM »

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #29 on: 10/19/2011 01:29 PM »

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #30 on: 11/08/2011 03:31 PM »
Team Astrobotic - Rover Egress Design

http://astrobotic.net/2011/11/07/rover-egress-design/

Offline Wyvern

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #31 on: 11/10/2011 12:44 AM »
Are their any teams that are planning on any post-Lunar x Prize Lunar business ventures?  I seem to recall Astrobiotic planning some kind of post prize business plan. Not sure about the others.
Darn it where is my Moon base!

Offline majormajor42

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #32 on: 11/29/2011 11:39 PM »
News from Moon Express folks.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Moon-Express-Designs-prnews-268173677.html?x=0
and some speculation:
http://evadot.com/2011/11/29/did-moon-express-just-take-the-lead-in-the-point-of-the-google-lunar-x-prize/

I was reading the thread about Mike Leinbach leaving NASA (and speculation where he might be going), and it made me think. Are there similar examples of people from the robotic side of the program, such as folks at JPL, leaving NASA or other large traditional contractors and joining one of these smaller GLXP companies?
...water is life and it is out there, where we intend to go. I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man or machine on a body such as the Moon and harvest a cup of water for a human to drink or process into fuel for their craft.

Offline koraldon

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #33 on: 12/09/2011 07:58 AM »
New SpaceIL video, mainly promotional. It is in hebrew though ...

Offline Jason1701

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #34 on: 12/09/2011 05:00 PM »
They want to land on the moon by the end of 2012. What a joke.

Offline koraldon

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #35 on: 12/09/2011 07:08 PM »
Just to make sure - who is they that you refer to?
Because if you said it in the context of video I linked to - the year that appears there is 2013. And even if it won't be 2013, but 2014 or even never, your attitude is still very rude.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #36 on: 12/09/2011 07:09 PM »
They want to land on the moon by the end of 2012. What a joke.
Yes, the Falcon Heavy test flight will probably be delayed until 2013.

Offline Jason1701

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #37 on: 12/09/2011 07:18 PM »
Just to make sure - who is they that you refer to?
Because if you said it in the context of video I linked to - the year that appears there is 2013. And even if it won't be 2013, but 2014 or even never, your attitude is still very rude.

Space IL. Their website says "by the end of next year." I wish them all the best, but extreme-overly-optimistic statements like that damage their credibility in my opinion.

I'm not sure what Swallow means about the FH. Its first flight was never planned for 2012.
« Last Edit: 12/09/2011 07:18 PM by Jason1701 »

Offline koraldon

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #38 on: 12/09/2011 08:04 PM »
The video mentions specifically 2013, I think that is much more credible than what's written on the website. But even if that date is missed, and it will be performed in 2014 (a plausible scenario) I think you are missing the point here.

Most GLXP teams (and SpaceIL) are not commercial companies (a la spaceX ) with contracts and potential customers. SpaceIL is actually a NGO so while we are optimistic, the important thing is to perform the mission.

I understand where the cynic attitude is coming from (spacex has been mentioned in reference to their many delays and overpromises), I think that really most GLXP teams are just not in the same category of commercial companies.
This is an inspiring competition, to get a new generation involved in lunar exploration first, and not part of the broader commercial "scene".
If any of the teams makes it to the moon, even in 2015 (missing the 2014 deadline) it will be a great achievement - maybe not from a science point of view, but from the inspiration aspect.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #39 on: 12/09/2011 09:53 PM »
{snip}

I'm not sure what Swallow means about the FH. Its first flight was never planned for 2012.

2012 is when the demo FH is due to arrive at the launch site according to SpaceX's manifest.
http://www.spacex.com/launch_manifest.php
« Last Edit: 12/09/2011 09:54 PM by A_M_Swallow »

Offline spectre9

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #40 on: 12/10/2011 12:44 AM »
If any team makes it to the moon it will cost more than the prizemoney.

That's why this particular X-prize is the slowest most boring of them all and has the most chance of never getting done.

Offline Moe Grills

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #41 on: 12/10/2011 07:11 AM »
Just to make sure - who is they that you refer to?
Because if you said it in the context of video I linked to - the year that appears there is 2013. And even if it won't be 2013, but 2014 or even never, your attitude is still very rude.

Space IL. Their website says "by the end of next year." I wish them all the best, but extreme-overly-optimistic statements like that damage their credibility in my opinion.
    Did it ever occur to you, Jason, that IL might get some 'unofficial' help
from the Israeli Defense Force?
  The IDF does have surplus 'obsolete' Jericho 1 missiles, one of which may be 'donated' to IL, converted to a first-stage booster. mounted with a couple of other lesser missiles (such as converted tankbusters, or PSTAM's) to form upper-stages and voila! You have the means to launch
something measured in kilograms to the Moon.

Offline douglas100

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #42 on: 12/10/2011 10:04 PM »
Rockets aren't Legos. Where is your evidence for this?
Douglas Clark

Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #43 on: 12/11/2011 08:57 AM »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #44 on: 12/11/2011 03:10 PM »
Moon Express Inc - Shooting for the moon — to mine it

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-naveen-jain-20111210,0,4780820,full.story

Interesting article, I find this as the most important part:

Quote
Do you expect MoonEx to be profitable?

We wouldn't be doing it if we didn't think it could be a profitable business.

I find this a realistic acknowledgement because he used “could be” instead of “will be”, an acknowledgement of the high risks from a business profitability point. The Moon holds great promise but remains a problem of the execution in order to close the business case. It’s this execution which involves the technology as well as the cost of the LV just to get off of Earth, minimizing the costs while maximizing the sustainable revenue (at greater than the costs) is what will close the business case, something that holds great profits but also great business risks.

Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #45 on: 03/06/2012 12:54 AM »
Had not noticed this, but Astrobotic postponed their plans, is now planning to land on the south pole and drill for ice.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_784867.html

Can you say, feature creep ?
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline go4mars

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #46 on: 03/06/2012 07:39 PM »
Can you say, feature creep ?
Can I say "frickin awesome" instead? 

Thanks for posting that article.  That's really interesting news!  I wonder what the Chinese will think of Astrobotic taking their crater! 

Important science could certainly be done. 

Plus the headlines will be prone toward excitement.  It's a good story: "Some guys cobble together a space ship on a shoe-string budget to drill into an ice deposit on the moon.  Characterization of the ice deposits could enable lower cost access to our solar system.  Now claiming to be a sovereign tech civilization, our new lunar overlords have decided to rename the moon "Castle Greencheese" after their chemical analysis came back from areas of uncovered outcrop.  'Nice ice for sale, ten cents a pail', reads their new sign."   

(quick exit to stage right)
« Last Edit: 03/06/2012 07:50 PM by go4mars »
Elasmotherium; hurlyburly Doggerlandic Jentilak steeds insouciantly gallop in viridescent taiga, eluding deluginal Burckle's abyssal excavation.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #47 on: 03/06/2012 07:47 PM »
Can you say, feature creep ?
Can I say "frickin awesome" instead? 

Thanks for posting that article.  That's really interesting news!  I wonder what the Chinese will think of Astrobotic taking their crater! 

The difference between a stunt (visiting an Apollo site) and performing a real exploratory mission that has tremendous commercial and scientific repercussions.

Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #48 on: 03/07/2012 02:53 AM »
The problem is, you can always keep adding features and make the promised end result more awesome, and never actually launch anything. Not saying that this is Astrobotic's path, and they have strong other reasons to delay ( *cough* SpaceX ).

Just getting it up there, claiming the GLXP, and THEN doing ver2.0 would have been a lower risk path.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline QuantumG

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #49 on: 03/07/2012 03:01 AM »
It's how they're paying for the mission.. the whole point of X-Prizes is that they're insufficient to cover the costs of actually winning the prize.. the prize therefore becomes a stimulus or focus for economic activity.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #50 on: 03/07/2012 02:08 PM »
MoonExpress rox.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline spectre9

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #51 on: 03/08/2012 05:01 AM »
Not visiting a historic site seems like throwing money away.  ???

Offline synchrotron

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #52 on: 03/08/2012 01:37 PM »
MoonExpress rox.

Is this sarcasm?

Offline RanulfC

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #53 on: 03/08/2012 08:50 PM »
Not visiting a historic site seems like throwing money away.  ???
Considering the amount of "suggested" procedures for visiting said historic site, (you have read the NASA suggested procedures even for a robotic visit haven't you? :) ) and the amount of hassel having to "coordinate" any such visit with NASA, I'd have thought they would have opted for one of the other sites a while ago...

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline spectre9

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #54 on: 03/08/2012 10:45 PM »
Is all that hassle really not worth a million bucks?  ???

Offline Wyvern

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #55 on: 03/10/2012 06:26 AM »
While visiting an historical site would have, erm, historical value the truth is that visiting the ice deposits will have a much greater value as a result of industrial concerns.

Personally I hope that the Eagle landing site will someday be investigated by a flying (would that be the right word?) vehicle/robot.  Would probably do very little to any damage using that route. 
Darn it where is my Moon base!

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #56 on: 03/13/2012 12:33 PM »
MoonExpress rox.

Is this sarcasm?

Not at all.  I like what they're doing. 

I read their website cover to cover the other day.  Also took a couple of googols on other web mentions of their work.  What I'd like to know is who is building their EDS?  I thought that an F9 could possibly land one mT on the Moon but they only propose landing 100kg.  It wouldn't surprise me to learn that my numbers are off by this amount.
« Last Edit: 03/13/2012 12:37 PM by JohnFornaro »
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #57 on: 03/27/2012 04:13 PM »
Can't post the link right now, but just saw this in my news feeds: a Spanish GLXP team signed a launch contract with Chinese for a launch on Long March 3b in 2014.

Also making them subject to ITAR
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Offline racshot65

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #58 on: 03/27/2012 04:45 PM »
Can't post the link right now, but just saw this in my news feeds: a Spanish GLXP team signed a launch contract with Chinese for a launch on Long March 3b in 2014.

Also making them subject to ITAR

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/03/23/glxp-news-barcelona-moon-team-signs-agreement-for-chinese-launch/

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #59 on: 10/22/2012 10:36 AM »
Sorry to bump this thread, but do we know which of the teams have any reasonable chance of getting the prize before the deadline?
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #60 on: 10/22/2012 12:40 PM »
http://evadot.com/glxpscorecard/

Moon Express and Barcelona Moon have highest score for funding.

3rd, Astrobotic intends polar ice characterization.

Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #61 on: 10/22/2012 04:05 PM »

Offline Jason1701

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #62 on: 10/22/2012 04:08 PM »
http://evadot.com/glxpscorecard/

It looks like those scorecards are 2 years old.

They were stopped two months ago, see that site's homepage.

Offline Danderman

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #63 on: 11/23/2012 03:55 PM »
GLXP News: SpaceIL, Odyssey Moon Team Up

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/11/21/glxp-news-spaceil-odyssey-moon-team-up/

LOS ANGELES, CA, Nov 20, 2012 (SpaceIL/Odyssey Moon PR) – SpaceIL and Odyssey Moon Ltd., two teams competing in the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, announced today a joint teaming deal to pursue the competition purse. Odyssey Moon, the first team entrant in the Google Lunar X PRIZE, is joining SpaceIL, the most significant international teaming deal in the private $30 million race to the Moon. Together, the alliance formed under team SpaceIL will compete in the competition and, according to many, the most likely team to succeed in this dramatic race to the Moon.

The joint teaming arrangement is based on an innovative commercial partnership model that infuses high impact scientific missions with a commercial enterprise funding element. This dynamic partnership brings together the best characteristics of non-profit activities with commercial and entrepreneurial skill sets.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #64 on: 11/23/2012 03:57 PM »
GLXP News: SpaceIL, Odyssey Moon Team Up

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2012/11/21/glxp-news-spaceil-odyssey-moon-team-up/

LOS ANGELES, CA, Nov 20, 2012 (SpaceIL/Odyssey Moon PR) – SpaceIL and Odyssey Moon Ltd., two teams competing in the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, announced today a joint teaming deal to pursue the competition purse. Odyssey Moon, the first team entrant in the Google Lunar X PRIZE, is joining SpaceIL, the most significant international teaming deal in the private $30 million race to the Moon. Together, the alliance formed under team SpaceIL will compete in the competition and, according to many, the most likely team to succeed in this dramatic race to the Moon.

The joint teaming arrangement is based on an innovative commercial partnership model that infuses high impact scientific missions with a commercial enterprise funding element. This dynamic partnership brings together the best characteristics of non-profit activities with commercial and entrepreneurial skill sets.


I see that they still haven't book a launch yet on any rocket...... so I'm still betting that the GLXP will be won by that Spanish team....  ;)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Danderman

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #65 on: 11/27/2012 02:20 PM »
IMGO, the loss of Falcon 1 pretty much made this prize impossible to achieve. Since Falcon 9s go for more than $30 million, a dedicated launch for a lunar lander is not economically feasible. Conversely, a shared launch between a lunar lander and some other payload not going to the Moon is difficult to achieve.

Elon needs to bring back the Falcon 1 for this prize to work.

Offline koraldon

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #66 on: 11/28/2012 04:32 PM »
The falcon 1 is only suitable if you have a dedicated kickstage on your mission.
I think most, if not all, teams prefer a more energtic launcher which can do the TLI, or most of it, for you.
So the falcon 1 has no impact imho, on the prize. High costs of launchers in general, falcon 9 included, do.

Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #67 on: 11/28/2012 06:25 PM »
SpaceX manifest doesnt list a single GLXP flight.
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Offline Danderman

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #68 on: 11/28/2012 06:40 PM »
The falcon 1 is only suitable if you have a dedicated kickstage on your mission.
I think most, if not all, teams prefer a more energtic launcher which can do the TLI, or most of it, for you.
So the falcon 1 has no impact imho, on the prize. High costs of launchers in general, falcon 9 included, do.

The Falcon 1 could loft considerable mass to high energy orbits. Any decent lunar lander could probably perform the final TLI  burn from HEO.

Offline Moe Grills

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #69 on: 11/28/2012 09:52 PM »
  A change of subjects...slightly.
The Israeli team vying for the GOOGLE lunar X Prize.

1) I know that they are not intending to land a rover on the Moon.

2) The hardware they are intending to land on the Moon is tiny in mass;
not much more than the mass of the Blackberry (if you have one) in your hands when the lander is devoid of braking propellant.

3) I get regular email updates from  the team.

4) My query to them as to what kind of booster they intended to use was
not answered with a direct reply, but left plenty of hints.

5) Over 150 volunteers and a tiny paid staff work on the project in Israel,
including members of the Israeli MILITARY. There's your first hint.

6) A converted-demilitarized (surplus) Jericho-1 missile/booster to serve
as first stage is the conclusion they left me to conclude.

7) Indirect confirmation of the upperstages being converted Israeli
military missiles (including converted portable antitank and antiaircraft
missiles can be drawn from one of their sponsers). 

7b) The Israeli government is 'secretly' supporting this project. Why not?
Proverbial ballistic swords into space-exploration plowshares; Israeli hardware on the Moon; something Jews in Israel would take pride in.
« Last Edit: 11/28/2012 09:55 PM by Moe Grills »

Offline koraldon

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #70 on: 11/30/2012 07:36 AM »
  A change of subjects...slightly.
The Israeli team vying for the GOOGLE lunar X Prize.

1) I know that they are not intending to land a rover on the Moon.

2) The hardware they are intending to land on the Moon is tiny in mass;
not much more than the mass of the Blackberry (if you have one) in your hands when the lander is devoid of braking propellant.

3) I get regular email updates from  the team.

4) My query to them as to what kind of booster they intended to use was
not answered with a direct reply, but left plenty of hints.

5) Over 150 volunteers and a tiny paid staff work on the project in Israel,
including members of the Israeli MILITARY. There's your first hint.

6) A converted-demilitarized (surplus) Jericho-1 missile/booster to serve
as first stage is the conclusion they left me to conclude.

7) Indirect confirmation of the upperstages being converted Israeli
military missiles (including converted portable antitank and antiaircraft
missiles can be drawn from one of their sponsers). 

7b) The Israeli government is 'secretly' supporting this project. Why not?
Proverbial ballistic swords into space-exploration plowshares; Israeli hardware on the Moon; something Jews in Israel would take pride in.

1 - yep,
2 - nope, it is the size of a washing machine (roughly).
4 - When it will be formal, it will published.
5 - There are no military members in the team, except as voluanteers. Like there are pensioners, high school students, young professionals, teachers, etc... except to say that there is a military in Israel, don't see the connection.
6-7 100% Incorrect, love the conspiracy though.

Danderman, what is considerable mass?
« Last Edit: 11/30/2012 07:37 AM by koraldon »

Offline Comga

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #71 on: 11/30/2012 07:33 PM »

Quote
The Falcon 1 could loft considerable mass to high energy orbits. Any decent lunar lander could probably perform the final TLI  burn from HEO.

Danderman, what is considerable mass?
This is from the April 2007 Rev 6 of the Falcon 1 Launch Vehicle Pauyload User's Guide, althought the program is no longer active.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline jongoff

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #72 on: 05/22/2013 06:01 PM »
Via Twitter (from the Space Tech Expo conference going on in LA right now):
Quote
@jeff_foust
Richards: Moon Express is "doing well." On a Series B round now; when it closes, will be at $10M raised, a key milestone. #spacetechexpo

Richards estimates cost of lander mission at $50M; worried it would be $100M. Believes can be profitable at that cost. #spacetechexpo

That puts things in perspective. So they're almost 20% of the way to the amount of funding they need. Kudos for being up-front about where they are financially though. It's pretty easy for space companies to talk about having billionaire investors and just let people assume that that means that they have a lot of money. $10M is nothing to sneeze at, but it's good to actually get some numbers from one of these companies about where they're actually at.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 05/22/2013 06:02 PM by jongoff »

Offline Warren Platts

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #73 on: 05/22/2013 06:31 PM »
I heard they're going to change the rules so that the prize money won't be reduced if they all get beat back to lunar surface by the CNSA.
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Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #74 on: 05/22/2013 07:15 PM »
http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/prize-details/rules-overview
"The competition's grand prize is worth $20 million. To provide an extra incentive for teams to work quickly, the grand prize value will change to $15 million whenever a government-funded mission successfully explores the lunar surface, currently projected to occur in 2013."
December 31st, 2010 ;)

I wonder what happened since then to make it look less likely that a government-funded mission to successfully explore the lunar surface would be American.

Offline Warren Platts

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #75 on: 05/22/2013 09:39 PM »
Well, it's not really fair to penalize these small, private teams trying to make something happen with extremely limited budgets because of the actions of a big government with a trillion dollar budget.
"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 simonbp

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #76 on: 05/24/2013 05:32 AM »
Via Twitter (from the Space Tech Expo conference going on in LA right now):
Quote
@jeff_foust
Richards: Moon Express is "doing well." On a Series B round now; when it closes, will be at $10M raised, a key milestone. #spacetechexpo

Richards estimates cost of lander mission at $50M; worried it would be $100M. Believes can be profitable at that cost. #spacetechexpo

That puts things in perspective. So they're almost 20% of the way to the amount of funding they need. Kudos for being up-front about where they are financially though. It's pretty easy for space companies to talk about having billionaire investors and just let people assume that that means that they have a lot of money. $10M is nothing to sneeze at, but it's good to actually get some numbers from one of these companies about where they're actually at.

~Jon

To put it further in perspective, the cheapest recent lander mission was Mars Pathfinder, at ~$150 million in 1996 dollars, or about $216 million today. So, they are basically trying to do this for a quarter the budget of Pathfinder.
« Last Edit: 05/24/2013 05:33 AM by simonbp »

Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #77 on: 11/10/2013 06:26 PM »
GLXP lowering expectations

Its been a long while coming, but it has been pretty obvious for years that getting together funding, team and leadership for puling off a lunar landing is just highly unlikely.
Astrobotic is probably the only org that really has anything serious going, and they keep re-scoping  and postponing their effort.
Predictably, none of the teams has booked a launch yet.

EDIT: sorry i take that back. Astrobotics claims to have a contract with Falcon 9 but it doesnt show on SpaceX manifests. Barcelona Moon claims to have a contract on Long March 2C ( cite ). Further, they claim a launch date of June 2015, or as is the tradition with most private space ventures, "we will launch two years from now".
« Last Edit: 11/10/2013 06:42 PM by savuporo »
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #78 on: 11/11/2013 07:33 AM »
With Astrobotic quoting a mission mass of <300 kg isn't it safe to assume it will be a secondary payload? ISTM that would explain he manifest issue. If so, can we work the numbers backwards and figure our what the max primary payload mass could be and attempt an ID by elimination?
DM

Offline spectre9

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #79 on: 11/12/2013 08:29 AM »
I thought Moon Express was going to win and cop the financial loss.

GLXP is a good idea but the prize pool wasn't realistic enough.

There's a MASSIVE gap between suborbital trajectories and TLI and that's before you factor in the lander.


Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #80 on: 11/12/2013 02:45 PM »
With Astrobotic quoting a mission mass of <300 kg isn't it safe to assume it will be a secondary payload?
Mission mass is what, mass lifted to LEO or put through TLI ? Looking at the hardware they have shown, its hard to believe their lander fully fueled and rover together will be < 300kg.

Quote
I thought Moon Express was going to win
Tweets and "social media presence" dont actually keep the spacecraft warm in space.
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Offline Kryten

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #81 on: 11/12/2013 10:24 PM »
 Do we have any idea what Barcelona Moon Team's actual relationship with CAST is? They list CGWIG (a CAST subsidiary) as a sponsor rather than as 'contractor' or anything of that sort-is there a possibility they're actually getting subsidised/free support from CAST/CGWIG?

Offline Garrett

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #82 on: 11/13/2013 09:33 AM »
I thought Moon Express was going to win
Tweets and "social media presence" dont actually keep the spacecraft warm in space.
ME seems to be ticking along quite nicely. They have a very significant test coming up tomorrow: a GNC closed loop test on NASA's Mighty Eagle robotic lander.
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Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #83 on: 11/13/2013 04:01 PM »
With Astrobotic quoting a mission mass of <300 kg
Where did you get that number by the way ? From their website:
Lander Mass: 525kg
(Red) Rover Mass: 80kg

ME seems to be ticking along quite nicely. They have a very significant test coming up tomorrow: a GNC closed loop test on NASA's Mighty Eagle robotic lander.
Yeah i'm probably overly critical ( due their omnipresent self-hype that gets slightly obnoxious at times ), as they do seem to be putting together some hardware, although real details are hard to come across - and they are probably keeping it that way intentionally. According to LinkedIn, they do have about a dozen engineers of various disciplines working in their Moffet Field location.
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #84 on: 11/14/2013 09:25 AM »
With Astrobotic quoting a mission mass of <300 kg
Where did you get that number by the way ? From their website:
Lander Mass: 525kg
(Red) Rover Mass: 80kg

From an apparently outdated page at GLXP.


DM

Offline Garrett

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #85 on: 11/19/2013 09:10 AM »
The Mighty Eagle has Landed (with Moon Express GNC)
www.googlelunarxprize.org - Moon Express Blog -  Bob Richards - Nov 14, 2013 04:57 PM
http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/teams/moon-express/blog/mighty-eagle-has-landed-moon-express-gnc

Quote
Today the NASA Mighty Eagle prototype lunar lander took flight for the first time with Moon Express navigation and control (GNC) software in the driver’s seat.

In a relatively brief (in human terms) flight, our GNC software successfully controlled the vehicle in a tethered hover flight and landed with all nerves and pieces intact.

Of course today’s flight was actually a relatively conservative logical next step beyond our September 20th open loop free flight test, and was a very carefully planned event supported by high confidence at Moon Express and NASA due to many rigorous simulations, reviews and empirical data.  Still, spacecraft GNC involves highly complex software algorithms and the vehicle itself is in a high energy state where safety has no room for compromise. We congratulate our GNC team for a job well done, particularly our Principal GNC Engineer Jim Kaidy and Software Engineer Mike Stewart (pictured here with the Mighty Eagle today), and we continue to be impressed and appreciative of the support and professionalism of the Mighty Eagle team.

The second pic from today's flight test shows the "Mighty Eagle" going through its pre-flight "burp sequence" where it basically warms up the rocket engines. You can see the tethers attaching the vehicle to its launch pad. As today's test was about validating our GNC software logic and command sequences, not about flying high, the use of tethers is a standard and logical safety measure in early flight software testing.

We hope to be able to share further pics and videos soon once released from NASA.

We will be analyzing the flight data with NASA over the coming days and determine whether we are ready to move on to a closed loop free flight test. We have certainly learned a lot in this flight test series and NASA Marshall and its Mighty Eagle team have been very supportive and helpful throughout. The entire experience has been a great example of collaborative efforts between NASA and the private sector to advance new capabilities of mutual benefit.

We’ll post more news as we come to understand the volumes of data arising from today’s test flight, and meanwhile you can continue to follow the Moon Express / Mighty Eagle post-flight test news through Twitter at @NASAMightyEagle and @Moon_Ex.
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Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #86 on: 11/29/2013 11:53 PM »
http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/teams/barcelona-moon-team/blog/barcelona-moon-team-unveils-new-lander-and-rover-modules

This is not flight hardware, but engineering models.
Quote
“These are previous models to study the mechanics and some of the subsystems such as the guidance and control, power and communications” said Claramunt, “after them, the qualification and flight models will be built, tested, and finally will travel to the Moon by mid 2015”.

I think most of the teams will choke after they actually start trying to run their machines on space rated electronics. The expenses will go up by multiple  factors, and using commercial off the shelf electronics like a lot of cubesats are doing is likely not an option.

EDIT: Another recent update,
http://lunarlion.psu.edu/press-release-roaring-to-the-moon-lunar-lion-pays-launch-reservation-fee/

This is one GLXP team paying another ex-GLXP team fees for payload manifesting, but no actual booking of the launch has apparently occured yet. Team Phoenicia claims they have more customers in the rack, soon to be disclosed.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2013 12:03 AM by savuporo »
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Offline Garrett

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #87 on: 12/09/2013 06:09 PM »
As it's relevant to the GLXP, am copying this over from the Moon Express MX-1 announcement thread:
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.
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Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #88 on: 12/10/2013 11:59 PM »
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2013/12/10/51021/
"Team Phoenicia Inks Deal for Space Traffic Control Services"
Quote
Team Phoenicia will provide launch opportunities to Pennsylvania State University’s Lunar Lion Google Lunar X PRIZE team, California Polytechnical University at San Luis Obispo, Tyvak Nanosatellite Systems and Spaceflight Services, Inc. on the Phoenicia-­‐1 (P-­‐1) mission using a commercial domestic launch vehicle. The launch will carry over twenty small satellite payloads and potentially up to 75 cubesat payloads.

Quote
The Phoenicia‐1 launch will be scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2015.

i.e. two years from now. Which domestic, commercial launch vehicle may still have a slot open for 2015 Q4 launch ? And where on earth are they going to find 75 paying cubesat customers.
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Offline savuporo

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Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #90 on: 12/17/2013 10:00 PM »
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/moon-mars/the-lunar-x-prize-heats-up-16278801

Five further teams drop out, PopMech constructs this as "heating up". Apparently they have a requirement to submit their launch schedules 18 months before flight - so that leaves about next 6 months for announcements.
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Offline Warren Platts

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #91 on: 12/19/2013 06:45 PM »
http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/prize-details/rules-overview
"The competition's grand prize is worth $20 million. To provide an extra incentive for teams to work quickly, the grand prize value will change to $15 million whenever a government-funded mission successfully explores the lunar surface, currently projected to occur in 2013."
December 31st, 2010 ;)

I wonder what happened since then to make it look less likely that a government-funded mission to successfully explore the lunar surface would be American.

http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/prize-details/rules-overview

No mention now of the $5 million penalty for coming in 2nd place after China. ;D
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Offline Bubbinski

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #92 on: 02/16/2014 03:08 AM »
The Clark Planetarium is showing a new film narrated by Tim Allen called "Going to the Moon For Good".  It's about the GLXP and discussed some of the 30 teams involved along with the basic rules. I knew next to nothing about this prize before I saw this today, and I learned a lot more from this thread and searching online after I got home.  The show did a good job with the graphics, describing some of the concepts, and describing the basics, and was a good production, I enjoyed seeing it.

However after I got home and researched the GLXP site, I found that some of the teams had withdrawn, I don't recall that being mentioned in the show.  The show sounded pretty optimistic about the whole thing.  I hope someone wins this or at least launches but they have till Dec 2015 (also not mentioned in the show as I recall, unless I missed something).  If there's no one ready to go soon might Google push back the deadline?

Good luck to all the GLXP competitors!
« Last Edit: 02/16/2014 03:12 AM by Bubbinski »
I'll even excitedly look forward to "flags and footprints" and suborbital missions. Just fly...somewhere.

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #93 on: 02/22/2014 11:53 AM »
Google Lunar XPRIZE Selects Five Teams to Compete for $6 Million in Milestone Prizes
http://www.astrowatch.net/2014/02/google-lunar-xprize-selects-five-teams.html

Offline Jcc

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #94 on: 02/22/2014 12:27 PM »
Google Lunar XPRIZE Selects Five Teams to Compete for $6 Million in Milestone Prizes
http://www.astrowatch.net/2014/02/google-lunar-xprize-selects-five-teams.html

Nice!
The only thing I don't get (OK, maybe not the only thing) is who pays for the launcher? The cheapest launch system capable of reaching the moon would exceed the whole $40M purse.
Could some of them go as a secondary payload on another launch, in which case they would need a hefty kick motor to get to LTO.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #95 on: 02/22/2014 08:43 PM »
Could some of them go as a secondary payload on another launch, in which case they would need a hefty kick motor to get to LTO.

Most of them are, and no, you don't need a "hefty kick motor" to go from GTO to LTO. Going to lunar orbit is about the same delta-v as going from GTO to GEO.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #96 on: 06/05/2014 03:39 AM »
GLXP teams are at summit in Budapest, and seems like they are getting really really serious now.

http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aerospace/robotic-exploration/google-lunar-x-prize-summit
Quote
No teams have announced firm launch dates, but of the 18 participants, a group of five teams has demonstrated good progress...

One highlight of this year's summit is the variety of additional projects the teams have taken on, in part to fund their expensive missions...

Astrobotic, the Carnegie Mellon spin-off, announced this week that its lunar vehicle will carry a capsule provided by a Japanese beverage maker. The capsule will contain titanium plates with notes written by children, and it will also include a powder package of Pocari Sweat, a sports drink. Astrobotic says this is the first marketing campaign to be delivered on the moon.

But that wasn't the only lunar stunt discussed at the summit. Swedish artist Mikael Genberg saw the moon race as the perfect opportunity for an art project. His idea: building a traditional Swedish house on the moon.

Seems like they are all sorted now.
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Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #97 on: 06/05/2014 03:52 PM »

But that wasn't the only lunar stunt discussed at the summit. Swedish artist Mikael Genberg saw the moon race as the perfect opportunity for an art project. His idea: building a traditional Swedish house on the moon.
What the heck, this on the Moon is art?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #98 on: 09/19/2014 10:18 AM »
Astrobotic Lunar Lava Cave exploration.

This is video of the mission Astrobotic plan on their first landing. Landing successfully would be great but being able to explore a lava cave will be so much cooler.

http://www.livestream.com/newchannel/popoutplayer?channel=niac2014&clip=pla_ab831db4-57fb-48a8-a95e-0ad43f4d9f76

Online symbios

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #99 on: 09/19/2014 11:17 AM »
This is the project in question, picture from google images

http://themoonhouse.com/en

Edit: Added link
« Last Edit: 09/19/2014 11:18 AM by symbios »
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Offline Moe Grills

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #100 on: 09/20/2014 05:32 AM »
This is the project in question, picture from google images

http://themoonhouse.com/en

Edit: Added link

That is so funny. LOL. ;-)

Is his telephone ringing off the hook?

Offline jamesh9000

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #101 on: 12/16/2014 06:52 PM »
Big update, the GLXP competition has been extended through to the end of 2016: http://lunar.xprize.org/press-release/deadline-30-million-google-lunar-xprize-extended-end-of-2016

For me the big news is that
Quote
As part of this revised timeline, at least one team must provide documentation of a scheduled launch by December 31, 2015 for all teams to move forward in the competition.

In other words, no one has a launch yet. Barcelona Moon Team booked on a Long March for June this year? Hasn't happened. Astrobotic on a Falcon 9, I guess it wasn't booked, or they wouldn't have said this. I wish the teams would just be honest with us about what they're doing and what's booked and what isn't. It makes this kind of thing really hard to follow if we can't trust any team updates.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #102 on: 12/31/2014 11:26 AM »
Big update, the GLXP competition has been extended through to the end of 2016: http://lunar.xprize.org/press-release/deadline-30-million-google-lunar-xprize-extended-end-of-2016

For me the big news is that
Quote
As part of this revised timeline, at least one team must provide documentation of a scheduled launch by December 31, 2015 for all teams to move forward in the competition.

In other words, no one has a launch yet. Barcelona Moon Team booked on a Long March for June this year? Hasn't happened. Astrobotic on a Falcon 9, I guess it wasn't booked, or they wouldn't have said this. I wish the teams would just be honest with us about what they're doing and what's booked and what isn't. It makes this kind of thing really hard to follow if we can't trust any team updates.

Honesty nearly always loses out to survival.  Teams fear if they admit how bleak things really are, it will seal their doom because then they won't get any more money, donations, or volunteers.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #103 on: 12/31/2014 11:34 AM »
Maybe it would be better for Google to just pull the plug.  Honestly, if teams haven't been able to raise the cash for launches yet, is another year really going to matter?

If nobody ends up winning the prize, dragging it out year after year has several negative effects.  It makes people sour on the idea of prizes for spaceflight.  It makes them sour on the idea of progress for spaceflight in general.  It makes them sour on the idea of commercial spaceflight.  It wastes the efforts of many volunteers and some paid employees working on these projects who could be contributing to something that could actually succeed, whether in spaceflight or something else.

I think prizes are a good idea, but the prize amount was too small for the requirements of this competition.  Its failure will make future space prizes less likely to happen.

Offline MattMason

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #104 on: 12/31/2014 03:02 PM »
Maybe it would be better for Google to just pull the plug.  Honestly, if teams haven't been able to raise the cash for launches yet, is another year really going to matter?

If nobody ends up winning the prize, dragging it out year after year has several negative effects.  It makes people sour on the idea of prizes for spaceflight.  It makes them sour on the idea of progress for spaceflight in general.  It makes them sour on the idea of commercial spaceflight.  It wastes the efforts of many volunteers and some paid employees working on these projects who could be contributing to something that could actually succeed, whether in spaceflight or something else.

I think prizes are a good idea, but the prize amount was too small for the requirements of this competition.  Its failure will make future space prizes less likely to happen.

I disagree. The ANSARI XPrize was started in 1997. The idea of someone making a viable, much less safe suborbital spacecraft seemed doubtful until Scaled Composites nailed it with Spaceship One nearly a decade later.

Innovation takes time. Funding takes time. Funding also requires more than good technology. It may require good salesmanship. I'm betting Scaled Composites couldn't go anywhere without making that good investment pitch to Paul Allen. Geeks have the technical savvy but only a few have the diplomatic savvy that pushes things to action.

The competition has fertile soil. Given that Elon Musk has a rocket that can easily send a small payload into TLI, it's a matter of funding and time. This prize would be impossible were it not for the advent of commercial rocket vehicle companies. But they're also in their infancy. One is thriving. Another is recovering. The oldest kid on the block is busy at their "real job" (ULA) and isn't into "hobbies."

Based on my scan of the Wikipedia article on the prize, the best option is for several companies to buy out a SpaceX launcher. I'm sure Musk would even cut a deal on a reused one, given he's part of the XPrize Commission. But as others have noted, the window is closing and there's a growing and long manifest. I'd hope the time is extended. It's a laudable quest.
"Why is the logo on the side of a rocket so important?"
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Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #105 on: 12/31/2014 03:47 PM »
I think prizes are a good idea, but the prize amount was too small for the requirements of this competition.  Its failure will make future space prizes less likely to happen.
I don't think prizes at this scale are a good idea. I think trying to foster innovation and building a larger pool of credible teams (and companies) that can fly spacecraft to space is a good idea, but prizes haven't been doing that.

Things like university cubesat programs have done far more of that over last 10 years than GLXP ever did. As a young engineer it is far, far better to have a Cubesat ( even a failed one ) on your resume than being member of GLXP team.
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Offline Moe Grills

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #106 on: 01/25/2015 06:31 PM »
CNET is having a live chat on its website today with five of the competing teams for the GLXP.
I won't log in, but if you want to chat with the five teams, rake them over the coals today and demand to know what launchers they will use, if they have any lined up.

Offline SaxtonHale

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #107 on: 01/26/2015 07:18 AM »
I'd be happy to answer any questions I can about Carnegie Mellon University's rover Andy.
Vimeo page with additional videos

We're partnered with Astrobotic, who are developing the Griffin Lander, which will carry our rover to Lacus Mortis.

This isn't anything official, I'm just a NSF member who is very excited about all of these missions, and happy to be involved with this one.

(I know those links aren't 'meaty' with the kind of detailed information we like here, but it is a quick introduction. Much is still up in the air, of course...)
« Last Edit: 01/26/2015 07:20 AM by SaxtonHale »

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #108 on: 01/26/2015 09:21 AM »
I'd be happy to answer any questions I can about Carnegie Mellon University's rover Andy.
Vimeo page with additional videos

We're partnered with Astrobotic, who are developing the Griffin Lander, which will carry our rover to Lacus Mortis.

This isn't anything official, I'm just a NSF member who is very excited about all of these missions, and happy to be involved with this one.

(I know those links aren't 'meaty' with the kind of detailed information we like here, but it is a quick introduction. Much is still up in the air, of course...)

Great, thanks!

I have some questions:

1. How much is the Andy team contracted to pay Astrobotic for the ride to the moon?

2. How much of that has Team Andy already paid?

3. How much still needs to be raised from outside funding sources to reach the amount that must be paid to Astrobotic?

4. Does Team Andy pay Astrobotic the same amount if the launch and/or landing is a failure as if the Andy payload actually makes a soft touchdown on the Moon?

5. When is the Astrobotic launch scheduled?

6. Is there a firm commitment to a date?

7. How far is Astrobotic from reaching the funding level needed to pay for the launch?

Thanks!  I'm really looking forward to hearing these kinds of details.  I'd be thrilled to see someone win the GLXP, but I'd like to know how realistic that is before getting my hopes up.

Offline SaxtonHale

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #109 on: 01/26/2015 03:52 PM »
First, I'm just now shamefully remembering that this is the update thread. Construction and testing of the proto-flight rover will occur over the next few months, so it might make sense to start a separate thread for Andy soon.

An update, however - the milestone prize winners have been announced, and additional milestone prizes hinted at.

Back to your questions,
I'm sure you expected that those are all difficult to answer. Since this isn't anything official from the team, I'm going to be careful. Also, a lot of those contract details are still not nailed down, or are not made obvious to the students. But I will find out some of those details.

re the Astrobotic partnership - it is very collaborative since there is a close history. I don't know those numbers now, or if we'd make them public at this time.

We're doing fundraising, and have already raised a bunch- it doesn't look tight, although everyone always would like more money. Winning all three milestone prizes helps us in showing our system to other people.
Astrobotic is selling their lander's capability commercially, even on the first mission.

The relationship with the company that will launch us is also collaborative, as in, they want to get us there - it is more than just doing it for the check. You can guess which company that is.
Previous rumors of a firm launch were just rumors by ex-team members. Nothing public about the launch date, yet.


You're right to keep your enthusiasm in check. This year will show whether anyone is going or not.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #110 on: 02/23/2015 09:56 AM »
Just saw reports that the representative team from Japan, HAKUTO, is also hitchhiking their little rover on Astrobotic's.

The launch date is stated as "2H 2016" - they better start final integration and testing soon.....  :-X
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #111 on: 05/03/2015 05:48 PM »
What went on the wire was an agreement between Astrobotix and Hakuto teams to collaborate on securing the launch.

I see no indication that a launch deal has actually been signed between the launch provider and customers in that press release, SpaceX wasnt a part of the PR. AFAIK they have never confirmed any launch slots for any of the GLXP missions, still, but then english is not my first language.

http://lunar.xprize.org/press-release/two-google-lunar-xprize-teams-announce-rideshare-partnership-mission-moon-2016

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Offline jamesh9000

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #112 on: 05/04/2015 04:26 AM »
No, you've understood it correctly. Every couple of years a team 'announces' they've booked a ride on a rocket at a certain time, then awkward silence follows, and eventually the promised month comes and goes with not a word mentioned. Team Barcelona kicked it off in 2013. Hopefully this time it will be different.

Offline Quagga

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #113 on: 05/25/2015 01:46 PM »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #114 on: 05/25/2015 03:12 PM »
From the conditions for extending the deadline:
Quote
At least one team must provide XPRIZE and Google with notification of a launch contract by December 31, 2015 for the competition to be extended until December 31, 2017.

So they are forcing the teams to book a launch.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #115 on: 05/25/2015 10:21 PM »
From the conditions for extending the deadline:
Quote
At least one team must provide XPRIZE and Google with notification of a launch contract by December 31, 2015 for the competition to be extended until December 31, 2017.

So they are forcing the teams to book a launch.

They also explicitly say

Quote
If no team has provided XPRIZE and Google with notification of launch contract by December 31, 2015, the competition will conclude.

That confirms that no team yet has a firm launch contract, in spite of some teams implying in the past that they did.  And I think it also shows that Google thinks it is uncertain whether any teams will actually be able to come up with funding for the deposits on launch contracts by the end of this year.

On the positive side, I don't think they would have bothered with the conditional extension if they didn't think there was some hope some team would be able to come up with a launch deposit.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #116 on: 05/25/2015 11:14 PM »
IMO the only way one of the GLXP competitors can book a launch contract by the end of 2015 is if someone donate a launcher.  :(

Of course there is the freebie ride on the FH Demo flight next year. SX need a guinea pig customer.  ;D


Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #117 on: 05/25/2015 11:26 PM »
IMO the only way one of the GLXP competitors can book a launch contract by the end of 2015 is if someone donate a launcher.  :(

Of course there is the freebie ride on the FH Demo flight next year. SX need a guinea pig customer.  ;D

If SpaceX were willing to donate the Falcon Heavy Demo flight to one of the GLXP contenders, I think they would have just done it by now and they would have a firm launch contract signed and Google wouldn't be threatening to pull the plug.

Just because the FH Demo flight is risky doesn't mean it has zero value.  I'm sure there are lots of organizations that would pay for it if the discount were big enough.  And SpaceX could decide to use it for its own purposes, as a PR stunt and/or to test in-space systems, such as Dragon 2.

Offline CameronD

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #118 on: 05/26/2015 07:04 AM »
That confirms that no team yet has a firm launch contract, in spite of some teams implying in the past that they did.  And I think it also shows that Google thinks it is uncertain whether any teams will actually be able to come up with funding for the deposits on launch contracts by the end of this year.

On the positive side, I don't think they would have bothered with the conditional extension if they didn't think there was some hope some team would be able to come up with a launch deposit.

FWIW, Interorbital's web site still claims they are the launch provider for GLXP Team SYNERGY MOON and "is also under contract to launch test payloads on its N5 or N7 orbital rocket for several other GLXP teams.."
..but presumably lack of forward progress speaks louder than a web site entry.
 
http://www.interorbital.com/interorbital_05022015_013.htm

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #119 on: 05/26/2015 09:37 AM »
That confirms that no team yet has a firm launch contract, in spite of some teams implying in the past that they did.  And I think it also shows that Google thinks it is uncertain whether any teams will actually be able to come up with funding for the deposits on launch contracts by the end of this year.

On the positive side, I don't think they would have bothered with the conditional extension if they didn't think there was some hope some team would be able to come up with a launch deposit.

FWIW, Interorbital's web site still claims they are the launch provider for GLXP Team SYNERGY MOON and "is also under contract to launch test payloads on its N5 or N7 orbital rocket for several other GLXP teams.."
..but presumably lack of forward progress speaks louder than a web site entry.
 
http://www.interorbital.com/interorbital_05022015_013.htm

Presumably Google's requirement for a launch contract is with a launch provider that meets some minimum standards for being realistic.  Interorbital has been around for 19 years and still has yet to reach sub-orbital space, let alone orbit, let alone the Moon.

Offline Katana

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #120 on: 06/13/2015 10:33 PM »
Better to carry Dragon 2, it could survive failure of rocket.
An opportunity to test in flight high altitude abort is expensive.
IMO the only way one of the GLXP competitors can book a launch contract by the end of 2015 is if someone donate a launcher.  :(

Of course there is the freebie ride on the FH Demo flight next year. SX need a guinea pig customer.  ;D

If SpaceX were willing to donate the Falcon Heavy Demo flight to one of the GLXP contenders, I think they would have just done it by now and they would have a firm launch contract signed and Google wouldn't be threatening to pull the plug.

Just because the FH Demo flight is risky doesn't mean it has zero value.  I'm sure there are lots of organizations that would pay for it if the discount were big enough.  And SpaceX could decide to use it for its own purposes, as a PR stunt and/or to test in-space systems, such as Dragon 2.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #121 on: 06/14/2015 12:03 PM »
IMO the only way one of the GLXP competitors can book a launch contract by the end of 2015 is if someone donate a launcher.  :(

Of course there is the freebie ride on the FH Demo flight next year. SX need a guinea pig customer.  ;D

If SpaceX were willing to donate the Falcon Heavy Demo flight to one of the GLXP contenders, I think they would have just done it by now and they would have a firm launch contract signed and Google wouldn't be threatening to pull the plug.

Just because the FH Demo flight is risky doesn't mean it has zero value.  I'm sure there are lots of organizations that would pay for it if the discount were big enough.  And SpaceX could decide to use it for its own purposes, as a PR stunt and/or to test in-space systems, such as Dragon 2.

Well you still could piggyback the GLXP payload with a Dragon 1 or a Dragon 2 for a trip to the Moon. The GLXP payload is a featherweight.

Offline Star One

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #122 on: 06/26/2015 08:49 PM »
Press Release from Audi.

Mission to the moon: AUDI AG supports the German Team at Google Lunar XPRIZE

Quote

Audi is taking off for the moon – along with the Part-Time Scientists. Nearly 45 years after NASA’s Apollo 17 completed the last manned mission to the moon, the cooperating partners have selected the old landing site of Apollo 17 as the new target.

A group of German engineers in the Part-Time Scientists team is working within the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition to transport an unmanned rover to the moon. Audi is supporting the Part-Time Scientists with its know-how in several fields of technology – from quattro all-wheel drive and lightweight construction to electric mobility and piloted driving.

“The concept of a privately financed mission to the moon is fascinating,” says Luca de Meo, Audi Board Member for Sales and Marketing. “And innovative ideas need supporters that promote them. We want to send a signal with our involvement with the Part-Time Scientists and also motivate other partners to contribute their know-how.” Luca de Meo is presenting the partnership today at the international innovation forum Cannes Innovation Days.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development, said: “We are pleased to support the project with our know-how in lightweight technology, electronics and robotics.”

http://www.audiusa.com/newsroom/news/press-releases/2015/06/mission-to-the-moon-audi-ag-supports-the-german-team-for-xprize

Digital press kit.

https://digital.audi-presskit.de/en/mission_to_the_moon
« Last Edit: 06/26/2015 09:03 PM by Star One »

Online Phil Stooke

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #123 on: 06/27/2015 01:44 PM »
Too bad this didn't happen 5 years ago!  Now they have six months to book a launch.

Offline Moe Grills

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #124 on: 07/30/2015 05:52 PM »
Better to carry Dragon 2, it could survive failure of rocket.
An opportunity to test in flight high altitude abort is expensive.
IMO the only way one of the GLXP competitors can book a launch contract by the end of 2015 is if someone donate a launcher.  :(

Of course there is the freebie ride on the FH Demo flight next year. SX need a guinea pig customer.  ;D

If SpaceX were willing to donate the Falcon Heavy Demo flight to one of the GLXP contenders, I think they would have just done it by now and they would have a firm launch contract signed and Google wouldn't be threatening to pull the plug.

Just because the FH Demo flight is risky doesn't mean it has zero value.  I'm sure there are lots of organizations that would pay for it if the discount were big enough.  And SpaceX could decide to use it for its own purposes, as a PR stunt and/or to test in-space systems, such as Dragon 2.


You don't need a FH. An F9 will do. After the failure of the F9/Dragon launch attempt last month, Elon Musk needs to 'test' an approved F9 with a payload this year. It makes perfect sense (a win-win situation) to risk one or two GLXP payloads and ballast for a return test-flight than risk another Dragon or commercial comsat loss.
This way, if the return test-flight F9 sends one or two GLXP payloads on their way to the Moon and into the history books, GREAT! But If failure with another F9 results then Elon Musk would lose a few million dollars (instead of hundreds of millions) and the GLXP teams could sadly shrug and say they tried.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #125 on: 07/30/2015 09:49 PM »
After the failure of the F9/Dragon launch attempt last month, Elon Musk needs to 'test' an approved F9 with a payload this year.

You're making a big assumption that they need a test flight before regular paying customers will be willing to fly Falcon 9.  It's possible, but I think unlikely, that that will be the case.

Most operational launch vehicles that have a failure don't have a test flight before returning to operation.  Usually, they just fly an ordinary operational payload on return to flight.  Why should Falcon 9 be different?

I think a return to flight with a CRS mission for NASA is very likely.  The cost of CRS cargo isn't terribly high.  NASA seems fine with Orbital flying a CRS mission to ISS on their newly re-engined launch vehicle, which is surely more of a risk than flying Falcon 9 with new struts.

Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #126 on: 07/31/2015 04:50 AM »
Well you still could piggyback the GLXP payload with a Dragon 1 or a Dragon 2 for a trip to the Moon. The GLXP payload is a featherweight.
Actually no, you cannot. Finding a favorable launch opportunity for ride-share for an actual lunar lander is almost next to impossible.
Here is one masters thesis on the subject:
http://upcommons.upc.edu/bitstream/handle/2099.1/9666/memoria.pdf?sequence=1
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

EDIT: And here is some information on rideshare capabilities that ULA provides for example. All options are pretty much tiny, for a lunar lander
https://icubesat.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/icubesat-org_2013-a-2-1-mule_szatkowski_201305281629l.pdf
Quote
Delivery of a Rideshare P/L to GSO
A. Atlas V 551 can deliver 19,620 lbs (8,900 kg) to a
GTO orbit.
A 5M fairing is required for a GSO type mission
B. To deliver a rideshare P/L to GSO: requires an extended-mission-kit, a 5M
fairing, a long coast, an additional burn to achieve GSO orbit.
C. To enable a 2,200 lbs (1000 kg) Rideshare mission, the Primary would be restricted to 10,700 lbs
Good luck finding that opportunity
« Last Edit: 07/31/2015 04:56 AM by savuporo »
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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #127 on: 08/01/2015 09:17 AM »
Well you still could piggyback the GLXP payload with a Dragon 1 or a Dragon 2 for a trip to the Moon. The GLXP payload is a featherweight.
Actually no, you cannot. Finding a favorable launch opportunity for ride-share for an actual lunar lander is almost next to impossible.
Here is one masters thesis on the subject:
http://upcommons.upc.edu/bitstream/handle/2099.1/9666/memoria.pdf?sequence=1
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

EDIT: And here is some information on rideshare capabilities that ULA provides for example. All options are pretty much tiny, for a lunar lander
https://icubesat.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/icubesat-org_2013-a-2-1-mule_szatkowski_201305281629l.pdf
Quote
Delivery of a Rideshare P/L to GSO
A. Atlas V 551 can deliver 19,620 lbs (8,900 kg) to a
GTO orbit.
A 5M fairing is required for a GSO type mission
B. To deliver a rideshare P/L to GSO: requires an extended-mission-kit, a 5M
fairing, a long coast, an additional burn to achieve GSO orbit.
C. To enable a 2,200 lbs (1000 kg) Rideshare mission, the Primary would be restricted to 10,700 lbs
Good luck finding that opportunity

This is in context of reply to ChrisWilson68's suggestion on reply #117 that SpaceX might fly a Dragon around the Moon with their Falcon Heavy Demo flight. The GLXP lander will be carried in the Dragon trunk for this unlikely scenario. Not the current ride share options.

Offline KimiNewt

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #128 on: 10/07/2015 10:51 AM »
SpaceIL signed a launch agreement with SpaceX for a Falcon 9, as per their FB page (other details are scarce):

Quote
We have been waiting for this moment for five years! We are proud and honored to announce, that we signed a launch agreement. In the end of 2017, Our spacecraft will be launched on SpaceX's Falcon 9 outside the atmosphere, and start it's journey to the Moon. SpaceIL is the first and only GLXP team to reach this major milestone, which gives us a real ticket to the Moon
https://www.facebook.com/SpaceIL

EDIT: They seem to be answering questions pretty openly on their FB page, so you can ask any questions there (or ask here and I'll translate it and ask on the page).
« Last Edit: 10/07/2015 11:01 AM by KimiNewt »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #129 on: 10/07/2015 12:37 PM »
Yes, that's cool news!

XPrize presser on the launch thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38551.msg1433462#msg1433462

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #130 on: 10/07/2015 06:23 PM »
SpaceIL signed a launch agreement with SpaceX for a Falcon 9, as per their FB page (other details are scarce):

Quote
We have been waiting for this moment for five years! We are proud and honored to announce, that we signed a launch agreement. In the end of 2017, Our spacecraft will be launched on SpaceX's Falcon 9 outside the atmosphere, and start it's journey to the Moon. SpaceIL is the first and only GLXP team to reach this major milestone, which gives us a real ticket to the Moon
https://www.facebook.com/SpaceIL

EDIT: They seem to be answering questions pretty openly on their FB page, so you can ask any questions there (or ask here and I'll translate it and ask on the page).

That's great news!

It's especially encouraging that the X-Prize people have verified the contract meets their requirements and the contest is officially extended now.

This seems like the best way forward for any Google Lunar X-Prize contestant that is serious about actually winning: buy a ride-share slot on a proven launch vehicle.  I hope to see more teams following this route.

Note the contrast with Moon Express, which announced a launch contract with an unproven start-up launch provider for a dedicated flight on a small launch vehicle.  The people running the contest have not yet verified that the Moon Express contract meets the prize requirements to be considered real.

Fortunately for Moon Express and the other contestants, they all now have until the end of 2016 to produce a verified launch contract, thanks to SpaceIL.
« Last Edit: 10/07/2015 06:24 PM by ChrisWilson68 »

Offline nadreck

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #131 on: 10/07/2015 06:40 PM »


Fortunately for Moon Express and the other contestants, they all now have until the end of 2016 to produce a verified launch contract, thanks to SpaceIL.

I wonder if any other GXLP contenders will share that specific ride. I think the Astrobotic/Hakuto mission would be too massive, as that would more than triple the payload going beyond SSLEO when the Falcon upper stage re-lights after the SSO satellites are deployed, but maybe one of the smaller ones could go.
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #132 on: 10/07/2015 06:57 PM »


Fortunately for Moon Express and the other contestants, they all now have until the end of 2016 to produce a verified launch contract, thanks to SpaceIL.

I wonder if any other GXLP contenders will share that specific ride. I think the Astrobotic/Hakuto mission would be too massive, as that would more than triple the payload going beyond SSLEO when the Falcon upper stage re-lights after the SSO satellites are deployed, but maybe one of the smaller ones could go.

Unless SpaceIL has already made a deal that gives them exclusive rights to all the excess performance available.  The article says all other payloads will be deployed before the upper stage relights.  If that's written into the contract, other teams are out of luck.

Offline SaxtonHale

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #133 on: 10/27/2015 05:16 PM »
Astrobotic has just announced that Team AngelicvM has booked a spot on the lander. That means at least 3 rovers (Carnegie Mellon, Hakuto, and the Chilean team) have money down.

edit: removed info by request
« Last Edit: 10/27/2015 09:38 PM by SaxtonHale »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #134 on: 10/27/2015 05:47 PM »
Thanks for update. What is launch (LEO) mass of lander + payload?.

Offline SaxtonHale

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #135 on: 10/27/2015 05:57 PM »
Sorry, not sure about most of the lander details.

edit: removed details
« Last Edit: 10/27/2015 09:34 PM by SaxtonHale »

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #136 on: 10/28/2015 12:28 AM »
Astrobotic has just announced that Team AngelicvM has booked a spot on the lander. That means at least 3 rovers (Carnegie Mellon, Hakuto, and the Chilean team) have money down.

edit: removed info by request

How much money have they put down?  Do we know?

Offline jabe

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #137 on: 12/08/2015 05:36 PM »
Looks like Moon Express are in the press.. http://www.americaspace.com/?p=89409 Not sure how booking a flight on a rocket that hasn't flown yet validates their project though ...  Just seems odd to me..any one else think so?  GLXP looked like a good idea at the start..with GLXP validating this contract to me isn't a good idea.  I would have told MoonEx to book a rocket already has flown..
jb

Offline AegeanBlue

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #138 on: 12/08/2015 06:04 PM »
Looks like Moon Express are in the press.. http://www.americaspace.com/?p=89409 Not sure how booking a flight on a rocket that hasn't flown yet validates their project though ...  Just seems odd to me..any one else think so?  GLXP looked like a good idea at the start..with GLXP validating this contract to me isn't a good idea.  I would have told MoonEx to book a rocket already has flown..
jb

The Electron Rocket costs $5 mil per launch. Falcon 9 is closer to $50-60 million for a dedicated launch. I am not surprised they chose Electron, fundraising has always been the greatest struggle

Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #139 on: 10/13/2016 06:47 AM »
Money is money.  Sounds like they feel confident enough in their entry to book a flight, but with the Israelis now having a flight booked..

They booked with Spaceflight, and according to this update they have been bumped off the dedicated rideshare launch.
Quote
While the announcement said that Terra Bella will be a “co-lead” on the SSO-A mission, Blake said that the company will be the only customer with that designation on the mission, giving it more control over the launch schedule. SpaceIL, an Israeli group competing in the Google Lunar X Prize competition, had previously been named a primary payload for the flight, but Blake said their lunar lander will fly on another, unnamed launch.

Quick recap: SpaceIL seemed to have a slot on F9, which blew up twice and faces uncertainty in manifest, Moon Express has a slot on Rocket Lab which hasn't flown yet but seems like it actually might, and Synergy Moon is supposedly verified to fly on Interorbital Neptune 8 rocket, which simply doesn't exist.
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Offline savuporo

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #140 on: 12/20/2016 05:13 AM »
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Offline a_langwich

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #141 on: 12/20/2016 07:15 AM »
One got in Chancery and then there were four.

www.parabolicarc.com/2016/12/19/astrobotic-pulls-out-google-lunar-prize/

Wait..their web update quotes somebody describing them as years ahead of the competition, but four others managed to arrange launches, and they have not?  I guess they meant the lander hardware was years ahead?  Or did they mean it like "ahead of their time" as in another decade or so it will be fantastic?  ;) 

Joking aside, I do feel bad for some good teams who have put in fantastic effort but will not get a chance to see it tested on the moon...this go 'round.  I fervently hope the opportunities open up over the next decade.  It can only be positive that Rocket Lab, ISRU, Interorbital, and SpaceX are all having a look at putting payloads into a lunar trajectory.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #142 on: 12/20/2016 12:08 PM »
The Japanese team HAKUTO just announced that they will go piggyback with Team Indus instead (which seems to be the only one left with a realistic chance of winning) after Astrobotics drops out.
« Last Edit: 12/20/2016 02:57 PM by Galactic Penguin SST »
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline EgorBotts

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #143 on: 12/20/2016 02:51 PM »
Wait, did Moon Express drop out too? Or did you mean Astrobotics?

I stayed at the time where Moon Express did have 2 secured launches to the moon with RocketLab. Assuming Electron is still upgoing, I don't see Moon Express retiring on its own...

Nice news for Hakuto. I have great hopes for their rover (and doubts about Team Indus Lander...)

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #144 on: 12/20/2016 02:57 PM »
Wait, did Moon Express drop out too? Or did you mean Astrobotics?

I stayed at the time where Moon Express did have 2 secured launches to the moon with RocketLab. Assuming Electron is still upgoing, I don't see Moon Express retiring on its own...

Nice news for Hakuto. I have great hopes for their rover (and doubts about Team Indus Lander...)

Yes, I've mixed up those two.  :(
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #145 on: 12/24/2016 03:38 PM »
Good article from Parabolic.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/12/23/astrobotic-ceo-skeptical-anyone-win-google-lunar-prize/

At this stage my money is on Indus just because they are flying on PSLV. Moon Express have outside chance of 2017 launch on Electron, along with other teams using F9.

Moon express is only team that have allowed for 3 attempts, but 2 and 3 won't happen in 2017.

Merry Christmas NSF members.




Offline Danderman

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #146 on: 01/14/2017 07:11 AM »
http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/private-company-says-it-is-fully-funded-for-mission-to-the-moon/

Private company says it is fully funded for mission to the Moon

So it is no small achievement for the private, US-based Moon Express to have conquered the political science part of sending a rover to the Moon. Last August, after a lengthy regulatory process, the company received permission from the US government to send a commercial mission beyond low Earth orbit. And on Friday, the company announced that it has successfully raised an additional $20 million, meaning it has full funding for its maiden lunar mission. “Now it’s just about the rocket science stuff,” said company co-founder and Chief Executive Bob Richards. That, he realizes, remains a formidable challenge.
« Last Edit: 01/14/2017 07:12 AM by Danderman »

Online Phil Stooke

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #147 on: 02/05/2017 03:13 PM »
http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2017/pdf/1914.pdf

Abstract at LPSC about landing site selection for SpaceIL GLXP mission to the Moon.

Online gongora

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #148 on: 02/23/2017 02:28 AM »
IEEE Spectrum: Finish Line Looms for Google Lunar XPrize Finalists

Quote
SpaceIL, an Israeli nonprofit, will use a SpaceX Falcon 9 to get off the ground. ... As with other teams, SpaceIL is still readying its spacecraft, which is being built at an Israel Aerospace Industries facility. The team’s launch contract is for a six-month window that extends into 2018. If it can’t make the 2017 deadline, SpaceIL still aims to go to the moon: “We have an educational mission that we are intent on achieving that has little to do with the time frame of the competition,” Lichtenstein says.

There was an article in SpaceNews last fall saying SpaceIL isn't flying on SSO-A (Sun Synch Express).  Has anyone ever heard which flight it is supposed to be on?

Offline jamesh9000

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #149 on: 04/21/2017 11:18 PM »
https://qz.com/962696/spaceil-the-israeli-team-competing-for-the-google-lunar-xprize-wont-make-it-to-the-starting-line/

It would seem that 2017 is getting away on the GLXP contestants. I consider the teams flying on Rocket Lab's Electron to have virtually no chance of launching on time, and the team flying on Interorbital's powerpoint rocket to have a negative chance, which is a mathematical impossibility, but there you are.

Really, Team Indus and Hakuto on the PSLV are the only realistic candidates at this stage, however, we don't know what stage the actual hardware is at.

Of course, the deadline may just be extended again. I remember reading that they weren't going to extend it anymore, but there may be some kind of loophole they'll use. Either way, its been going on for a long time now, and it all seems to be a bit of a bridge too far. I hope I'm wrong.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #150 on: 04/21/2017 11:31 PM »
It's too bad it looks like none of the teams is going to make it.

I wish they had offered a bigger prize.  The prize that was offered was just too small to attract enough resources to get there in the time available.

Offline Chasm

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #151 on: 04/22/2017 07:33 AM »
Looks like SpaceIL wants to continue.

PTscientists are also expected to launch outside the competition. They had an open house a few weeks back and showed their work. Still have to change their lander hardware from the mockup. Soon with 100% less launching upside down.
They signed and submitted a launch contract in time but in the wake of AMOS-6 it was not accepted. Investigation and return to flight were expected to delay their launch well beyond the deadline.

Offline as58

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #152 on: 04/22/2017 09:40 AM »
https://qz.com/962696/spaceil-the-israeli-team-competing-for-the-google-lunar-xprize-wont-make-it-to-the-starting-line/

It would seem that 2017 is getting away on the GLXP contestants. I consider the teams flying on Rocket Lab's Electron to have virtually no chance of launching on time, and the team flying on Interorbital's powerpoint rocket to have a negative chance, which is a mathematical impossibility, but there you are.

Interorbital's rocket is also a mathematical impossibility,  so maybe the two negatives multiply and turn into a plus. Or maybe not.

Quote
Really, Team Indus and Hakuto on the PSLV are the only realistic candidates at this stage, however, we don't know what stage the actual hardware is at.

Of course, the deadline may just be extended again. I remember reading that they weren't going to extend it anymore, but there may be some kind of loophole they'll use. Either way, its been going on for a long time now, and it all seems to be a bit of a bridge too far. I hope I'm wrong.

I'm pretty confident that the deadline will be extended once again if no one makes it this year but some contestant(s) has/have (as seems likely) at least somewhat plausible chance of making an attempt in (earlyish) 2018.

Online Phil Stooke

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #153 on: 04/22/2017 12:42 PM »
Astrobotic also intends to launch outside the competition.  One possible outcome (becoming more likely all the time) is that the competition itself will come to nothing, except that it was the catalyst for several teams to be successful later on.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #154 on: 04/22/2017 06:11 PM »
I remember in the first X Prize, when it became clear that Rutan was going to win, a number of other teams claimed they were only a few weeks away from launching and even if Rutan won and the contest was over, they would still be launching very soon.

None of them ever launched.

So, when I hear that various Google Lunar X Prize teams are claiming as the contest deadline approaches that they're close to launching and they'll launch even if the contest is over, I'm skeptical.

Offline pippin

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #155 on: 04/22/2017 06:51 PM »
Well, it's a bit different here.
The primary goal of winning is getting the reputation, more than the money.
When Rutan won the X Prize it was clear he would be taking the fame as well. But here, without a winner, that "came first" spot is still there, after all, you are still the best if nobody else makes it at all.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #156 on: 06/15/2017 06:41 AM »
Another couple of months and there's an awful lot of silence from all the teams.

Online Phil Stooke

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #157 on: 07/31/2017 07:57 AM »
"an awful lot of silence "

Not any more.  Who knows what will really happen?  Certainly not me.  But MoonEx and Team Indus are making a lot of noise at the moment.  SpaceIL, a bit.  Astrobotic is out of the competition but making serious noise.  PTScientists are making a little bit of noise too, though they are also out of consideration.  I will refrain from embarrassing Synergy Moon (oops, too late).  Sources?  Just peruse SpaceToday on an almost daily basis or search for each team individually in your fave lunar competition-sponsoring search engine.  My guess is that at least three of the above will conduct actual flight attempts in the next year or two, in or out of the competition.

Offline koraldon

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #158 on: 12/01/2017 06:42 PM »
Some news out of SpaceIL - Positive progress mixed with negative financial outlook: http://www.spaceil.com/news/spaceil-alerts-the-national-dream-in-danger-of-closing/

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #159 on: 01/01/2018 04:18 PM »
Some news out of SpaceIL - Positive progress mixed with negative financial outlook: http://www.spaceil.com/news/spaceil-alerts-the-national-dream-in-danger-of-closing/

SpaceIL said "To complete its mission, SpaceIL now needs another $20 million by the end of 2017.".  There's no news from them that they got that $20 million, so it looks like they're out of the running.

Offline koraldon

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #160 on: 01/08/2018 03:26 AM »
According to SpaceIL website, they are making technical prograss:
Fuel tanks integration on s/c - http://www.spaceil.com/news/integration-of-the-fuel-tanks-into-the-spacecraft/
Testing of the landing gear - http://www.spaceil.com/news/testing-the-landing-gear-the-spacecrafts-legs/

Offline ringsider

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #161 on: 01/08/2018 11:01 AM »
"To date, the non-profit has raised a sum of $55 million, but to complete its mission, it requires a total of $85 million."

Wow. Just raising the first $55m is pretty good going to be honest.

Offline jamesh9000

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #162 on: 01/09/2018 07:06 PM »
Oh Dear. "TeamIndus, The First Indian Space Start-Up, Drops Out Of Moon Race".

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/team-indus-the-first-indian-space-start-up-drops-out-of-moon-race-1797928

Quote
Sources said TeamIndus was unable to mobilise the funds or technological resources to put the mission together. It was planning to build India's first privately funded spacecraft, which would have been able to achieve a soft-landing on moon, piggybacking on Indian space agency ISRO's PSLV rocket.

To me, this would seem to be the end of the competition, as it would take Hakuto out as well. The PSLV was the only rocket being used that actually exists and is flying, and isn't backed up years on it's manifest. I certainly thought these two teams had the best chance. I suppose one of the other teams could pull out a hail mary but it's such a long shot I wouldn't hold my breath.

Online Phil Stooke

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #163 on: 01/10/2018 02:41 PM »
Moon Express would seem to me to be the only one still capable of a flight around the time of the deadline.  More likely they will be delayed beyond that, but I would still say the only one likely to fly this year.

Offline koraldon

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #164 on: 01/10/2018 05:51 PM »
I doubt anyone is going to make it to the moon by March 2018.
It is probably GLXP call, but if they make it March 2019, this might help. Of course, we might say the same thing in a year's time.
Except for SpaceIL updates and now team indus pullout, I'm not sure what are the other teams status.
I know astrobotic is out but still working on something? The same for PT scientists...

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #165 on: 01/10/2018 07:59 PM »
I doubt anyone is going to make it to the moon by March 2018.
It is probably GLXP call, but if they make it March 2019, this might help. Of course, we might say the same thing in a year's time.
Except for SpaceIL updates and now team indus pullout, I'm not sure what are the other teams status.
I know astrobotic is out but still working on something? The same for PT scientists...

IIRC Astrobotics booked a rideshare Atlas V flight in 2019 for their landing attempt on the Moon.

Online Phil Stooke

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #166 on: 01/10/2018 08:16 PM »
Astrobotic and PTScientists are both talking about flights in 2019, outside the GLXP.  I have just been following the NASA lunar lander meeting at NASA Ames :

https://lunar-landing.arc.nasa.gov/

where less than an hour ago (as I write this), both Astrobotic and iSpace (the Hakuto parent company) spoke of flights in 2019. 


Offline ringsider

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #167 on: 01/10/2018 09:03 PM »
Moon Express would seem to me to be the only one still capable of a flight around the time of the deadline.  More likely they will be delayed beyond that, but I would still say the only one likely to fly this year.
Did they show anything more substantial than a model spacecraft?

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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #168 on: 01/10/2018 09:12 PM »
Moon Express would seem to me to be the only one still capable of a flight around the time of the deadline.  More likely they will be delayed beyond that, but I would still say the only one likely to fly this year.
Did they show anything more substantial than a model spacecraft?
Yes. I've seen their tests.

Seen their demoralized, overworked GenY staff. Don't believe in their investors (one told me he no longer invests in space), or management, who has driven away the best of their talent, in order to feed a singular ego.

And also don't believe in their orbital mechanics, nor that their LV/provider is up to such a mission this year.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #169 on: 01/10/2018 10:22 PM »
Kinda wish GLXP would die so we can see if there's any deep pockets willing to pick up the pieces.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #170 on: 01/10/2018 11:32 PM »
Kinda wish GLXP would die so we can see if there's any deep pockets willing to pick up the pieces.
Understand the sentiment for this "half working" ... thing.

There has been some incredible work, and I'm amazed it got as far as it did.

Don't know of any specific "follow on" "pickups" as you'd suggest. These efforts aren't arranged that way.

That they got so far, and raised so much, means that they are in some cases close to "striking distance". Surprise.

Most have some idea as how to continue on past GLXP. Others will just go away.

Interestingly, you have enough to fund a launch of multiple ones on a single LV. So likely some will fly anyways, eventually.

Two things missing from GLXP  - structuring the deadline, and assessing reasonable launch contracts. Too much upfront time to get to an advanced state (e.g. a credible mission), too little time to finance/launch such. Launch contracts should only have been acceptable if said LV had even made it to any kind of orbit a once, and that the contract/deadline, relative to the provider/means, could actually make it to the pad before expiration (including stand-downs/other issues).

If you were going to do a "GLXP 2", you'd want to clear away the "launch obstacle" better.

The best of these have had good investors/management. As a result, they tend to find a way.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #171 on: 01/11/2018 12:09 AM »
If team is relying on prize money they are probably doomed. Best teams have business plan that doesn't need prize money but would be nice bonus if they could win it.

Offline koraldon

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #172 on: 01/11/2018 03:32 PM »
Kinda wish GLXP would die so we can see if there's any deep pockets willing to pick up the pieces.
If those deep pockets exist they will just be vultures. Nobody stopping anybody from starting their own private lunar lander company.
Anyway, based on past teams folding, I'm not sure how much hardware exists - except for SpaceIL and maybe moon express. Based on what is shown from Team Indus it is mostly test hardware and not flight.
Moon express changed the lander concept radically and have some strange numbers - doubt they have any actual flight hardware.
Only SpaceIL have shown actual hardware and they also outsourced quite a lot of work to local aerospace companies, mainly IAI.

Offline Pomerantz

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #173 on: 01/22/2018 06:37 PM »
First, a little disclosure, for anyone who doesn't already know: I was the main author of the Google Lunar XPRIZE rules, and I ran or was part of the team running the prize from its inception through early 2011. So, obviously I've got both knowledge and bias on this topic!

I've summed up my basic feelings on the prize before, but they are fairly in line with what Space Ghost said above. I'll be sad if it does indeed wind down in the next few months without a winner, but mainly I'll be pleased that (I suspect) multiple teams will live through that ending and continue on as serious, meaningful efforts. Don't get me wrong, not awarding a prize will be a bummer to me personally, but despite what the heart feels, the brain knows that what comes next is actually what matters most.

The fact that teams are still in it for the moment despite the three pillars upon the prize was built (a flush venture capital market, cheap access to space in the form of Dnepr and Falcon 1, and massive lunar programs from basically every government space agency) all being knocked down within a year or so of the prize being created is truly astounding to me.  The fact that more than 3x the target number of teams registered to compete, and that some of those teams were as talented as they were, still boggles my mind.

There are still some untold stories that both thrill and devastate me. The most tantalizing/frustrating of which is that there was an individual investor who was prepared to write a >$100M check to fund a single team all the way back in 2008, but eventually was so put off by the fact that the university affiliated with the team was going to take out such a large amount of overhead that the deal never closed, and the team never even registered. The fact that the prize got such a deal to the point where it was literally one phone call away from happening tells me it was probably worth doing even if just for that.

Some other thoughts, in response to these:

Two things missing from GLXP  - structuring the deadline, and assessing reasonable launch contracts. Too much upfront time to get to an advanced state (e.g. a credible mission), too little time to finance/launch such. Launch contracts should only have been acceptable if said LV had even made it to any kind of orbit a once, and that the contract/deadline, relative to the provider/means, could actually make it to the pad before expiration (including stand-downs/other issues).

If you were going to do a "GLXP 2", you'd want to clear away the "launch obstacle" better.

I'm not entirely sure I understand what you mean with the first part of this quote. The GLXP is intentionally pretty unstructured on purpose. The thought is that if, let's say, Blue Origin, Skunk Works, and Masten each tried to win the prize, they'd take three very different paths and proceed along three very different timelines. We very much want to be open to each path, because I for one think any of the three of those have the capability to win the prize and to persist afterwards.

A similar type of theory applies to the second point. When I was in charge of the GLXP, we kept all of the initial hurdles as low as possible. To register a team, you basically had to be able to raise $10,000 and you couldn't be relying on alien technology or artificial gravity. This means that we admitted teams about whom we were incredibly skeptical. But our guiding thought was that if prize runners set high hurdles at the beginning or in the middle of prize competitions, rather than just at the end, we likely would never have had a John Harrison or a Charles Lindbergh in those competitions. To bring that forward to today, if we applied those kinds of tests, I probably wouldn't have kept TrueZer0 or Unreasonable Rocket in the Lunar Lander Challenge--a lot of very smart people were very wrong about both of those groups, and they continued being wrong about them basically right up until the moment they had rocket taking off under the watchful eyes of our awesome judges.

Lastly, in regards to removing the launch obstacle, this is a very sensible solution. It's actually something we looked at when I was still at XPRIZE. We internally considered lowering the prize purse a bit, but then going out and procuring a ride on a Falcon 9. It was an intriguing idea, but ultimately we decided against it for several reasons.

* It would put us in the position of picking who got a spot on the rocket. Certainly a fairly likely scenario is that only a few teams would have anything resembling flight hardware, but what if more teams want spots than there is room on the rocket? Is XPF really a good org to pick who gets the spots and who doesn't? Would we leave a future Lindbergh on the ground because we filled up the rocket with Fonck, Nungesser, and Byrd?
* How do you divvy up the rocket into discrete spots? Presumably you carve up the total TLI capacity of a rocket into a certain number of equal mass, equal volume spots. But what if teams think the best design is a little bigger than that? Or what if it's actually much much smaller than that? How early do you call your shot, and how? Can you set up some kind of auction system? How?
* For that matter, is TLI the right 'place' to send the rocket? Some teams innovated about their cruise stage--are we basically eliminating that part of the competition? Should we? Or maybe we should go further, and go all the way to lunar orbit insertion, or something else...
* We're putting all of our eggs in one basket. What if the launch fails? Or the fleet is grounded?
* How do you pick a launch vehicle without favoring some teams over the others? If we pick the Falcon 9, does the team based in China really have a chance? Do all teams based in the US have an advantage over everyone else? Similarly, if we pick the PSLV, are we adding a burden to our US teams?
* Let's say we solve all of the above, pick a vehicle, pick a selection method. Then, on final integration day, only one team shows up. Do we delay the launch? Does we really have the guts to launch a rocket that is 75% empty (presumably not literally empty, but empty of prize competitors? Is that really even a good thing to do?

I thought, and continue to think, that this is a fascinating idea. And I bet you could make a cool competition out of it. It's just not clear to me that it would actually be a better competition than what the GLXP was. If I could send a message back in time to the days when we were designing the GLXP, I'd probably start with other tips.
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Offline Andy Bandy

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #174 on: 01/23/2018 03:40 AM »
Moon Express would seem to me to be the only one still capable of a flight around the time of the deadline.  More likely they will be delayed beyond that, but I would still say the only one likely to fly this year.

Bob Richards showed off a model of the lander last summer. I think they said they would reveal more in September, but that came and went. The last actual hardware I remember seeing was involved in some landing tests but that was years ago. It's not clear that Electron can get them to the moon. In short I'm not sure there's any there there.
« Last Edit: 01/23/2018 03:41 AM by Andy Bandy »

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #175 on: 01/23/2018 12:15 PM »
So if there is "no there, there" (flight-ready lander hardware) from Bob Richards and Moon Express, then the recent successful orbital launch of the first Electron LV from Rocket Lab would seem to make no difference.

I thought I saw that Moon Express was still pushing that Electron launch by 31st March 2018.  No?

Anyone have insight into that?
Re arguments from authority on NSF:  "no one is exempt from error, and errors of authority are usually the worst kind.  Taking your word for things without question is no different than a bracket design not being tested because the designer was an old hand."
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Offline ethan829

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #176 on: 01/23/2018 12:42 PM »
https://twitter.com/TeamIndus/status/955789080465297409
Quote
2017 has been a defining year for TeamIndus and as we move into the New Year, we want to thank you all for the support till date.

Since the beginning, we’ve tried to make this an open and accessible mission. Stay tuned as we share what the future holds for us on 25th Jan.

Offline meberbs

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #177 on: 01/23/2018 03:09 PM »
So if there is "no there, there" (flight-ready lander hardware) from Bob Richards and Moon Express, then the recent successful orbital launch of the first Electron LV from Rocket Lab would seem to make no difference.

I thought I saw that Moon Express was still pushing that Electron launch by 31st March 2018.  No?

Anyone have insight into that?

Best and most recent insight I have seen into Moon express is from NASA's Lunar Catalyst program.

It looks like the passed TRR (test readiness review) for component radiation testing back in September.

By now they are supposed to have:
-vacuum engine tests
-start manufacturing
-structural tests

In February:
-Avionics integration
-TVAC

And finally launch readiness review in May.

Putting aside that the Jan/Feb part of the schedule seems ridiculously compressed, it looks like even back in September the expectation did not allow for launching before the X-prize deadline. (Interestingly, they plan launch 2 just 6 months after launch 1.)

Offline Andy Bandy

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #178 on: 01/23/2018 08:26 PM »
So the prize could have been won if the right billionaire had written a $100 million plus check back in 2008. One team getting that much money and the great recession might well have driven out all other competitors. Unless they could get a rival billionaire to pony up that much money in the middle of the great recession. The Ansari X Prize went much the same way; one winner backed by a billionaire and the other teams fading away.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #179 on: 01/23/2018 09:47 PM »
First, a little disclosure, for anyone who doesn't already know: I was the main author of the Google Lunar XPRIZE rules, and I ran or was part of the team running the prize from its inception through early 2011. So, obviously I've got both knowledge and bias on this topic!
Indeed. Thank you for this post.

Quote
I'll be sad if it does indeed wind down in the next few months without a winner, but mainly I'll be pleased that (I suspect) multiple teams will live through that ending and continue on as serious, meaningful efforts. Don't get me wrong, not awarding a prize will be a bummer to me personally, but despite what the heart feels, the brain knows that what comes next is actually what matters most.
Sorry for the bummer. Glad that you still did it. It was, and is a first. You still get a "gold star".

Quote
The fact that teams are still in it for the moment despite the three pillars upon the prize was built (a flush venture capital market, cheap access to space in the form of Dnepr and Falcon 1, and massive lunar programs from basically every government space agency) all being knocked down within a year or so of the prize being created is truly astounding to me.  The fact that more than 3x the target number of teams registered to compete, and that some of those teams were as talented as they were, still boggles my mind.
Suggest that this also played into the near miss here (a three time near miss!).

Both Dnepr and Falcon 1 aren't flying. If there was more "small" LV, things might have been different (Pegasus doesn't count unfortunately for various reasons I won't go into).

Quote
There are still some untold stories that both thrill and devastate me. The most tantalizing/frustrating of which is that there was an individual investor who was prepared to write a >$100M check to fund a single team all the way back in 2008, but eventually was so put off by the fact that the university affiliated with the team was going to take out such a large amount of overhead that the deal never closed, and the team never even registered. The fact that the prize got such a deal to the point where it was literally one phone call away from happening tells me it was probably worth doing even if just for that.
Few people understand the different administrative dilemmas in university, aerospace, and investment/angel/private.

(You didn't know you could do this by a means of a JV that the university contributes IP/staff time to, and it varies (Stanford/MIT/Berkeley/UCLA/CU for example all handle this differently.) And once you've opened the wrong can of worms, you can't close it. I've done these twice, and the only reason they came off was because all were unbelievably micromanaged to avoid this trap, and the fact that in both examples the wealthy individuals had been professors aware of this nightmare beforehand. And with all that the university was STILL trying to do it the entire damn time. I'm sorry you were put in that position, it's awful.

Quote
Some other thoughts, in response to these:

Two things missing from GLXP  - structuring the deadline, and assessing reasonable launch contracts. Too much upfront time to get to an advanced state (e.g. a credible mission), too little time to finance/launch such. Launch contracts should only have been acceptable if said LV had even made it to any kind of orbit a once, and that the contract/deadline, relative to the provider/means, could actually make it to the pad before expiration (including stand-downs/other issues).

If you were going to do a "GLXP 2", you'd want to clear away the "launch obstacle" better.

I'm not entirely sure I understand what you mean with the first part of this quote. The GLXP is intentionally pretty unstructured on purpose. The thought is that if, let's say, Blue Origin, Skunk Works, and Masten each tried to win the prize, they'd take three very different paths and proceed along three very different timelines. We very much want to be open to each path, because I for one think any of the three of those have the capability to win the prize and to persist afterwards.

Let me explain more. I meant that you structured the competition in a way that allowed more "upfront" successes on a portion of the endeavor, not that you limit how things are done/timelines/etc.

As an example of this (but not limited to), one could have the final step (perhaps a rover) prototyped and demonstrated by N teams (as the surface mission), then the descent and surface mission, likely by N-M teams, then the "cruise", descent, and surface mission ...

The suggestion was to have value be demonstrated, like with makerthons and hackathon, to advance the concept such that early value would be visible fast, such that private/other interests could have more reason to be encouraged into becoming a backer of the follow-on "rounds". From my involvement with these people, they are very impatient and sometimes erratic, and this settles down when they can "match" better (surprise, am a "match maker"). These are immensely proud people who fear embarrassment, even though they do dumb things even knowing ignorance, because their "gut" drives them (how they do investment in the first place, as an intensely emotional involvement).

Quote
A similar type of theory applies to the second point. When I was in charge of the GLXP, we kept all of the initial hurdles as low as possible. To register a team, you basically had to be able to raise $10,000 and you couldn't be relying on alien technology or artificial gravity. This means that we admitted teams about whom we were incredibly skeptical. But our guiding thought was that if prize runners set high hurdles at the beginning or in the middle of prize competitions, rather than just at the end, we likely would never have had a John Harrison or a Charles Lindbergh in those competitions. To bring that forward to today, if we applied those kinds of tests, I probably wouldn't have kept TrueZer0 or Unreasonable Rocket in the Lunar Lander Challenge--a lot of very smart people were very wrong about both of those groups, and they continued being wrong about them basically right up until the moment they had rocket taking off under the watchful eyes of our awesome judges.
Suggest it always has to be "real", at every step and with every "partner", including launch providers.

Real means a plan where the time and money of each step has a greater than zero percent chance. Which steps up as time elapses.

Quote
Lastly, in regards to removing the launch obstacle, this is a very sensible solution. It's actually something we looked at when I was still at XPRIZE. We internally considered lowering the prize purse a bit, but then going out and procuring a ride on a Falcon 9. It was an intriguing idea, but ultimately we decided against it for several reasons.
Or, you could have booked as secondary payloads on multiple providers doing GTO insertions, where each of the customers for the launch would be a benefactor of the prize (post insertion and prior to stage disposal, one uses excess performance margin for a lunar transfer, with some restrictions on launch window/date). I've spoken with some and they were amenable.

Quote
* It would put us in the position of picking who got a spot on the rocket. Certainly a fairly likely scenario is that only a few teams would have anything resembling flight hardware, but what if more teams want spots than there is room on the rocket? Is XPF really a good org to pick who gets the spots and who doesn't? Would we leave a future Lindbergh on the ground because we filled up the rocket with Fonck, Nungesser, and Byrd?
Matter of competent judging.

Quote
* How do you divvy up the rocket into discrete spots? Presumably you carve up the total TLI capacity of a rocket into a certain number of equal mass, equal volume spots. But what if teams think the best design is a little bigger than that? Or what if it's actually much much smaller than that? How early do you call your shot, and how? Can you set up some kind of auction system? How?
The same way we allocate scientific instrument packages on any planetary mission - we have a mass/delta-v/power/thermal/whatever requirement for each as the mission develops.

You review as the contestants advance/fall-out/recover/make-up from last quarter. They start out with an overage that they have to work down over time, and as ones drop out, that frees up a resource for the others. At the late stage you do mission planning and integration, as things advance to flight quality.

Quote
* For that matter, is TLI the right 'place' to send the rocket? Some teams innovated about their cruise stage--are we basically eliminating that part of the competition? Should we? Or maybe we should go further, and go all the way to lunar orbit insertion, or something else...
You're right, there are multiple ways. Including SEP spiral out ...

But there aren't infinite ways (actually 5-6). And those ways have partners who do them. Consider them acceptable modes, and get back to the secondary payload model I mentioned above.

Quote
* We're putting all of our eggs in one basket. What if the launch fails? Or the fleet is grounded?
The key item is to have a means to launch. You can't do anything if you can't even get out of the gravity well. On time.

Quote
* How do you pick a launch vehicle without favoring some teams over the others? If we pick the Falcon 9, does the team based in China really have a chance? Do all teams based in the US have an advantage over everyone else? Similarly, if we pick the PSLV, are we adding a burden to our US teams?
Or, you can have the teams make multiple SC.

Almost every team will be making multiple SC as a means to handle test and evaluation. In the small handful number, there's little cost difference.

In this case, part of the program would be in the combined payload adapter or dispenser that would fly from those different global LV's.

Quote
* Let's say we solve all of the above, pick a vehicle, pick a selection method. Then, on final integration day, only one team shows up. Do we delay the launch? Does we really have the guts to launch a rocket that is 75% empty (presumably not literally empty, but empty of prize competitors? Is that really even a good thing to do?
You're really dealing with the mission coordinator or principal here.

I submit that when you don't have such, you almost never have a mission that gets off the ground. Because there is no one who is speaking for it, and making those decisions.

Quote
I thought, and continue to think, that this is a fascinating idea. And I bet you could make a cool competition out of it. It's just not clear to me that it would actually be a better competition than what the GLXP was. If I could send a message back in time to the days when we were designing the GLXP, I'd probably start with other tips.

Which is why I'm attempting to contribute back here to you in a supportive way.

And this is a mere post. Meant to be crisp. Take it in the spirit of how it is offered.

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #180 on: 01/23/2018 11:31 PM »
Looks like the X Prize Foundation itself has called it quits on the GXLP.

Jeff Foust, on Twitter:

Quote
It’s official: The X Prize Foundation says today no team will be able to claim the $20M Google Lunar X Prize.

9:45 AM - 23 Jan 2018

And here is Foust's article on SpaceNews.
« Last Edit: 01/23/2018 11:34 PM by Llian Rhydderch »
Re arguments from authority on NSF:  "no one is exempt from error, and errors of authority are usually the worst kind.  Taking your word for things without question is no different than a bracket design not being tested because the designer was an old hand."
"You would actually save yourself time and effort if you were to use evidence and logic to make your points instead of wrapping yourself in the royal mantle of authority.  The approach only works on sheep, not inquisitive, intelligent people."

Offline Pomerantz

Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #181 on: 01/24/2018 04:40 AM »
Which is why I'm attempting to contribute back here to you in a supportive way.

And this is a mere post. Meant to be crisp. Take it in the spirit of how it is offered.

Oh, I most definitely am! This is fun for me. I don't really feel it is prudent / ethical for me to comment on specific teams, so they only time I get to talk about a program that was very important to me is in conversations like this, about the rules, the competition as a whole, and what comes next.

Re: your comments. I think one could definitely craft an interesting competition in that way; I just think it isn't an incentive prize. Even with the most competent of judges and the most well designed ways of distributing access, this concept would still by necessity result in constraining innovation and in having someone (even a very smart, very well intentioned someone) serve as gate-keeper.

That's a totally fine thing to do, especially assuming you have declared that up front so that all teams start from the same working position. But it's not as interesting a competition to me personally, in part because my gut feel is that it wouldn't actually increase the likelihood of achieving the long terms goals of the effort--e.g. not just a prize victory, but a lasting change to the industry/field.
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Offline Andy Bandy

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #182 on: 01/25/2018 05:59 PM »
Seems like the competitors got caught in a no-man's land. Doing the mission in the low 10's of millions wasn't possible. So the money they raised only went so far. However, they weren't able to get to the high tens of millions needed to actually do the mission properly. ispace has managed to raise $90 million, but not in time to allow Team Hakuto to undertake a mission. That team was dependent on a ride from Team Indus. The $90 million sounds like a lot of money, but it might only cover one mission or a mission and a half. if mission one fails, then do the investors continue to put money into the company?

Paul Allen and Burt Rutan managed to win the Ansari X Prize spending only $28 million, a multiple of 2.8 on a $10 million prize. Between the prize money, licensing the technology to Richard Branson, and donating the vehicle to the Smithsonian Allen managed to make a profit on the venture.

Not clear how to make money on a moon mission that costs $80 million or so on a $20 million prize. Not clear there's a market for taking payloads to the moon after someone wins. Might be.

The very cheapness with which SSO was built caused problems down the road. The flight test program was too short. The engine took a decade to scale up. Rutan & company didn't understand the dangers of nitrous oxide. They were overconfident. The very success of SSO led them down some bad paths.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #183 on: 01/25/2018 07:49 PM »
But it's not as interesting a competition to me personally, in part because my gut feel is that it wouldn't actually increase the likelihood of achieving the long terms goals of the effort--e.g. not just a prize victory, but a lasting change to the industry/field.
Hackerthons have already been credited with achieving lasting changes to industry in many fields.

(One with the most change has been healthcare and medicine - they have broken ground around the security, ubiquity, and deployment of medical devices, wearables, mobile applications, and productivity improvements.) I did one of these with 3 young university students to understand why, and got to know Jason Calacanis in the process. (Went without sleep for a week in doing so.)

He says that they make accessible "change makers" to communities that need change. And vice versa. Talk with him about it.

Ask yourself which is better - a too visionary program with no results, or a slightly constrained program with results.

Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #184 on: 01/25/2018 11:55 PM »
It is precisely the short-term, high-energy, ideate-anything, build-a-minimum-viable bit-of-a-product attitude so prevalent in hackathons that helps ramp up innovation.

I was involved in a hackathon in New York City last summer, and will be in one in Denver next month, both ideating and building apps for the fast-moving blockchain space. 
Re arguments from authority on NSF:  "no one is exempt from error, and errors of authority are usually the worst kind.  Taking your word for things without question is no different than a bracket design not being tested because the designer was an old hand."
"You would actually save yourself time and effort if you were to use evidence and logic to make your points instead of wrapping yourself in the royal mantle of authority.  The approach only works on sheep, not inquisitive, intelligent people."

Offline Andy Bandy

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Re: GLXP Update Thread
« Reply #185 on: 01/26/2018 04:42 AM »
It is precisely the short-term, high-energy, ideate-anything, build-a-minimum-viable bit-of-a-product attitude so prevalent in hackathons that helps ramp up innovation.

I was involved in a hackathon in New York City last summer, and will be in one in Denver next month, both ideating and building apps for the fast-moving blockchain space.

Software is easy to iterate. So are the devices that they run. Space hardware is a lot more difficult. It's costly. There are harsh conditions it must survive particularly on the moon. And you can't just recall it, fix whatever's wrong, and send it back up again. Planet manages to iterate because they launch a lot of satellites and can tweak software and sensors and so on. But, a lunar mission doesn't lend itself to that.

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