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Proposed challange: Robotic lunar rover

Posted by: BitBanger - Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:39 pm
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Proposed challange: Robotic lunar rover 
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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:59 am
Hello, Cadet,

I don't see your point.

There could be a compettion for the best rover, a competition for the first rover going a certain distance while anlysing a certain number of properties of the lunar soil, a competition for the first rover climbing a lunar mountain, the first number digging and so on.

They can - and will - be robotic. So no human survey team is required during a phase I which can be seen by a look at the results gained by the Mars rovers: according to themselves scientists do know more about Mars than about the moon today.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 21, 2004 4:40 pm
Cadet wrote:
You've misunderstood why I said it wasn't worthy of a prize. I said it wasn't worthy because it was a necessary precursor anyhow. The X-Prize is designed to get private industry into space, which is completely different from the goals of the government space agencies.


I had a long reply, wrote about 1/2 of it then said "Nah it sounds to much like bickering" so I'll just give you this. ;)

I don't think I misunderstood, you said it would be a bad prize (or redunant at least) because anyone setting up a moon base, prospecting for lunar resources, ect... would have to send rovers up to do some scouting first anyway, at least that is the gist I got.

I disagree that it would be redunant. :)


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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:04 pm
The biggest reason I had for the suggestion is that by quantifying the resources available, it would help to justify the economics of using lunar resources to a private company.

Most companies, with a few exceptions like Branson and Bigelow, need a pretty firm understanding of costs and potential returns in order to justify investment. The information we currently have on the available resources on the moon is too little to do that justification.

If, for example, it could be confirmed that water exists on the moon, and a realistic estimate of how much was there, could go a long ways towards making a private venture justifiable.

The Apollo missions did little more than scratch the surface of the moon to get the returned samples. A few deep cores in various places would confirm the available resources. Not to mention give the scientists a better understanding of the formation of the solar system.

NOTE: Branson and Bigelow are exceptions because they are putting thier personal money in for personal reasons, without having to justify the expenditure to stockholders. While people like these can pave the way to new frontiers, it isn't until the smell of money is in the water that the real frenzy starts.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 22, 2004 6:41 am
Bit Banger,

I agree to your biggest reason.

And the moon is the best place to experiment, test and find out how to do mining at other planets and based on robots - or the required geological explorations at least.

The only reason not to consider this to be a good Centennial Challenges Prize will be that NASA and the government are interested in scientific missions only and not in industrial missions like mining.

Rovers for mining are worth prizes but it seems to be that it should be other prizes set by privates like the XPRIZE Foundation, Bigelow or World Technology Net.

In short: prize yes but not Centennial Challenges.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)

PS: Rovers for science and rovers for science as well as non-science may be good Centennial Challenges prizes.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:05 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Bit Banger,

The only reason not to consider this to be a good Centennial Challenges Prize will be that NASA and the government are interested in scientific missions only and not in industrial missions like mining.


PS: Rovers for science and rovers for science as well as non-science may be good Centennial Challenges prizes.


Again, don't tell them the final intent is industralization! :D

A prospecting rover is a perfect example of using the governments money to aid private investment because it can be sold as a strictly scientific endeavor. Let them think the intent is to determine the lunalogy of the moon. When in addition the survey would naturally include information on resource availability.


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