Airbus, Blue Origin and ESA organize competition for sustainable

Oct

2

2018

stay on the moon
Airbus, Blue Origin and the European Space Agency (ESA), among others, have announced a competition for companies or individuals to develop technologies that contribute to a sustainable stay and exploration of the moon.

The Moon Race, for example, involves the development of moon technologies for building an infrastructure, generating energy, growing plants or extracting water and oxygen. The worldwide competition aims to promote sustainable lunar exploration and to contribute to the necessary technologies.

Participants will be judged on the scalability of their technology, how well it performs, how innovative it is and how well the audience is involved. Winners are not only given a sum of money, but also get access to experimental facilities and they receive support and advice from The Moon Race organizations. The organizers have not yet published any prize amounts for the eventual winners.

The competition will start in early 2019 and the selected participants will be announced during the International Astronautical Congress. From that moment on the competition starts. In 2020, participants must have a proof of concept and a prototype, after which development will begin in 2021. In 2023 preparations must be made for the eventual launch to the moon, which must take place from 2024 onwards. It is likely that use will be made of the large, still developing New Glenn rocket from Blue Origin, the space company of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

The Moon Race is similar to the Google Lunar X prize, which began in 2007 and gave teams a $ 30 million prize if they were able to launch a lunar lander. However, no team reached the deadline, after which the game was called off at the beginning of 2018. An important difference between both competitions is that The Moon Race is not so much focused on technologies to get on the moon; it is mainly about technologies for a sustainable lunar stay.

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