N328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6222 posts, RR: 3 Posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1792 times:
This is pretty awesome of Page and Brin. Anyone notice that it's the tech geeks (Page/Brin, Bezos, Allen, Musk, Carmack) who are doing the most to back private spaceflight?
Quote: The foundation whose $10 million prize spurred privately funded rocketeers to send a small piloted craft to the cusp of space in 2004 has issued a new challenge: an unmanned moon shot.
With the audacious new contest comes a much bigger prize, as much as $25 million, paid for by Google, the ubiquitous Internet company.
The "Google Lunar X Prize" was announced Thursday in Los Angeles at Wired Magazine's NextFest. The contest calls for entrants to land a rover on the moon that will be able to travel at least 500 meters, or 1,640 feet, and send high-resolution video, still images and other data back home.
Wvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 516 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1688 times:
I would rather them pay $25 miliion for someone to acually land on the moon and start a base there, sending a rover seems like a waste to me since we have already landed there. At least pay the money for something spectacular.
N328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6222 posts, RR: 3 Reply 5, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1666 times:
Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3): Seesh, let's just try getting a private vehicle in orbit by 2012....
I think getting a private vehicle into orbit is easy. Getting a private manned vehicle into orbit is what the hubbub is about. This is different, and is still easier than getting a man into and out of orbit. Bigelow does have a prize for that, though.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
DfwRevolution From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1651 times:
Quoting N328KF (Reply 5): I think getting a private vehicle into orbit is easy.
Then I'm afraid you are very wrong. Orbit is a vastly more complicated procedure than most people think.
SpaceX has been trying for several years now with deep pockets and a core of professional engineers contracts. They have the lowest cost model of anyone in the Western World and they still haven't orbited an unmanned payload after two test flights. Even after you get something into orbit, it will need enough fuel mass to perform a second burn to send the payload on trans-lunar trajectory.
There is a difference between ambition and insanity. No private payload will reach the moon before 2012 unless it's riding on a government-sponsored launch vehicle. In which case, the 25 million prize will mean very little.