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What's the hardest part of the Google Lunar X prize?

Posted by: RGClark - Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:30 pm
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What's the hardest part of the Google Lunar X prize? 
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Space Walker
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Post What's the hardest part of the Google Lunar X prize?   Posted on: Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:30 pm
What do you consider to be the hardest part of the Google Lunar X Prize Challenge?
The robot requirements are pretty simple. The high data transmission requirements (for high def TV) appear doable by using large, perhaps arrayed, radio telescopes as the receivers on Earth.

For the launch, the obvious thing to do is to purchase space on an existing launch vehicle. According to this page, the delta-v budget to go from LEO to low lunar orbit is about the same as to go from LEO to GEO:

Delta-v budget.
4 Earth-Moon space budget.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-v_bu ... ace_budget

The delta-v required to go from low lunar orbit to the Moon is also rather low as given on that page as 1.87 km/s.

The cost to GEO is in the range of $25,000/kg so might be in the same cost range to lunar orbit, perhaps 2 to 3 times that to get to LEO.

So you need a lander. What would be the hardest part of getting a soft landing on the Moon? The rocket, navigation, stability, radar ranging to the surface?


Bob Clark


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:33 pm
In regards to the stability during the descent, I remember seeing this video:

Video of Multiple Kill Vehicle Test Scares Me Silly.
By Jesus Diaz, 9:00 PM on Mon Dec 8 2008, 172,592 views
Image
http://gizmodo.com/5104917/

This operates on thruster pulses for directional control. It looks also like the main thrust engine is also pulsed.
This type of system would have the advantage of allowing the lander to move to more than one location after landing.
This reminded me that the Mars Polar Lander and Mars Phoenix Lander engines were also pulsed:

Martian cliffhanger resolved at last.
Phoenix lander’s propulsion system works, nine years after setback.
By James Oberg
NBC News space analyst
Special to MSNBC
updated 9:10 p.m. ET, Sun., May 25, 2008
"Did NASA cut corners on engine testing?
"Back in the 1990s, as a cost-cutting measure, Polar Lander's engines were never actually tested. Instead, they were certified purely on the basis of previous flight experience. In the “circle-the-wagonsâ€


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:22 pm
Is it a bit of a cop out if i suggest raising the funds is the hardest part of most space projects? Or are we taking that aside?

Rob

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:11 pm
This is a tech thread I guess. But the hardest part, far and away, is always the finance.

The Hardest part with the google x prize is the accumulated part failure probability. Your launcher gets checked out before it does its things, but after that, the TLI, the orbital insertion, the landing, the roving arounds, all have a lot of things that could go wrong and it might take just one of them to scrub your mission.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:36 pm
Nope! I disagree totally!
The Hardest part is doing what it takes to get the job done!
Forging ahead damn the cost and the financing and everything else.

Raw courage and determination and shear unstoppable desire!

Here let me show you!

Today's the DAY! And every day is the day WE go into SPACE!

Monroe Lee King Jr. and Team Prometheus

Live it! Be it! Love it! Or Leave it!

We get there 24hrs. at a time mutlplied by every member on our team.

Join Us! http://www.teamprometheus.org


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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:45 pm
Monroe wrote:
Nope! I disagree totally!
The Hardest part is doing what it takes to get the job done!
Forging ahead damn the cost and the financing and everything else.

Raw courage and determination and shear unstoppable desire!

Here let me show you!

Today's the DAY! And every day is the day WE go into SPACE!

Monroe Lee King Jr. and Team Prometheus

Live it! Be it! Love it! Or Leave it!

We get there 24hrs. at a time mutlplied by every member on our team.

Join Us! http://www.teamprometheus.org


Thanks for the link. Nice web site. Best of luck to you!

Bob Clark


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:14 pm
Bob
Thanks so much, and we'll take that luck and send it back to ya! We need everything we can get and Luck is one nice luxury!

Monroe

My face is still red.

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Space Walker
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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:56 am
On Bautforum.com was mentioned a partnership between the Odyssey Moon GLXP team and NASA Ames to use the lunar lander Ames is developing:

Engineering TV.
MoonOne Robotic Lunar Lander.
"Odyssey Moon's partnership with NASA will allow them to develop the "MoonOne" (M-1) lunar lander based on the Common Spacecraft Bus (CSB) developed at the NASA Ames Research Center."
http://engineeringtv.com/blogs/etv/arch ... ander.aspx

Exclusive Video: Meet the Spacecraft That Could Save NASA a Fortune.
* By Aaron Rowe
* May 7, 2008
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/ ... -meet-the/

There has been some grumbles on this forum that this partnership with NASA Ames gives Odyssey Moon an unfair advantage in the $30 million prize competition:

Odyssey Moon WINS the "Odyssey Moon Lunar X Prize".
http://spacefellowship.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?t=7639

This hovering vehicle developed by NASA Ames also seems to operate by pulsed thrusters. It may very well be that it was developed as derived from the MPL/Phoenix lander designs.


Bob Clark


Last edited by RGClark on Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:26 am
Better beat NASA back to the moon then! There is time lets hope it's enough. but hey there's still mars. We want to do a sample return mission based on Brian Wilcox's mission plan. Any team worth it's salt wont quit because the X-Prize get's won by someone else! There is plenty of space out there! Plenty to do Teams should diversify there plans anyway to ensure their place in the markets to get investors anyway. Developing a long term plan that keeps them in the business of space exploration. Not just winning the X-Prize any team with that goal only would not get my money. It's a mutli Billion dollar industry 30 million is loose change, it's a nice Prize for sure but that's not all there is to it and I'm sure it's not ment to end there. Shoot for the Stars and landing on the moon will be the short trip.


Monroe

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