Headlines > News > InterPlanetary Ventures talk to the ISF about Registering for the Google Lunar X-Prize

InterPlanetary Ventures talk to the ISF about Registering for the Google Lunar X-Prize

Published by Rob on Wed Jan 2, 2008 9:20 pm
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“InterPlanetary Ventures (IPV) is a membership based corporation that provides opportunities for members to get involved in space related activities, and achieve their space related goals. Our shared goal is to create the terrestrial and space based infrastructure required to support humanity’s permanent expansion into the bountiful reaches of our solar system.”

That is how IPV describe themselves on their site. So who are they? Kevin E. Myrick, President & CEO of the organisation got together with the International Space Fellowship (ISF) to discuss the company and their plans.

Myrick told the ISF that IPV are an international organisation made up of people across the globe. “The InterPlanetary Ventures team includes working groups in Sweden, India, Sri Lanka and the United States, also individuals in several other countries, promoting international cooperation in space exploration.



Myrick is currently a student in the Space Studies Masters program at the University of North Dakota. He directs the teams Consultants group, aerospace professionals working on the spacecraft and Lunar Lander systems. Myrick is also organizing related arts programs; including exterior spacecraft design contests and a special visual display project to be executed from the moon.

The ISF asked Mr Myrick about the IPV Google Lunar X-Prize team and their ambitions. “The team includes organizations and individuals from many different countries, promoting international cooperation in space by working together in the development of a spherical robotic rover and an automated moonbase to complete the contest requirements.

The Google Lunar X-Prize team was formed in California on November 26, 2007. IPV wish to capture the prize using their “Robotic Players” which include a Spherical Robotic Rover with High Definition Video cameras to capture video of its travels on the moon. The lunar lander will also play a key role on the team, expanding to become an automated lunar exploration and development base. A second rover, equipped with high definition cameras and prospecting gear will complete the robotic members of the team.

I asked how far they had got with the registration process for the Google Lunar X-Prize, I was told “We have completed the Letter of Intent and paid the registration fee deposit, we still have to complete the full registration documentation and submit it along with the balance of the registration fee.” Myrick later added that they should complete the registration process this month.

Since the announcement in 2007 several teams have shown an interest in competing for the prize, much like the Ansari X-Prize only a few years earlier. I wanted to know if IPV paid any interest to the other organisations involved. Myrick told me “Yes, we are watching the news about other organizations entering the race. I am very excited by the diverse nature of the potential teams, which includes university groups, open source internet based groups, non-profits and fully commercial groups.

Speaking more directly about IPV Myrick was asked about their design and if he felt they had a design capable of winning the prize. Myrick told me “I don’t think it will be a matter of design as much speed. It’s a lot like the US and Soviet moon race, the first group to get funded, built and successfully complete the requirements will win the race. That could be the leanest design to meet the contest requirements, or a really robust fully featured automated exploration and development expedition.

One pitfall of the Ansari X-Prize was the amount of teams registered for the competition who never managed to show actual flight hardware. I thought id take this opportunity to ask Myrick how IPV were progressing on that front, Myrick told me “We will have models and prototypes circulating and undergoing testing within the next few months, and flight ready hardware will start coming out before the end of the year.” Regarding the timeframes in mind for IPV Myrick told me “The 40th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon has been mentioned as a target date, we hope to land on the moon and complete the contest requirements a soon as possible before July 20, 2009.

SpaceX, Interorbital Systems and many other organisations have been mentioned regarding rockets for a mission to the Moon. Myrick also has big plans; instead of using one launcher he tells me they aim to have three. He tells me they feel this will increase their chance of success, adding “There are several options available, and we are looking at all of them. We will use a Dnepr for one launch, and the other two are still in the planning stage. One of them may well be something developed just for us.”

If anyone feels they can offer services in communications, high def video or other potentially valuable services then there may be a chance at IPV. Myrick explains “We are still getting people and groups requesting to join our team, and we are accepting all requests. We are especially looking for people in the areas of communications and high def video.

The ISF is renowned for having organisations coming forward and being open, discussing progress and listening to user opinions and ideas. With this in mind I wondered how they felt about their public persona and if being an open organisation was important to them. Myrick seems to completely follow this way of working he tells me “We certainly will be sharing with the public. We see this as an opportunity not only to bring people together for a space project but also to educate and excite the general public about space exploration and development” Also later adding “We will host public presentations and seminars while this contest is running, with the goal of getting people around the world involved in and providing support for space exploration and development projects

To stay up to date with IPV you can visit their website at:
http://www.interplanetaryventures.org

For any other information or questions please E-Mail:
info@InterPlanetaryVentures.org

To view the IPV promotional video playlist please visit:
YouTube.com

Copyright 2008 The International Space Fellowship. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

The ISF warmly welcomes representatives from IPV to discuss this article further in the forums.

Please feel free to discuss this topic further in the forum…

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