Friday, May 30, 2008

The Mouse that went to the Moon

I love a good underdog story, and in the past the Ansari X Prize (for sub-orbital space flight), and now the Google X Prize (for lunar landing) have both excited my interest. The little guys try to do what it took NASA billions of dollars and a tragic number of lives to achieve.

A few months ago (Sept 2007) Bob X. Cringely (my favourite computing & tech. blogger) announced the formation of Team Cringely to attempt to get a lunar rover to the moon within 18 months (by 1st April 2009), and for only $5million. Fantastic!

Now Bob says they're not going to bother with competing for the X Prize after all, but here's the good news: they're still going to the Moon, only this time they're going to send 24, yes, twenty-four rovers! The man is either mad, a genius, or a mad genius! Now, of course, they're free of the X Prize rules - which, if Bob's comments are anything to go by, are pretty weird - and are real pirate underdogs. The result:

Comment 1:
If you place a micro-dot on one of the rovers with the names of my kids on it ( I have 3) I'm in for a 1000.00. Sell 999 more and you have 20% of your budget! Cheers and good luck. Mike
Comment 3:
Now yur talkin - how do I donate a few bucks to the cause?
Seems I'm not the only one to think Cringely et. al. have done the right thing. All power to you and team, Bob!


  1. How does he suggest doing this for so little cost? Sounds like a one-off endeavor that won't translate into a stepping stone for humans to go into space.

  2. But simply to achieve something like this for so little cost will be a huge step forward in democratising space exploration in its own right.

    At the moment, space is the domain of massive government investment, and of huge corporations. Budgets in the single digit millions of dollars are much more commercially interesting than the billions that have been needed for previous efforts.