Author Topic: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site  (Read 18289 times)

Offline collectSPACE

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Part Time Scientists reserves rocket to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-112916a-ptscientists-moon-rover-apollo17.html

A Berlin-based group of rocket scientists and engineers are aiming to land a pair of privately-funded Audi-branded robotic rovers on the moon and drive them to inspect NASA's Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle, marking 45 years since humans last drove on another world.

PTScientists (Part Time Scientists), one of 16 teams still in the running for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, has been developing its Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA) lunar lander and Audi lunar quattro rovers since 2008. Now, the team has secured a launch contract with Spaceflight Inc., a rocket rideshare broker in Seattle.

"It's the last piece of the puzzle" said Robert Bohme, CEO of PTScientists, in a statement released on Tuesday (Nov. 29). "We have been busy designing and testing our rovers, developing our transport and landing spacecraft, and now we have secured our ride to space."


Edit/Lar:  See also  http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=9818 which is the overall Google Lunar X Prize thread
« Last Edit: 11/30/2016 02:09 AM by Lar »

Offline redliox

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #1 on: 11/29/2016 10:13 PM »
I remember the Taurus–Littrow valley and thought it'd be a fitting place to begin the return to the Moon from.

In this case hopefully the Germans can do this mission.  I'm curious what their landing means for the rovers would be.
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Offline whitelancer64

I remember the Taurus–Littrow valley and thought it'd be a fitting place to begin the return to the Moon from.

In this case hopefully the Germans can do this mission.  I'm curious what their landing means for the rovers would be.

ALINA, the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module, a lunar lander.
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Offline AS_501

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #3 on: 11/29/2016 10:41 PM »
Isn't there a treaty or law in effect that prohibits a country or company's lander/rover from disturbing any of the Apollo landing sites?  I guess if you stand off far enough from a site and just take pictures, it's not an issue.  Whatever happens, it will be absolutely fascinating to see the physical condition of the flags, LM descent stages, rovers and surface instrument packages after so many years, especially after so many micrometeorite impacts.

Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #4 on: 11/29/2016 10:49 PM »
No, there is no treaty, no law.  There are NASA guidelines, that's all - and nothing at all for any non-NASA site. 

https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/617743main_NASA-USG_LUNAR_HISTORIC_SITES_RevA-508.pdf

Normally we would not expect any entity to wilfully disregard these guidelines (though who knows what 'normally' means these days?).  I would expect PTS to adhere to these guidelines (after all, they might be looking for assistance or to carry payloads in future).  Distant imaging of the LM should be OK, and close approaches to the LRV, ALSEP etc. would be less stringent as well.  The LM is the main item being protected.  I note that Apollos 12, 14, 15 and 16 have less stringent protections than Apollos 11 and 17.

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #5 on: 11/29/2016 11:03 PM »
Is there some reason you didn't bother using the existing thread?

I searched for PTScientists (and Part Time Scientists) before posting but it returned no results.

The topic you link to seems to be a catch-all thread for Google Lunar XPRIZE updates; PTScientists' plans extend beyond just the prize (even out to Mars' moon Phobos). But the mods can merge if they feel it's warranted.
« Last Edit: 11/29/2016 11:28 PM by collectSPACE »

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #6 on: 11/29/2016 11:05 PM »
There are NASA guidelines...

...which, it should be noted, the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams have agreed to follow.

Based on what PTScientists announced and said today, their plan is to land 2 to 4 miles away from the Apollo 17 landing site and then approach with their rovers, close enough to get good imagery but without disturbing the site (though Cernan asked them if they had the opportunity, to photograph his daughters' initials that he wrote in the regolith).
« Last Edit: 11/29/2016 11:11 PM by collectSPACE »

Offline Kansan52

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #7 on: 11/29/2016 11:26 PM »
Thanks for the info on the 'protection' guidelines.

I actually thought it was more rules than guidelines so a good lesson for me. Maybe other nations default to those guidelines for their sites.

A shot of those initials would be amazing!

Online Lar

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #8 on: 11/30/2016 02:10 AM »
Is there some reason you didn't bother using the existing thread?

I searched for PTScientists (and Part Time Scientists) before posting but it returned no results.

The topic you link to seems to be a catch-all thread for Google Lunar XPRIZE updates; PTScientists' plans extend beyond just the prize (even out to Mars' moon Phobos). But the mods can merge if they feel it's warranted.

Different enough that a crosslink is fine, I think. I edited it into the first post of this thread. Some squabbling removed.
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #9 on: 11/30/2016 05:59 AM »
Here's the link to Part Time Scientists web site.

http://pts_wp.we03.ptscientists.com/

Even Audi has a site!

http://microsites.audi.com/mission-to-the-moon/

Another site.

http://mission-to-the-moon.com/

The lander is quite big! It might need a dedicated Falcon 9 launch.





« Last Edit: 11/30/2016 06:47 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #10 on: 11/30/2016 06:44 AM »
They are retiring from WEC motorsports for now after 18 years and many wins. I guess this will be a great way to keep them in the news with a high technology demonstrator never before done by an auto manufacturer... Great cache' for them...
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Offline Archibald

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #11 on: 11/30/2016 08:10 AM »
Looks like 24 hours of Le Mans victories ain't enough for Audi.
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #12 on: 11/30/2016 09:09 AM »
The lander is quite big! It might need a dedicated Falcon 9 launch.

Each ALINA spacecraft can carry two Audi lunar quattro rovers (plus additional commercial and scientific payloads) and a Falcon 9 can accommodate three ALINA spacecraft at a time, according to PTScientsts' datasheet:

ALINA is the autonomous landing and navigation module capable of delivering 100 kg payload to the lunar surface. Starting point is a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) with an apogee between 22,000 km and 65,000 km from where ALINA can manage transfer, orbit insertion and landing under her own propulsion. This initial orbit span can be covered effectively due to three different propellant tank configurations, which makes ALINA compatible with all major commercial launch solutions. Up to three ALINA modules would fit into a Falcon 9.

For this first mission, PTScientists only plans to send one ALINA (with two rovers), riding as a secondary payload on a Falcon 9 or other commercial launch vehicle.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #13 on: 11/30/2016 01:43 PM »
Recent news tells us that entire British, Dutch, and American ships sunk in the Java Sea during World War 2 have recently "disappeared".  One of them was even a big heavy cruiser.  As access to space improves, there's no reason to believe that the Apollo sites (and Surveyor, and Luna, etc.) will remain un-plundered.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Oli

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #14 on: 11/30/2016 05:29 PM »
Wow, this is pretty cool. Why are they designing a system to land 6 rovers on the Moon? Are the planning a lunar racing league?  8)

Online Hobbes-22

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #15 on: 11/30/2016 07:08 PM »
A Berlin-based group of rocket scientists and engineers are aiming to land a pair of privately-funded Audi-branded robotic rovers on the moon and drive them to inspect NASA's Apollo 17 lunar roving vehicle, marking 45 years since humans last drove on another world.

Wow, the time really flies...
I remember Yutu like it was yesterday?

Oh well.

Or do they really really mean "humans drove hands-on" so then this Audi -mission must be manned, right?

They don't claim to be the first since then, nor will the rover be manned. They're just aiming to arrive on the 45th anniversary of Apollo 17 (so December, 2017). That's all the statement says.

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #16 on: 11/30/2016 10:55 PM »
Either way, such a perfect reporting on details, once again.

Not sure what merited the snark, but as Hobbes-22 said, PTScientists intends their visit to the Apollo 17 LRV to mark the 45th anniversary of the last time astronauts drove on the moon.

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #17 on: 11/30/2016 10:58 PM »
Why are they designing a system to land 6 rovers on the Moon?

They are actually only designing a system to land two rovers on the moon, so that one rover can film the other rover at work and so both can go off in different directions as their customers' needs merit.

The point about six rovers was just pointing out that three ALINA landers could fly on a single Falcon 9 if they had the customer demand to merit such.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #18 on: 11/30/2016 11:11 PM »
Remember this... Houston, we have a connection... ;)
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40397.0

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Offline punder

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Re: PTScientists to land Audi moon rovers at Apollo 17 site
« Reply #19 on: 11/30/2016 11:14 PM »
Two rovers also provides redundancy, because, you know, "you too" could run into trouble on the Moon.   ::)

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