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Google Lunar X PRIZE Funding

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:38 pm
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Google Lunar X PRIZE Funding 
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Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:38 pm
Because I can't find a proper thread at present I post here about possible soiurces of funds.

I alreday mentioned SpaceX's discount as something that might be applied as an upper limit of investments into the rover.

But in between it seems as if the maximum payload mass of a rocket might provide sources of funds. If that maximum payload mass is taken and the weight of the rover fitting into the prize-requirments is got as far below that mass then the difference between actual and maximum mass could be offered to others for use by them.

Those others may be willing to fund launch prices or even parts of the rover itself.

What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:49 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Because I can't find a proper thread at present I post here about possible soiurces of funds.


So, I made one for you ;)

to the topic: the only potential "customers" I could imagine are cubesat users, so basically universities. But these normally use the same scheme by flying as a "waste"-payload on a "normal" launch.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:42 pm
.

in the Go ogle prize, ONLY the winner team could cover (and ONLY if they will be LUCKY) the moonrover mission's costs with the $20/30M prize, while, ALL OTHER team will LOSE their money (especially the team that will fail a real launch attempt) then, ALL the peoples/companies/universities/etc. that will give the money to the Go ogle prize's teams, are/must-be/will-be aware that (at over 99% of probabilities) they will LOSE their money

well, do you think that MANY peoples will be "happy" to BURN their money in the Go ogle prize?

if the answer is "YES" then, I just say "CALL ME, Mr. Crazy Investor, I've MANY good ideas that need R&D funds!" :) :) :)

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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:38 pm
gaetanomarano wrote:
.

in the Go ogle prize, ONLY the winner team could cover (and ONLY if they will be LUCKY) the moonrover mission's costs with the $20/30M prize, while, ALL OTHER team will LOSE their money (especially the team that will fail a real launch attempt) then, ALL the peoples/companies/universities/etc. that will give the money to the Go ogle prize's teams, are/must-be/will-be aware that (at over 99% of probabilities) they will LOSE their money

well, do you think that MANY peoples will be "happy" to BURN their money in the Go ogle prize?

if the answer is "YES" then, I just say
"CALL ME, Mr. Crazy Investor, I've MANY good ideas that need R&D funds!" :) :) :)

.

This is the risk everyone will have to take. THat is the nature of the competition. I've spoken to the a Google rep about the this X Prize. And he told me that he has already received over 300 inquiries abouth this competition.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:33 pm
Rocket Scientist wrote:
This is the risk everyone will have to take. THat is the nature of the competition. I've spoken to the a Google rep about the this X Prize. And he told me that he has already received over 300 inquiries about this competition.


there is a big difference between the suborbital X Prize and the Lunar X Prize, since, the first, could soon become a multi-million$$$ business, while, the latter, could become a private/space agencies business only after 2020, when NASA (and, maybe, others) will start the new manned missions (and could need private-services' landers, rovers, cargo, etc.)

about the "300 inquiries"... every group of students can do one... :) ...the real problem is "find the money" ($30/50M) to (just "try to") accomplish the mission... :)

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 25, 2007 12:41 am
Quote:
there is a big difference between the suborbital X Prize and the Lunar X Prize, since, the first, could soon become a multi-million$$$ business, while, the latter, could become a private/space agencies business only after 2020, when NASA (and, maybe, others) will start the new manned missions (and could need private-services' landers, rovers, cargo, etc.)

NASA is going to spend billions to get back to the moon.
If someone can put a rover on the moon for under (say) $15M as follows:
Falcon 1 $7M
lunar transfer vehicle development $7M
Rover development $1M

Then you would not only win the X prize, you would open the door to putting people on the moon at a fraction of the cost of NASA and 10 years earlier.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:49 pm
I have a few problems to see a higher risk of the Google Lunar XPRIZE in comparison to the ANSARI XPRIZE.

The rocket into LEO is already there and its launch costs much less than the $ 20 mio or more Paul Allen invested via the Mojave Aerospace Venture into White Knight/SpaceShipOne.

The rover won't cost very much in comparison to those $ 20 mio.

The kick stage from LEO towards the Moon also won't cost as much as the flight into LEO because the mass to be accelerated is much smaller.

The problem I was spaeking of in the beginning only is a problem of budgets compared to the requirements.

If at least one investor like Paul Allen can be found the problem may be solved for one team - but perhaps it is much easier to find such people for this prize because the rocket required already is there and the risk is the rover itself only. This would allow for splitting funds with the first portion for a rover that successfully survives simulated lunar environments on Earth and the scond larger one for getting it to the Moon.

As far as the capability to survive the solar wind and the radiation on the Moon is to be tested this may be easy - rovers might be tested in the exploded reactor at Czernobyl or in other reactors while running and thus inaccessable by humans.

A rover also might be carried to high altitude where radiation is high via JP Aerospace's vehicles.

There might be more ideas...

So the risks tend to be looking controllable.

...





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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 25, 2007 5:49 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
As far as the capability to survive the solar wind and the radiation on the Moon is to be tested this may be easy - rovers might be tested in the exploded reactor at Czernobyl or in other reactors while running and thus inaccessable by humans.

A rover also might be carried to high altitude where radiation is high via JP Aerospace's vehicles.


There are test chambers where you could drive the rover and test its operation in while being subjected to the radiation levels present in space, you dont have to go to Chernobyl most western governments will have one. You might run into problems from the US and other government when transporting the technology out to the Ukraine.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:26 pm
gaetanomarano wrote:
Rocket Scientist wrote:
This is the risk everyone will have to take. THat is the nature of the competition. I've spoken to the a Google rep about the this X Prize. And he told me that he has already received over 300 inquiries about this competition.


there is a big difference between the suborbital X Prize and the Lunar X Prize, since, the first, could soon become a multi-million$$$ business, while, the latter, could become a private/space agencies business only after 2020, when NASA (and, maybe, others) will start the new manned missions (and could need private-services' landers, rovers, cargo, etc.)

about the "300 inquiries"... every group of students can do one... :) ...the real problem is "find the money" ($30/50M) to (just "try to") accomplish the mission... :)
.

I don't think it will take $30-$50 million. If my plan works out and if I can get my company to support this project then that would be a huge step forward. My company has just about all the resources to build a rover/lander in-house.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:37 pm
Rocket Scientist,
Have you approached them with an estimated figure or are you asking them to sort of have an open cheque book?

Cheers
Rob

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Post    Posted on: Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:09 pm
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
Rocket Scientist,
Have you approached them with an estimated figure or are you asking them to sort of have an open cheque book?

Cheers
Rob

I am working on a prelimary budget and a master schedule. Loral sponsored a solar car a few years ago. They didn't give so much in cash funds however they allowed complete use of Loral fabrication and testing facilites and donated a large amount of materials (graphite composites, solar cell arrays, battery technology, electronics, etc.). From what I understand they donated over a million dollars in material alone. I'm hoping yo get perhaps "out-of-spec" materials that Loral will just dispose off. I've set up a meeting with some a people who worked on the solar car project to get a better feel as to how much Loral supported them. This project did go on for about five years so it seems to me that Loral was willing to support the team. Of course I can give a great presentation and Loral could still say "no". :roll:

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