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Google to pay $25Million for a map of the moon!

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posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 04:24 PM

Google to pay $25Million for a map of the moon!

The race to the moon won't be easy or cheap. Teams have to raise money to build a roaming spacecraft that will be tough enough to survive a landing and have the smarts to complete a set of tasks. Each rover must also be equipped with high-definition video and still cameras to document the journey.

The rules call for a spacecraft to trek at least 1,312 feet across the lunar surface and return a package of data including self-portraits, panoramic views and near-real time videos.
(visit the link for the full news article)

Related News Links:

Mod Edit: Removed excessive copy/paste over the 500 character limit.

[edit on 14-9-2007 by UM_Gazz]

posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 04:24 PM
Looks like the race is on! Wonder what N.A.S.A. and our Govt. is currently thinking about all this. Should get pretty interesting this weekend when they announce more details.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 04:27 PM
I hope they hire some professionals to image in the rover and lander.
That, or hire prefessionals to airbrush out all the mining facilities that are in place.

And there's that damned 2012 date again! It's really just a skeem for Google's execs to get off this planet before we're hit by Planet X!

[edit on 13-9-2007 by tyranny22]

posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 04:50 PM
The problem I see with this is that anything of significant size sent all the way to the moon is going to require a medium size launch vehicle. The least expensive is the Russian Soyuz at around $40 million per launch which lifts around 8 metric tons to low Earth orbit giving you about one metric ton to lunar injection providing you use a very expensive high energy Earth Departure stage and a very expensive 'tug' to do the complex set of rocket firings needed to get into lunar orbit and descend to the surface.

Its possible someone could do it with a smaller rocket but there is no existing hardware for something that complex yet so small.

If they could do it for under $60 million I would be surprised, but then they would likely be marketing something else with the program....

And lets hope that they don't send a color blind camera all the way to the moon like NASA sent two color blind rovers all the way to Mars.

Edit- Sorry, thats three color blind rovers sent all the way to mars. And some landers too.

[edit on 13-9-2007 by Malichai]

posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 05:10 PM
At last!!! This is exactly what we needed.

Bravo Peter D and team & Google.

This is great news, time to put the moon back in the hands of humanity, not the select few that have done nothing but put it out of reach for everyone.

Time to renew my xprize membership.

posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 05:15 PM
$20 something million? Would it not cost a lot more just to accomplish this? I would still owe the bank even if I win first prize. However, if I were to build something small and cheaper than $20 million then how the hell is any govt going to allow this massively powered rocket to just be blasted off by Joe Blow? I assume the govt will be involved with NASA and supervise and control each launch?? Will terrorists get rockets in the country and then get caught and say that they were planning to send them to the moon???

posted on Sep, 13 2007 @ 05:24 PM
reply to post by superheterodyne

Exactly. You get diminishing returns using smaller and cheaper rockets.

Just starting with $20 million you cannot buy a launch that will get you any more than two tons to low earth orbit. It would be amazing if we could safely land even 100 pounds on the moon starting from there.

But, the prize is not supposed to pay for it all. There will be spin-offs and marketing too. Its motivation.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 03:31 AM
Hi there - does this mean that the Japanese are out to bag themselves $20M bucks?

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 03:53 AM
reply to post by SCOTS_BORN

I dont think so, i believe that japan just sent an "orbiter" not an actual rover to travel across the surface.
but thanx for that link , I hope japan exposes some great footage and discloses some moon facts. then john lear can sit back and laugh.

[edit on 14-9-2007 by captain spalding]

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 04:37 AM
This should have been done decades ago. This is so amaizing. Fifteen years ago going into space was considered impossble by most in the private sector and today non-government run space exploration is building a very wide base, it wont be to long before companies will be banding together to send their own private rockets, satellites, rovers, spacecraft into space. Its awesome how far Google has come, now trying to stimulate space exploration. Wonderful.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 04:51 AM

Originally posted by Malichai
The problem I see with this is that anything of significant size sent all the way to the moon is going to require a medium size launch vehicle.

My money is on Burt Rutan. He demostrated with the Spaceship One programme that you dont neccesarily need to go vertical to get into orbit.

The ideal cheap design would use a large wingspan launch-vehicle that would slowly and gracefully make its way to high-altitude and then launch a rocket-assisted payload vehicle from there

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 08:17 AM
reply to post by citizen smith

Spaceship One did not reach orbit. They made it into space, and just barely. Orbit requires much more energy.

Even the orbital rockets coming up from the Private firms like SpaceX will cost too much for the prize alone to make the venture profitable.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 02:28 PM
What gets me is.. why only now. We supposedly sent men to the moon in 1969 and have sent several Rovers to Mars more recently. It all seems a bit haphazard :s Have we actually been or successfully sent robots to either?

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 04:27 PM
I've always felt that designers look at these types of problems from a very linear viewpoint. Why just ONE large 'rover' packed full of all the different instruments for the mission? Why not multiple smaller 'rovers' with dedicated instrument packs?

As I read the Yahoo news blurb, I saw no stipulation on the time limit of the mission or that the 'rover' had to be a single self contained unit. There is a distance requirement of 1312 feet, a 'self portrait', a 'panoramic view' and 'near real time videos' and that the total amount of data sent back to Earth equal one gigabyte.

I'll never build one but I propose a mission consisting of payload carrying 'base station' which makes a soft landing on the lunar surface. The 'base station' would carry the transmitter, antenna, computer memory, and power supply to beam the 'gigabyte' of 'data' back to Earth.

The payload would consist of multiple 'rovers' each designed to fulfill a specific mission requirement. If weight and space permit, redundant 'rovers' could be included to help insure success of the mission. Each 'rover' would transmit the data it collects to the base station, and the base station would relay it back to earth.

Not all 'rovers' need to be firmly planted on the ground, either. In fact, that would be my last choice for the bulk of the 'rovers' sent. If it is not an absolute requirement to be touching the ground then I would not send any ground based 'rovers' in order to fulfill the mission requirements as I understand them.

As I see it, a 'base station' makes soft landing and establishes contact with the Earth. One 'self portrait' and one 'panoramic view' is taken from the 'base station', along with one 'real time video feed'.

The 'rovers' themselves would simply be high speed / high definition camera/transmiter/power supplies encased in what I can't help but think of as anything other than a skeet (a clay pigeon)

The 'camera skeet' are ejected from the 'base station' in a variety of directions and angles to insure the largest possible area of coverage. Some will plow straight into the ground, some will fly up in large arcs (perhaps even achieving some type of lunar orbit if the launch energy were large enough) and some would (hopefully) skim across the surface for the 1312 feet (or more) required by mission parameters.

The high speed cameras would help insure non 'motion blur' images, and I would imagine it would take very little energy to launch one the 1312 feet required by mission parameters.

As long as the device gathers whatever is deemed to be a 'sufficient number of high quality pictures' as it skims across the surface then who cares how they are obtained, right?

The more moving parts we add to something the greater the risk of failure.

Currently this seems to me to be more of an exercise in traditional thinking ground based robots with artificial intelligence than an image gathering expedition...

It will be interesting to see how all of this unfolds.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 06:23 PM
I think NASA can grab this prize within a week or so. They are so experienced, they just need a studio, a roomba and lots of grey sand.

Joking aside, Google, it seems, is encouraging innovation in the field of space tech and its not about getting there by conventional means alone. Perhaps they want to give a push to the mostly stagnant and stale space techs.

Cold wars and power hungry politicians can push it only so far. Private sector will be much more motivated for exploring other rocks, when there are incentives. Right now there is none.

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 07:07 PM
this is a reply to the one who was talking about 25mil alone...

initially it'd be 25 alone....from google....however....if they do make it...could you imagine the backing from other companies....such as current massive aircraft companies...

except for government agencies....(who are no longer willing to take the risk of loss of lives as acceptable for advancement of the human race....)...everyone else is waiting for someone to take the initive on space...
google shows they are waiting on that person too....and now they've given incintives for'll be band wagon hopping as soon as the first person/company takes the bait....

posted on Sep, 14 2007 @ 09:17 PM

Originally posted by Malichai
Spaceship One did not reach orbit. They made it into space, and just barely. Orbit requires much more energy.

It may not have made it out to orbital distance, but it showed that the concept worked and could be easily scaled-up to launch an orbital vehicle

Hybrid-rocketry has advanced rapidly enough to make it a viable power-source for such a venture. A stratospheric rocket-boost launch from a carrier-vehicle using large enough NOx hybrid engines could make the gravitational escape as there is less distance to cover than from ground, and would have far less chance of any catastrophic-failure owing to their inherant design simplicity over that of liquid O2/H or kerosene/oxidiser (such as hydrazine or red nitric acid) turbopumped engines

posted on Sep, 15 2007 @ 12:17 AM
reply to post by citizen smith

Its not just orbital distance but also orbital speed. Spaceship one went almost straight up then right back down. Nowhere near enough to escape.

The hybrid rocket they used is simple and safe, but its not efficient. The ISP is lower than modern solids (250) and its burnout mass even higher. You won't be orbiting anything of significant size with this system even if you airlaunch as high as possible.

But it is a good system for getting into 'space' on the cheap.

BTW- Russia will be using Kerosene/LOX with their Air Launch ship and it will drop the 100 metric ton Polyot rocket at 20 KM altitude. They signed the deal with Indonesia for the port just a few days ago.

posted on Feb, 22 2008 @ 10:51 AM
The NY Times has an update here.
If anyone is still following this story.

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