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N-Prize Team 'Thomas Space Corp' Speak to The Space Fellowship

Published by Rob Goldsmith on Wed Sep 2, 2009 5:12 pm
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The Space Fellowship recently reported that two new teams had signed up for the N-Prize, Thomas Space Corp and The Valkyrie Federation. The challenge posed by the N-Prize is to launch a satellite weighing between 9.99 and 19.99 grams into Earth orbit, and to track it for a minimum of nine orbits. Most importantly, though, the launch budget must be within £999.99 (about $1500).

Thomas Space Corp recently spoke with the Space Fellowship, discussing their team and plans to compete in the N-Prize. The team consists of two people William and Michael Thomas. The team have informed the Space Fellowship that they will be competing in the SSO “single-spend-to-orbit” category and the RV “reusable vehicle” category.

TSC Logo

TSC Logo

The N-Prize is split into two separate categories, the official site states “Prizes are offered in two categories. One prize (the “single-spend-to-orbit”, or “SSO” category) will be awarded to the first entrant to complete the challenge using a non-reusable launch system. The other prize (the “reusable vehicle” or “RV” category) will be awarded to the first entrant to complete the challenge using a partially or wholly reusable launch system. Both prizes carry equal status“.

The Thomas Space Corp team say they will achieve this by launching a multi-stage rocket carrying their payload into orbit.  The team also discussed the team-roles “William is serving as the Mechanical/Propulsion/Aerospace specialist, while Michael is serving as the Computer/Electrical/Physics specialist“.

Looking at a schedule for progress the team have told the Space Fellowship that they have a 3 – 5 rocket launch schedule before attempting the SSO competition, they add “This all depends on if our goals are met and that we are satisfied with each launch. Our first launch is scheduled for the winter of 2009, while our orbit shot could come as soon as October of 2010“.

Asked about the biggest hurdle in achieving their goals, the team told the Space Fellowship “While each aspect of this competition is very difficult, we feel the satellite will be our biggest hurdle. The 9.99-19.99GM weight limit will force our team to find new, innovative ways, and ultra-light materials to stay within the proposed weight limit“.

Regarding the direction after the prize is won they say that there is a possibility of keeping the team together, quite possibly incorporating as a business and pursuing other endeavours, they add “This of course relies on several unpredictable variables

The Space Fellowship recently spoke with Google Lunar X PRIZE team “White Label Space” who entered the GLXP at a later date that many other teams. White Label Space told the Space Fellowship”I think it would have been desirable to enter sooner rather than later. As one of the last teams to join, we have to work extra hard to get our message out and get our name know”. Asked about entering the N-Prize at a later date Thomas Space Corp told the Space Fellowship While other teams have more than a year head start on their projects we still feel we can put together our project in good time to compete“.

N-Prize Team Representatives, November 08

N-Prize Team Representatives, November 08

Discussing funding they will fund the project 100% by themselves adding “This project is being funded 100% by William & Michael. We each work jobs while in school and put an even amount towards the competition“.

With regards to any media available to the public, the team told the Space Fellowship “Currently we do not have any media at this time. We will be filming each launch and posting them on our website along with pictures of the construction of each rocket“. They later added that they would be happy to circulate this media with the Space Fellowship. The team also add they will post updates and progress reports on each rocket test. Videos, pictures, and some literature will be available after each launch.

Read more information and news on the N-Prize

Visit the Official N-Prize Web-Site

The Space Fellowship would like to thank Thomas Space Corp for their help with this article.

Copyright 2009 The International Space Fellowship. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

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