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Micro-Space show interest in new Google Lunar X-Prize

Published by Rob on Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:01 pm
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Richard P. Speck of Micro-Space earlier confessed to not flying in the X-Prize Cup this year he was quoted saying “As noted, we will not be flying at the X Prize Cup this year. We are making slow but steady progress with our lunar lander units, but realized that obtaining the FAA flight license in time was not going to happen. We are getting close to hovering flight tests.”

Well it seems that Mr Speck has ideas far into the future. Asked on the Space Fellowship if he was interested in the new Google-Lunar X-Prize his response was “We are VERY interested in this new prize!“ He then emphasise don how the new prize plays o the Micro-Space strengths adding “It plays nicely into our strengths: storable fuels, low lander weight and our “split tank cluster” configuration, with space for a human voyager or a lunar rover.”

Some criticisms have come across with the new prize, the timeframe, the costs and potential for any follow-ups but Mr Speck went on to say that he feels this prize has important follow on potential.

It also seems that Mr speck sees the prize as a good way to form partnerships and gain real research. He compared it to the International space station saying “Nations which have spent hundreds of $$ Millions to be counted as “partners” for the ISS (with zilch return), will be able to purchase and equip dedicated copy Lunar Rovers with specialized sensors and do real research and exploration. This will highlight their national corporations and laboratories (who make the special sensors) as well as their commitment to be real space explorers. The cost of cementing such a position can be as little as $20 to $30 Million, and more than 20 such craft will probably be produced and used.”

The Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity caught a lot of public interest when they began their journey across the red planet and still do today at some degree. He added later that “Both the competitors and follow on craft will be able to tap public interest similar to that captured by Spirit and Opportunity (A Lot!). We really have explored a very small part of the Moon close up. Add the Google reputation and promotion and the Commercial, Sponsorship value for these rovers is also far, far greater, than the terrestrial Lander simulation.”

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To read more about Richard P. Speck’s thoughts on the prize and other Micro-Space developments please feel free to visit the General Micro-Space Forum

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