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NASA, X Prize Foundation Shoot For the Moon...

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posted on May, 5 2006 @ 08:43 PM
NASA, X Prize Foundation Shoot For the Moon

LOS ANGELES, California -- A Lunar Lander Analog Challenge is being spearheaded by NASA and the X Prize Foundation—a $2.5 million dollar NASA Centennial Challenge dedicated to enhancing the space agency’s return to the Moon effort.

Details of the challenge were outlined here today by NASA’s Deputy Administrator Shana Dale at the International Space Development Conference. X Prize Chairman, Peter Diamandis presented the rules and officially opened the competition for team registration.

“NASA’s contribution to the Lunar Lander analog challenge is $2 million. This is the most significant investment yet, in terms of prizes that we’re doing under the Centennial Challenges,” Dale told

this is great news for space fans...

considering the success with the last "x prize" contest, this one may have great results too...

i recently watched a documentary, "moon shot," and, i must say, that it really got me interested in traveling to the moon and beyond...

the people's interest in the moon landings, said the documentary, were the cause of the few moon landing missions...

this contest may very well boost the interest of people everywhere...

[edit on 5-5-2006 by they see ALL]

posted on May, 5 2006 @ 11:05 PM
I'm not sure what to think. This may be a good thing. Sounds like NASA wants out of the spaceflight biz tho'. Feels funny kinda "game-show-like". Is re-inventing the wheel really needed here?

The return to the Moon is already more complicated than Apollo... look at the proposed plans on the video at NASA TV - seems even riskier than shuttle and now they want to farm out capability by contest? Those bean-counters who always wear black (like Ms. Dale) must be lovin' this... I'll be impressed if the contracts for the CEV and lander and crew to orbit rocket contracts will ever be awarded and actually be funded effectively. I strongly suspect the costs of returning to Luna will be astronomically "low-ball" coming in and just plain astronomical going out - to Mars. America already owes more than 100 trillion dollars what's another 10 grand per grandchild-citizen to us?

The notion of a lift off of humans on a single solid booster will spell grief sooner or later and the concept of assembling and launching the Earth orbit to Lunar booster/CEV/lander while in earth orbit is to put it mildly - ambitious. The proposed mission profile is the most challenging ever by an order of magnitude.

It may come to pass that all this works very well - I hope so because as time passes the nature of NASA seems to be more passive. If these folks can pull this off with out significant international bucks and risk then bravo. If it fails... we'll have to wait for the flying saucers to give us a lift back to where we were or weren't officially (opinions vary) some 35 years ago - cuz there won't be anymore bucks for Buck Rogers.

For Apollo it took 400,000 mostly Americans supervised in a more or less military/corporate hierarchy to get to the Moon and relatively quickly. It took national commitment and true vision - the current vision thing does seem potentially "blind" and may be ready for "commitment". The American public will not be amused if this does not go well. I wonder would they be as upset if it just went away due to bugetary constraints? Who'd notice?

I will eagerly watch what's available of the new X Prize - sounds dangerous and fun.

Victor K.

[edit on 5-5-2006 by V Kaminski]

posted on May, 5 2006 @ 11:27 PM
NASA really does not have the stomach anymore for risky manned space flights.
They seem to be content with robotic missions that do not stretch their budget,
or ruffle the feathers of politicians.

The only way for future manned space flight to the moon and beyond is commercial
involvement through incentives. Personnally, I would like to see a person on
Mars before I die, but given the current state of things, I consider this highly

posted on May, 7 2006 @ 04:53 AM
I think that we should learn to walk before we can run.

As of yet

1) We don't have a cheap inexpensive way of getting into orbit.
2) We have no private space stations and we don't have any infrastructure in place to do anything meaningfull on the moon other than walk around for a bit and pick up a few rocks which is what we did last time we were on the moon. Plus we've already lost one shuttle with no clear replacement due until at least 2010!(And even then I bet it gets delayed!)
3) Rides on SS1 will cost about £100,000 a pop which is cheap by NASA's standards but this still means people like me will have to cash in our life savings at about 40 just to go to the edge of space!

SS1 was great and so was the X prize but SS1 only goes up to 60km while the shuttle goes up to 300km. I think we should have a little perspective here! Lets concentrate on getting a payload of people and components into orbit then we can put in the infrastructure to get to the moon easily and support a base there.

posted on May, 7 2006 @ 08:04 AM
They are trying to show people how impossible the Apollo program is in the real World by getting them to try to replicate just small parts of what supposedly took place on the Moon 35 years ago.

posted on May, 8 2006 @ 04:29 PM

Originally posted by TheHorseChestnut
NASA really does not have the stomach anymore for risky manned space flights.

do you really think this is true???

i never saw it like that before...

posted on May, 8 2006 @ 05:30 PM

Originally posted by enslaved83SS1 was great and so was the X prize but SS1 only goes up to 60km while the shuttle goes up to 300km.

Absolutely true! Even getting into the orbit is a huge hurdle for the SS1-type vehicle and other contestants of the X-prize. Basically the velocity you need to achieve for orbital flight is an order of magnitude higher than what they can do right now. It's still higher if you want to climb out of the Earth's gravity well.

I predict some decades of R&D before private space vehicles can do that.

posted on May, 8 2006 @ 05:39 PM
If I make it to the Moon before somebody else, I'm claiming it. International treaties be damned. Treaties are for governments. They'll have to come fight me for it!

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