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(Some Guy)   Google announces a lunar X prize: $30 million for a machine that sends video back from the moon. No word on the prize for a machine that sends back video from a soundstage in Arizona   (informationweek.com) divider line 50
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3377 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Feb 2008 at 2:31 PM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
 
2008-02-23 02:32:47 PM
Is this a repeat?
 
2008-02-23 02:34:16 PM
I see what you did there.
 
2008-02-23 02:34:43 PM
What do I win for sending back video from a soundstage in the desert?
 
2008-02-23 02:34:58 PM
Well Im off to buy $2000 worth of fireworks, a camcorder from the thrift store, and a toaster.

I could really use that money.
 
2008-02-23 02:35:10 PM
What's the betting the first video from the moon will be a happy slap, or similarly pointless youtubery?
 
2008-02-23 02:35:14 PM
FarkedOver: Is this a repeat?

No, last time it was NASA.
 
2008-02-23 02:35:39 PM
GradStudentForLife: What do I win for sending back video from a soundstage in the desert?

*facepalm* RTFheadline!
 
2008-02-23 02:35:53 PM
Even with a repeat it bears knowing cause you know I'm all about that 30mil... now where did I stash that rocket and vidcam thingy I invented...
 
2008-02-23 02:37:10 PM
Siamese Bream: What's the betting the first video from the moon will be a happy slap, or similarly pointless youtubery?

cause you know that video from the moon will be as fun as dead puppies...
 
2008-02-23 02:38:40 PM
The 10 teams [include] Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association

Seriously? That one has got to be a joke.
 
2008-02-23 02:39:09 PM
Would it not cost more than 30 million to complete this task
 
2008-02-23 02:39:44 PM
Unkledave,
Siamese Bream: What's the betting the first video from the moon will be a happy slap, or similarly pointless youtubery?
cause you know that video from the moon will be as fun as dead puppies...


At least a pile of dead puppies will decompose. (Unless it is on the moon.)

/OK, a pile of dead puppies on the moon. People would stick around for that.
 
2008-02-23 02:42:43 PM
Inspired, subby...

Headline of the Year Candidate - along with the palendrome Korean canal headline, but I think that went over some peopple's heads.
 
2008-02-23 02:43:29 PM
Look at the comments
44 message(s). Last at: Feb 23, 2008 1:17:20 PM

*
- Z -
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:13:03 PM
Go Google!
*
Sean
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:19:37 PM
This is lame. I totally already did this during summer camp when I was 10. Why don't I get the $20 million now for a class project I've already done?
*
Lew
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:20:04 PM
Way to go! Lets increase the prize to put a man on the Moon!
*
Guest
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:23:35 PM
Sean, you sent a spacecraft to the moon when you were 10? I think we all would have heard about that at some point.
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Guest
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:32:31 PM
sean ur a dickk head u did not send a craft to the moon

if u did u shouled be a leader in the space industry
*
studebaker hoch
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:32:34 PM
Yes, I heard about the kids that built the lunar spacecraft.

The government covered it up so it wouldn't p1ss off China.
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Sean
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:35:12 PM
I did, it was real. It had wings from a model F15 figher jet, and the fuselage was made of paper mache. That's why Google is doing this... to spite me.
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guest
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:39:17 PM
you guys are alll lame get a life
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guido mbanze
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:42:55 PM
It is nice to see the amount of interest that this competition has had with people around the world. Which shows a beginners view of how the space race will be modelled for years to come. Once you can show profitability onto something you will have a market. The Ansari X prixe is a proof of that as consequence sub orbital space tourism will be a reality in a short while. Therefore it will not be long before we see companies bidding to explore the moon for profitable causes paving a way for the commercial companies to start exploring space and moon altogether making it accessible to the common man at a very low cost.
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AD0NIS
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:47:33 PM
Now now, Kids: Don't feed the troll.
*
guest
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:47:33 PM
The wings from a F15 would burn off and it would be in inefficient; costing you more money that you did not have in the first place. There is no way a summer camp could pay for a project like that. paper mache would burn up. You are so stupid.
*
Guessed
commented on Feb 22, 2008 3:57:36 PM
Umm guys, obviously that knucklehead Sean is just being funny. No, no summer camp 'tards have done any robot space exploration, duh. And if Sean is not trying to be funny, why just come join me in my papier-mache (yes, it's "papier-mache") boat, 'Super Tub,' which sails the seven seas. I mean, the hull is papier-mache, but the deck is from an aircraft carrier. It's also got wood oars from a canoe in case the engines blow
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guest
commented on Feb 22, 2008 4:01:11 PM
no shiat sherlock.
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CREPETUS
commented on Feb 22, 2008 4:01:33 PM
You are so stupid for reacting to an obvious windup
Are you also 10 years old.
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Tim
commented on Feb 22, 2008 4:05:43 PM
I have a picture of Seans moon craft. You morons must be too young to remember, so go dig out your history books. It was all over Yahoo! that year. I think all Yahoo! offered was a bag of kettle cooked chips, though. I do remember the craft taking off behind my house. It sounded like a hybrid car.
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Chupacabra
commented on Feb 22, 2008 4:11:34 PM
You will all be sorry when Sean collects the $20 mil after easily reduplicating the summer camp experiment. Sean will lead us
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Government spending accountant
commented on Feb 22, 2008 4:19:03 PM
What's interesting is NASA spends like $30 million on a replacement windshield for a shuttle if it gets ding'ed. I wonder how these teams are going to secure enough of their own funding when they're not assured of a payoff, and whether their own costs might be of that high an order to begin with(?). Even so, I think it's a great competition for Google to sponsor.
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Jess
commented on Feb 22, 2008 4:33:21 PM
"...some very creative designs unlike anything we've seen come out of the government space programs..." These guys can probably do it better than Uncle Sam can ever dream of.

The gov'ment is also notorious for spending WAY more money than they need to. Overhead will be driven down by creativity. I'm sure the individual teams will be sponsored by third parties as well.
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Minerva
commented on Feb 22, 2008 4:40:38 PM
Sean did not build a space craft and it's time the truth was exposed. Sean actually created a stable subspace worm hole using aluminum foil, papier-mache, 2 "D" sized batteries, some copper wire and a toothbrush. He didn't launch the rocket, he simply fired up the worm hole, held his breath and placed it there before returning through said worm hole. I have it all on unretouched 8mm.
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CHAirface Chippendale
commented on Feb 22, 2008 4:41:42 PM
Most of these companies already have from research grants, venture capital, and government backed loans before the X Prize for smaller space related projects. Even if they don't make all the way to the moon they may develop some useful patentable technologies in the process and more experienced engineers. The prize sweetens the deal on a goal that would otherwise have little short term economic potnetial, unless you consider "GOOGLE.com" carved into the smile of the man in the Moon an economically rewarding venture.
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dNova
commented on Feb 22, 2008 5:59:03 PM
This is what's going to happen: China or some other foreign government is going to win the prize. They will have private individual(s) and/or companies fronting for them. They will collect the money, pay the accomplice(s) a paltry sum, and no one will be the wiser.
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dNova
commented on Feb 22, 2008 6:24:32 PM


If their windshield gets dinged, they will spend $3000 to replace it and the job will, most likely, be just as good or better than NASA's.

Do I sound cynical? I don't think so ... just realistic.
*
Guest

Wow it's like 8th grade all over again
 
2008-02-23 02:44:29 PM
wow. neato. pictures. from the moon. very pretty, that lunar surface. yeah.
 
2008-02-23 02:46:42 PM
i32.tinypic.com
 
2008-02-23 02:53:14 PM
Arizona? You fail, subby.

Everybody knows they shot that in Barstow, CA. Or wait, was that the Mars landing?
 
2008-02-23 02:54:01 PM
kicker_conspiracy

Inspired, subby...

Headline of the Year Candidate -



hardly
 
2008-02-23 02:56:43 PM
It's New Mexico. Jeeze.
 
2008-02-23 03:00:02 PM
theaveragelife.files.wordpress.com
 
2008-02-23 03:00:04 PM
FTA: The Google Lunar X Prize, announced six months ago, offers $30 million worth of prizes for the first teams to create a machine that can travel at least 500 meters on the lunar surface and send video and other images and data back to Earth.

RTFA, subby.
 
2008-02-23 03:03:43 PM
I have a degree in robotics. If I knew a guy who could get my robot to the moon with video feedback, I'd be getting a kick out of these replies...
 
2008-02-23 03:04:02 PM
What if I invent a time machine and send modern HD cameras with apollo 11 instead of craptacular '60s cameras?
 
2008-02-23 03:08:26 PM
Oldiron_79: What if I invent a time machine and send modern HD cameras with apollo 11 instead of craptacular '60s cameras?

i did that. Just to fark with people I carved a big 'C' on one of the rocks. Love those conspiracy theorists.
 
2008-02-23 03:09:56 PM
nice
 
2008-02-23 03:20:01 PM
Now to raise the $50 million capital investment to do this.

Or, get drunk, and watch someone else do it.
 
2008-02-23 03:20:28 PM
Is there a requirement for the video quality or durability?

The kids at the Air Force academy put off the shelf crap in orbit and use it as cheap repeaters for their senior projects, it only lasts a month or two but it proves normal crap can survive a little while.

Taking that principle, add in some cheap electronics and a decent antennae, put them on top of an oversize lawn dart. Use a regular rocket to get it to space and just make sure you do the math halfway right to fire the lawn dart at the moon. If all it has to do is land and shoot some video back, you should be able to pack the up the electronics with some epoxy or something so that it could survive impact and shoot some video.

It's not in the spirit of sending a great video device to the moon or developing new technology, but it is in the spirit of a turning a couple million in launch costs into 30 million in prize money.
 
2008-02-23 03:32:54 PM
Just landing a robot on the moon and taking pictures sounds to dull.

They should make it more interesting, like plant a robot on the moon to turn it into a giant disco ball or paint the batman logo on it.
 
2008-02-23 03:36:32 PM
Dead_Pool_82: Just landing a robot on the moon and taking pictures sounds to dull.

They should make it more interesting, like plant a robot on the moon to turn it into a giant disco ball or paint the batman logo on it.


I was thinking about doing it with the Lego Mindstorms robot kit. The way I imagined doing it would be to have the video be of the pod opening up, the robot standing up, start to dance a bit, give the camera the finger and walk off. There would also be a camera on the robot to see where the robot is walking.
 
jph
2008-02-23 03:41:47 PM
Several of the teams have some real strength.

* Odyssey Moon - Backed by Planetary Society and the company that makes Canadarm 1/2
* Astrobotic - Red Whittaker (winner of the DARPA Urban Challenge), backed by Raytheon
* SCSG - Backed by the guy who designed the first GEO satellite
 
2008-02-23 04:09:49 PM
5 years from now.

Google announce 200million in prizes to retreive the craft that won the 30million in prices contest to reach the moon
 
2008-02-23 04:13:32 PM
ricbach229: If all it has to do is land and shoot some video back, you should be able to pack the up the electronics with some epoxy or something so that it could survive impact

Um, I think you may find that if you punt a payload just hard enough to get it to hit the Moon (i.e. drift through the L2 point until it's in the nett gravititional grip of the Moon) it will still hit the surface at roughly 1 mile per second - gonna need a little more than epoxy to survive that.

//e.g a descent stage
 
2008-02-23 04:17:12 PM
Welcome to last year!

/back to the cat thread...
 
2008-02-23 04:32:08 PM
ricbach229: Is there a requirement for the video quality or durability?

The kids at the Air Force academy put off the shelf crap in orbit and use it as cheap repeaters for their senior projects, it only lasts a month or two but it proves normal crap can survive a little while.

Taking that principle, add in some cheap electronics and a decent antennae, put them on top of an oversize lawn dart. Use a regular rocket to get it to space and just make sure you do the math halfway right to fire the lawn dart at the moon. If all it has to do is land and shoot some video back, you should be able to pack the up the electronics with some epoxy or something so that it could survive impact and shoot some video.

It's not in the spirit of sending a great video device to the moon or developing new technology, but it is in the spirit of a turning a couple million in launch costs into 30 million in prize money.


The velocities as well as the required math to get to the moon are orders of magnitude higher than just getting to orbit. Hell, even the people who won the X-Prize, with years of prior technology to build off of, millions of dollars in funding, and some of the brightest minds in the business, are barely able to pull off sub-orbital flight.

Sure the fact that humans aren't invloved makes it a lot easier than the last X-Prize, but the amount of force required to shoot even a couple pounds to the moon, as well as the enourmously complex math involved to actually hit it, make this far more than child's play.
 
2008-02-23 04:32:49 PM
Gunny Highway: Well Im off to buy $2000 worth of fireworks, a camcorder from the thrift store, and a toaster.

I could really use that money.


Beat me to it. I was thinking Estes rocket and a camcorder. Less than 300 bucks from wal-mart for all of it.
 
2008-02-23 05:08:59 PM
don't need lunar lander, just glide it in like the shuttle.

in other news, arizona has a sound stage?
 
2008-02-23 05:57:41 PM
fraboz: don't need lunar lander, just glide it in like the shuttle.

img141.imageshack.us

Good idea, the air-resistance would save on fuel costs!
 
2008-02-23 07:33:19 PM
is there a bonus if the machine finds sarah connor on the moon?

or just the $30 million?
 
2008-02-23 07:35:29 PM
What's the prize for sending black helicopters to hunt down O.J. and the guy from "Law and Order"?
 
2008-02-23 07:43:42 PM
$40 million, if the video has embedded advertising.
 
2008-02-23 10:39:15 PM
drjekel_mrhyde: Would it not cost more than 30 million to complete this task

Easily.

First place is $20 million.

I am pretty damn sure that the cost to send a dummy payload to crash into the Moon is well in excess of that.

The cheapest launch price I could find online is 12 million over a decade ago from a Scout rocket--a rocket that is no longer in use and not powerful enough to get to cargo to the Moon. I see an article saying that a Proton (which should do the job quite easily) used to get a communications satellite up to geosynchronous orbit for a mere 45 million but the prices have gone up. The lander and cargo will be lighter a communications satellite.

Bear in mind that one can't use a parachute or aerialbreaking and thus the entire slowing down process will require rockets and fuel which will be heavy and not exactly cheap either. This will add to the mass that one will need to launch.

And then add the cost of rover and the required video camera.

This prize should be at least a hundred million bucks. Anyone going in is guaranteed to loose many millions even if they win.
If one really wants some innovation, the prize should be enough that it is at least possible that one can make a profit if one wins.

Now if transportation and landing was not a problem, I am quite sure a private company could make the rover.
 
2008-02-23 11:30:11 PM
Hmmm transmitting data back could be very hard.
 
2008-02-24 02:11:15 AM
The article didnt specifically mention this, but i assume part of the challenge is actually getting your machine over to the moon?

I mean the robotics/video/data-transfer seems very much in reach to amateur teams but can they really expect even a moderately-sized university team to be able to launch a rocket that will deliver their payload to the moon? Sure they can pay millions of dollars for an already established operation to send their machine to the moon, but that seems to be missing the point of the X-Prize.
 
2008-02-24 04:12:10 AM
My dream is to be the first man to circumnavigate the moon using a pogo stick.
tbn0.google.com
 
2008-02-24 09:20:29 AM
I have been thinking about this, and it could be quite easy.

The Saturn V third stage weighed 120,000kg, and was designed to get a 47,000 payload into a trans lunar trajectory from low earth orbit. So the third stage only needs to weigh about 2.5 times more than the payload.

If someone could make say a 30 kg lander, with a 2 kg remote control car with a webcam, then they would only need to launch just over 100 kg to orbit. That is entirely straightforward.
 
2008-02-24 10:14:22 AM
Mr Logo: If someone could make say a 30 kg lander, with a 2 kg remote control car with a webcam, then they would only need to launch just over 100 kg to orbit. That is entirely straightforward.

You speak of a "lander". Did you calculate for "landing"? Pillows?
 
2008-02-24 03:49:29 PM
fraboz: don't need lunar lander, just glide it in like the shuttle.

www.forumammo.com
 
2008-02-24 05:16:35 PM
flexflint: Mr Logo: If someone could make say a 30 kg lander, with a 2 kg remote control car with a webcam, then they would only need to launch just over 100 kg to orbit. That is entirely straightforward.

You speak of a "lander". Did you calculate for "landing"? Pillows?


Just to be clear on those pillows: I wasn't meaning to be sarcastic, it's been done before I believe.
 
2008-02-24 09:17:17 PM
I was thinking on the they would want to use something like the lunar lander which uses rockets to make a soft landing.

Once again, if we look at the lunar lander, the descent stage weighed 10,000 kg and the ascent stage weighted about 5,000 kg. So it is not entirely unreasonable for a 60kg descent stage to put a 30kg payload on the moon.

Having said that, I think the ratio of payload to descent stage mass would be much lower for such a small spacecraft.
 
2008-02-25 06:02:35 AM
Mr Logo: Once again, if we look at the lunar lander, the descent stage weighed 10,000 kg and the ascent stage weighted about 5,000 kg. So it is not entirely unreasonable for a 60kg descent stage to put a 30kg payload on the moon.

I don't think it works that way to be honest, you're making it a simple ratio.

Mr Logo: Having said that, I think the ratio of payload to descent stage mass would be much lower for such a small spacecraft.

Probably, that's why I mentioned the pillows. A few of the machines that landed on Mars used airbags.
 
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