A couple of racing cars for remote control will land on the Moon next year for the first time ever above the surface of the moon – and they will be driven by high school students.
Moon Mark, an entertainment and education company, is sponsoring the race, which will see teams of students compete to design and run one of two races.
The winning teams will then work with McLaren P1 designer Frank Stephenson to create a vehicle that will drive around the Moon with low gravity.
They will be launched to the Moon on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in October 2021 and down to the surface inside the first privately developed lunar lander.
The winning teams will then work with McLaren P1 designer Frank Stephenson to create a vehicle that will drive over the Moon’s lightweight environment
After eight weeks of qualifying high school students from around the world, six teams of five members will compete to be the last two to run on the Moon.
These challenges included e-gaming, drone racing and a space commercialization entrepreneurial competition until the final two teams were confirmed.
Their adventures will be captured, produced and distributed globally by Moon Mark so people can follow their progress during the October launch.
The two racers run on the Moon via the Nova-C lander of Houston-based intuitive machines following a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch in late 2021.
The final design has not been confirmed as it will be a collaboration between Moon Mark, Frank Stephenson and the winning teams of high school students
It is a heavy load that goes to the surface of the moon – each car weighs 5.5 kg and the lander to get them to the surface will weigh an additional 6.6 lb – a total of 17.6 lb.
While the cost of launch has not been revealed – other companies are quoting $ 544,000 per share. Lb to send objects to the Moon – a cost of almost $ 10 million.
The Nova-C lander is the ‘first lunar lander fully developed by a private company’ and is expected to touch Oceanus Procellarum.
The lander is heading to the Moon next year to explore the large canyon-sized Schröters Valley, but will deploy the pair of race cars at the same time.
The last two teams of students complete the race designs in Houston, Texas before being loaded onto the lander that transports them to the moon.
Moon Mark works with a number of private space companies, including Lunar Outpost, which has expertise in developing lunar rover vehicles.
‘We could not be happier working with Lunar Outpost, the industry leader in aviation mobility,’ said Mary Hagy, Moon Mark’s founder and CEO.
‘Their expertise in the development of lunar rovers ensures that our racing team has the technical background to carry out the mission and leave a scientific legacy after the checkered flag waves.’
Lunar Outpost will adapt its patented Mobile Autonomous Prospecting Platform (MAPP), created for extraterrestrial scientific missions, for racing mobility.
Moon Mark, an entertainment and education company, is sponsoring the race, which will see teams of students compete to design and run one of two races
‘Moon Mark’s mission to get young people involved in aviation and work towards exploiting space to improve humanity is something that resonates with us,’ said Justin Cyrus, co-founder and CEO of Lunar Outpost.
DRIVING ON THE MOON: Things to consider
The famous vehicle designer, Frank Stephenson, wants the last word on the design of the lunar bikes.
He said the students working on the project will have to consider a number of things as part of their planning.
This includes dust filtration, traction, weight, materials, endurance and stability.
He said they also need to look at the center of gravity and protection – if they turn in speed, you can not just repair them in a garage if they turn around.
Turning around is a big problem – the design must include a way to put them upright again without outside help.
‘But everything you do for these things adds weight, every single thing you do to fix something else is added a different part,’ Stephenson explained.
‘So there has to be incredible simplicity in the design and incredible reliability.’
‘We look forward to enabling racers on the Moon and being part of the journey to bring space to the world.’
Once on the surface of the moon, competitors drive their rovers remotely, navigating hard terrain, and driving around in a sphere of cameras that capture all aspects.
‘We do not expect significant communication delays affecting vehicle race or driving characteristics,’ said Moon Mark CTO Todd Wallach.
‘We want almost real-time visuals, telemetry and command and control through our partnership with Intuitive Machines.
‘The races built by Lunar Outpost will connect to Intuitive Machines Lander via WiFi, and Lander will send and receive telemetry, commands and controls to and from Earth to run the races.’
The final track and layout of the moon has not been confirmed by the Moon Mark team, but it was designed by Hermann Tilke – who designed all the recent Formula 1 tracks around the world.
‘He designs this lunar orbit track. They know the surface of the moon, it has been scanned to the point where he has enough information to develop this track, ‘explained Frank Stephenson, who has the final say on the vehicle’s design.
If the Nova-C lander successfully touches the moon, it will be the first private spacecraft to do so – and one of only a few projects to succeed.
So far, only the United States, China and Russia have made a successful soft landing on the moon’s surface – others have tried to include India – but missions have failed to land safely or have been lost.
Provided that Nova-C lands safely, this will not only be the first race on the Moon’s surface, but it will also be the first private landing – potentially at the forefront of a new commercial Moon Race.
The moon is back in the global news because China is sending a mission to bring rock samples back from the moon’s surface – due to return in December, and the United States is sending the first woman and next man to the surface by 2024.
NASA lands the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024 as part of the Artemis mission
Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and the moon goddess of Greek mythology.
NASA has chosen her to personify her way back to the Moon, which will see astronauts return to the moon’s surface by 2024 – including the first woman and the next man.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars.
Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space research system: the Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Artemis 1 will be an unmanned aerial vehicle that will form the foundation of human deep space exploration and demonstrate our commitment and ability to extend human existence to the moon and beyond.
During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.
It travels 450,000 km from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon during a three-week mission.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the different phases of the mission
Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking at a space station and returning home faster and warmer than ever before.
With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps in human exploration into deep space, where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon necessary for the moon’s surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars.
They will take the crew on another trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with people on board.
The SLS rocket will go from an initial configuration capable of sending more than 26 tons to the Moon, to a final configuration capable of sending at least 45 tons.
Together, the Orion, SLS, and Kennedy Earth systems will be able to meet the most challenging crew and cargo mission needs in deep space.
Finally, NASA seeks to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.
The space agency hopes this colony will uncover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advances and lay the foundations for private companies to build a lunar economy.