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Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview

Posted by: Klaus Schmidt - Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:25 am
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Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview 
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Post Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:25 am
The Google Lunar X PRIZE is a robotic race to the Moon to win a $30 million prize purse.

Private companies from around the world will compete to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of completing several mission objectives, including roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images and data back to the Earth.

About the Prize Purse:

The $30 million prize purse is segmented into a $20 million Grand Prize, a $5 million Second Prize and $5 million in bonus prizes.

To win the Grand Prize, a team must successfully soft land a privately funded spacecraft on the Moon, rove on the lunar surface for a minimum of 500 meters, and transmit a specific set of video, images and data back to the Earth.

The Grand Prize is $20 million until December 31st 2012; thereafter it will drop to $15 million until December 31st 2014 at which point the competition will be terminated unless extended by Google and the X PRIZE Foundation.

To win the Second Prize, a team must land their spacecraft on the Moon, rove and transmit data back to Earth. Second place will be available until December 31st 2014 at which point the competition will be terminated unless extended by Google and the X PRIZE Foundation.


Bonus prizes will be won by successfully completing additional mission tasks such as roving longer distances (> 5,000 meters), imaging man made artifacts (e.g. Apollo hardware), discovering water ice, and/or surviving through a frigid lunar night (approximately 14.5 Earth days).

The competing lunar spacecraft will be equipped with high-definition video and still cameras, and will send images and data to Earth, which the public will be able to view on the Google Lunar X PRIZE website.

Strategic Alliances:

Strategic alliances that support this new competition include:

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), run by entrepreneur and X PRIZE Foundation Trustee Elon Musk, which is offering competing teams an in-kind contribution, lowering the cost of its Falcon Launch Vehicle. SpaceX is the first preferred launch provider for this competition;

The Allen Telescope Array (ATA), operated by the SETI Institute, will serve as a preferred downlink provider for communications from the Moon to the Earth; operated by SETI, which will provide downlink services at no cost to competing teams;

The Saint Louis Science Center serves as the Foundation’s official education partner and the coordinator of an international network of museums and science centers;

The International Space University (ISU), based in Strasbourg, France, will conduct international team outreach and facilitate an unbiased judging committee.


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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:56 pm
The fine print reads like a little bit less fun:
http://wikileaks.org/wiki/GoogleLunarX_Prize_Final_Master_Team_Agreement%252C_2009

Does anybody know why they bloated the MTA from the last draft (17 pages) to final (65 pages)?
Some sections really look like they are going to kick Teams like FredNET out of the competition.

Lets see how many Teams we will have after January the 12.


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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:12 pm
We have had numerous people moan about the fine details of the rules. Two teams in particular have highlighted their frustration in articles I have done with them. Strange one that something so primary to the prize is causing so many people to be annoyed.

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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:56 pm
Bob you are right something like an X-Prize does certainly need a good set of rules.
But if you look at the rules published it looks like the XPF is trying to make a cash cow out of all X-Prizes.

If just found on Google that 3 Teams withdraw from the Automotiv X-Prize due to the new MTA published one month ago.
http://green.autoblog.com/2009/09/09/avion-withdraws-from-auto-x-prize-cites-increasing-costs-of-par/

So take a look at the rules.
If Wikileaks is right you are not getting the chance any other way soon.

What i found disturbing was things like section 5.5 / 4.3 / 3.2.
Looks quite not right to me.

The XPF does nothing and want to get all media rights in return :shock:


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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:37 pm
stockpotato wrote:
So take a look at the rules.
If Wikileaks is right you are not getting the chance any other way soon.


They'd probably be found on wikileaks ;)


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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:28 am
.

this is a WIRED Science article about the GLXP ...

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/ ... ize-teams/

and these are my comments there about the GLXP ...

.
ALL the Press have already put apart the TRUE STORY of the """Google""" Lunar X Prize ....... http://x.co/GqFF
.
anyhow, there are some problems to win this prize
.
one Falcon-9 costs up to $56 millions but we must add the costs of the rover, the lander and the Earth Departure Stage (the last two not yet developed) for a total price of $65-70 millions (or much more)
.
but the winner will have only $20 millions (or only $15 millions) and the second team only $5 millions
.
so, ALL the 29 GLXP teams and, most important, their funding sources, must be ready to LOSE up to $50M (for the winner) or up to $65M (for the second place team) and up to $70M each for ALL the 27 teams that will arrive as 3rd and after the 3rd in this race
.
so, the TOTAL amount funded and LOST by the 29 teams and their funders will be of up to $2 billions!!!
.
of course, the teams that understand to be unable to win, should stop to run before they launch the rover with a $56M Falcon-9, but, the total money LOST to develop all the rovers, landers and EDS, could anyway be of over $300 millions!!!
.
also, if two-three of the GLXP teams already have the technology and the funds to develop, build and launch their rovers, that means that, up to 27 of the 29 GLXP teams ALREADY ARE TODAY OUT OF THE RACE, then, this is NOT a TRUE moon-race where all competitors have the SAME chances to win!!!
.

the Apollo program costs in 2005 dollars was roughly $170 billion, while, 28 of 29 GLXP teams, not even have the money to buy the rocket to launch their rovers


the values of payloads and data are in the order of few milion$ while the costs are in the order of hundreds of million$

it's like sell for $500 each, cars that costed $20,000 to produce them


ALL investors never like to lose money, especially if the amounts lost and the probability to lose them are very high, that's why nearly all GLXP teams are poorly or not funded


now, the Falcon-9 is the cheapest rocket on the market able to launch a rover+lander+EDS for the GLXP

it needed about 8 years and $800 million for R&D and its price should be at least $56 million each

it will be ready for commercial flights from 2013 (+ delays) but only IF the COTS/CRS program will leave few of them available for the GLXP

of course, SpaceX isn't able to build 29 Falcon-9 to launch ALL the GLXP rovers, so, the first two-three GLXP teams that will find $56 million will have the rockets, while, 26-27 teams will be soon OUT OF THE RACE

also, the REAL winner of the GLXP (clearly) will be the FIRST team that will buy and launch a Falcon-9 (unless something goes wrong) so, also the second and third Falcon-9 buyers will LOSE the GLXP

the only way to have all teams on the starting line the same day (to launch all rovers together) is to buy 29 Falcon-9 and launch them EXACTLY in the same minute, but, unfortunately, SpaceX has only ONE launch pad and, the work for every launch needs weeks

of course, prices will surely go down, someday, maybe around 2020-2025, when we will have MANY companies like SpaceX that build, sell and launch commercial rockets (rather than just ONE company as we have today)

.

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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:34 pm
gaetanomarano wrote:
.

one Falcon-9 costs up to $56 millions but we must add the costs of the rover, the lander and the Earth Departure Stage (the last two not yet developed) for a total price of $65-70 millions (or much more)
.
but the winner will have only $20 millions (or only $15 millions) and the second team only $5 millions
.
so, ALL the 29 GLXP teams and, most important, their funding sources, must be ready to LOSE up to $50M (for the winner) or up to $65M (for the second place team) and up to $70M each for ALL the 27 teams that will arrive as 3rd and after the 3rd in this race
.
so, the TOTAL amount funded and LOST by the 29 teams and their funders will be of up to $2 billions!!!
.


You seem to be assuming that every team will be using a Falcon-9 i think the idea of the competition is to encourage the development of cheaper more efficient access to space and everybody wont be tied to one solution even as good as the Falcon-9 is. As the space industry is worth about 400 billion a year worldwide currently, those spending a couple of billion in your figures only have to take a small percent of annual spend for it to be worthwhile and i doubt a single solution will take all, think of the auto industry as an analogy having small efficient cars available does not stop big fast expensive gas guzzlers being built and some people like reliable trucks.

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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:58 pm
I don't think it's the launch bit that is the main reason for the competition, but the landing bit. And who said you had to buy all the cargo space of a Falcon 9 to get to the moon? It's possible to hitch-hike as a secondary payload, of which I, if I remember correctly, SpaceX is allowed to sell to whomever they'd like according to their standard contract.


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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:57 pm
Don't ever take anything Gitanmorono says seriously. According to his analysis above there will be 29 Falcon9 rockets launched simultaneously to the moon. How else could he have included the price of 29 of those launches in his estimated spend?

His only motivation for coming up with these ridiculous stories is to draw more visitors to his websites and I assume collect advertising revenue. He's an idiot and a spammer. Don't click those links, it only encourages him.

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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:01 am
So how much money would a team need to cough up to be able to launch their hardware?

Also by private funding do they mean actual investors or do donations count?

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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:32 am
$30 million minimum I seem to remember from somewhere.


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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:30 am
Are any of the teams getting close to getting it all together?

Just asking in case somebody here follows the events more closely, I don't have much time at the moment to look through all of them. :)

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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:36 pm
box wrote:
Are any of the teams getting close to getting it all together?



Nope.


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Post Re: Google Lunar X PRIZE Overview   Posted on: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:38 pm
box wrote:
Are any of the teams getting close to getting it all together?

My money is on Astrobotic, they seem to have a rover and lander concept that could work, however I'm not sure how close they are to being done, probably still a lot to do ;-)

@gaetanomarano
It is funny how you don't seem to understand how the competition works, even though I've seen you claim the whole thing was your idea.

The competition is not about racing to the moon 29 falcon 9s at the same time, but making the whole thing come together first, that is the funding, the hardware, the launch, flight, the landing, the driving 500 metre and so on.

Also the prize is not meant to pay the trip, but to be an extra encouragement to get it all done. What we are interested in, is not a one time event, but someone developing a business model that will send many more flights to the moon long after this prize is done.


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