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NASA Helps Dynetics, Rocket City Space Pioneers on the Way to the Moon

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 21, 2010
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Dynetics, corporate team leader for the Rocket City Space Pioneers (RCSP), the Huntsville-based Google Lunar X PRIZE team, is one of only three organizations selected to supply flight component test data to NASA through its Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data contract. In October, NASA’s Johnson Space Center made the contract award to six teams, including Dynetics (RCSP), out of 20 total teams competing for the Google Lunar X PRIZE. The ILDD teams will provide data to NASA to enable the development of future human and robotic lander vehicles and exploration systems.

Of the six selected for the original contract, three were down-selected for this first task order, which will allow RCSP to provide NASA with critical data from the hot fire test of a candidate rocket engine system and lunar rover system.

The Rocket City Space Pioneers are developing a low-cost lunar lander/rover system for conducting commercial and scientific missions on the moon and potentially other planetary bodies. The lander/rover system is capable of making a soft landing on a planetary body and deploying the rover.

“Our team is excited about demonstrating critical elements of our lander and rover,” said Tim Pickens, team leader of the Rocket City Space Pioneers. “We look forward to our continued support of NASA by providing commercial data in order to make space exploration more affordable and sustainable in these critical lean times.”

Tom Baumbach, Dynetics’ president, said, “This win is further evidence of the strong technical capabilities of this team. The Rocket City Space Pioneers have put together an innovative approach based on solid past performance for landing the first commercially funded spacecraft on the moon.  Our team has an impressive résumé, and we appreciate NASA’s confidence in us to provide the data needed to further its mission.”

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