Former astronaut Pam Melroy and Kathryn Sullivan also named to review teams
Former XPRIZE vice president leads OSTP team
by Douglas Messier Managing Editor
President-elect Joe Biden has appointed former NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan to lead the review team assigned to the space agency.
Stofan, a planetary scientist who became the first female director of the National Air and Space Museum in 2018, leads an eight-member team that includes former NASA astronaut Pam Melroy and former NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati.
Biden has also appointed Kathryn Sullivan, who was part of the first group of women recruited as NASA astronauts, to serve on the agency review team for the Department of Commerce.
White Paper from the Luxembourg Space Agency focusses on opportunities for collaboration between terrestrial and space mining sectors
LUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg Space Agency PR) — On 9 October 2019, the second Mining Space Summit gathered more than 180 experts, from 24 countries, working in fields as diverse as oil & gas, terrestrial mining, space, finance, and government.
Held in Luxembourg, the goal of the Summit was to understand the technical and economic challenges facing the space resources industry and make recommendations for the future growth of this high technology sector.
PTScientists filed for bankruptcy on Friday, July 5, with the district court Berlin Charlottenburg.
In a press release, the former Google Lunar X Prize competitor blamed unplanned delays in the acquisition of incentives and subsidies to support its planned mission to the moon.
“Lawyer Sascha Feies has been appointed as provisional insolvency administrator,” the press release stated. “The business operations and research projects of the scientific enterprise continue to run without any restrictions during the insolvency proceedings.”
PTScientists has been working with ArianeGroup and ESA on a joint study of a future mission to the lunar surface.
“The bankruptcy petition throws us back a little in time, because we first have to secure together with the insolvency administrator, the further financing of the company,” said Robert Boehme, founder and CEO of PTScientists. “However, given our clear progress and achievements that we have demonstrated in recent months, we are well placed to emerge from the insolvency process and implement our lunar mission as planned.”
YEHUD, Israel (XPRIZE PR) — XPRIZE will recognize SpaceIL’s achievement with a $1 million Moonshot Award for its successful entry into lunar orbit and for its attempt to land on the lunar surface – both of which are “firsts” for a privately-funded entity, marking a new era in space exploration.
The first privately funded moon landing crashed onto the lunar surface on Thursday.
SpaceIL’s Beresheet lander got about 10 km above the moon when it began experiencing a problem with its engine. Communications were lost and then controllers announced that the spacecraft had crashed.
“If at first you don’t succeed, you try again,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who joined the SpaceIL team at the control center.
The $100 mission by the former Google Lunar X Prize team was largely unwritten by billionaire Morris Kahn with some funding assistance from the Israel Space Agency.
Israel was attempting to become the fourth nation to successfully land on the moon after the United States, Soviet Union and China.
Officials put a brave face on the failure, saying SpaceIL had been successful in placing the satellite into orbit around the moon before today’s unsuccessful landing attempt.
If the landing had succeeded, SpaceIL would have received a $1 million award XPRIZE Chairman Peter Diamandis. XPRIZE had run the Google Lunar X Prize, which was a $30 million competition to land a rover on the moon capable of traveling 500 meters across the surface.
Google canceled the competition in January 2018 after numerous extensions when it became clear that none of the remaining teams was close to winning the prize.
LOS ANGELES, March 28, 2019 (XPRIZE PR) —XPRIZE, the global leader in designing and operating world-changing incentive competitions, announces that it will offer a $1 million Moonshot Award in recognition of an XPRIZE team demonstrating the achievement of a “moonshot” technological feat outside the parameters or timeframe of an XPRIZE competition.
TOKYO (iSpace PR) – The Asahi Shimbun Newspaper (hereinafter: “Asahi Shimbun”), one of the oldest and largest national daily newspapers in Japan, and lunar exploration company, ispace, inc., announced that Asahi Shimbun will become the Media Partner of HAKUTO-R, the world’s first commercial lunar exploration program.
NGK SPARK PLUG Becomes Corporate Partner of ispace’s HAKUTO-R Program
TOKYO, February 22, 2019 (ispace PR) – NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. (hereinafter: “NGK SPARK PLUG”), a manufacturer with over 80 years of experience in spark plugs and ceramics, headquartered in Nagoya, Japan, and lunar exploration company, ispace, inc., announced today that NGK SPARK PLUG has agreed to participate as a Corporate Partner of the world’s first commercial lunar exploration program “HAKUTO – R”.
JAL Assisting Lunar Lander Assembly & Transportation; Pursuing Future Space Business
TOKYO, February 22, 2019 (ispace PR) – Japan Airlines Corporation (“JAL”) and lunar exploration company, ispace, inc., announced today that JAL has become a Corporate Partner of HAKUTO-R, the world’s first commercial lunar exploration program.
BREMEN, Germany (NASA PR) — NASA has signed an agreement with the Israel Space Agency (ISA) to cooperatively utilize the Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL’s commercial lunar mission, expected to land on the Moon in 2019.
NASA will contribute a laser retroreflector array to aid with ground tracking and Deep Space Network support to aid in mission communication. ISA and SpaceIL will share data with NASA from the SpaceIL lunar magnetometer installed aboard the spacecraft.
The instrument, which was developed in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science, will measure the magnetic field on and above the landing site. The data will be made publicly available through NASA’s Planetary Data System. In addition, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will attempt to take scientific measurements of the SpaceIL lander as it lands on the Moon.
The agreement was signed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Avi Blasberger, Director of the Israel Space Agency. Dr. Ido Anteby, CEO of SpaceIL, was also present.
“I’m thrilled to extend progress in commercial cooperation we’ve made in low-Earth orbit to the lunar environment with this new agreement with the Israel Space Agency and SpaceIL,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Innovative partnerships like this are going to be essential as we go forward to the Moon and create new opportunities there.”
SpaceIL competed in the Google Lunar X Prize, and continues to work toward landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon. Together, NASA and SpaceIL will collaborate on analyzing the scientific data returned from the mission.
The agreement exemplifies the innovative approach that NASA and its international partners are taking to team up with commercial partners to advance important science and exploration objectives on and around the Moon.
For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:
TOKYO, September 26, 2018 (ispace PR) – ispace, a company developing robotics for lunar delivery and resource exploration, announced today that SpaceX will be the launch provider for its maiden voyages to the Moon scheduled for 2020 and 2021. The company’s first two lunar missions will be carried out under the program name HAKUTO-R, standing for “Reboot”, a reference to ispace’s management of HAKUTO, a Google Lunar XPRIZE competition finalist.
This past week, the XPrize acknowledged the obvious: after 10 years and multiple deadline extensions, none of the five remaining teams was going to claim the Google Lunar X Prize by landing a privately-built vehicle on the moon that would travel 500 meters across the surface while sending back high-definition video.
The first team to accomplish that goal would have claimed $20 million; the second, $5 million. But, unlike the moon race of the 1960’s, Google’s much hyped moon shot ended not with the deafening roar of a launch but the deadening silence of a dream deferred.
Congratulations are in order for Parabolic Arc readers! Or at least the 59 percent of you who voted correctly in our latest poll.
That’s the percentage of voters who chose “None of the Above” on the question of who would win the Google X Prize. And wouldn’t you know it, last week the X Prize announced that the prize was ending without any winner.
So, kudos to you guys. Each and everyone one of you are a regular Ed Glosser.
As for the rest of you losers….21 percent voted for Moon Express, 9 percent of Team Indus, and 3 percent for Synergy Moon.
I’ve put in a new poll up on what will happen to Jim Bridenstine’s nomination to lead NASA.
Remember: vote early. Vote often. Vote as if your life depended on it. Because it does.