Rocket City Space Pioneers and its partner Spaceflight Services are offering a unique opportunity for small payload developers: a chance to share a ride to the Moon. Or at least, to lunar orbit.

Rideshare payload stack

Rocket City Space Pioneers is one of 26 teams competing to win the Google Lunar X-Prize. The Lunar X-Prize competition, endowed by search giant Google, is offering a grand prize of $20 million for the first privately funded mission to land a robot on the lunar surface, traverse at least 500 meters of the lunar surface, and return high-definition video and images to Earth, along with a $5 million second-place prize and $4 million in bonus prizes for accomplishing specific objectives such as detection of water or precision landing near an Apollo landing site.

Rocket City Space Pioneers plans to share its ride to the Moon with paying customers, whose payloads can be dropped off in geosynchronous transfer orbit, geosynchronous orbit , or low lunar orbit. A ride to low lunar orbit costs as little as $490,000 for a 1U CubeSat (10cm x 10cm x 10cm, 1 kg.). Larger payloads get a price break. A 3U CubeSat (34cm x 10cm x 10cm, 5Kg.) is $795,000. The stack can accommodate ride-along payloads up to 300 kg for $35 million, although that price probably takes it out of the realm of citizen science.

Nanosatellite developers who would like to take advantage of this opportunity can find additional details here.


Written by Astro1 on February 22nd, 2012 , Commercial Space (General), Innovation, Nanosatellites Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *