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Satnews Daily
April 14th, 2011

Rocket City Space Pioneers... Joining Up For A Run To The Moon (Event)

[SatNews] A new team member joins up to assist with the X PRIZE endeavors...

Dynetics and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) announced at the National Space Symposium that PWR has joined the Rocket City Space Pioneers as the newest team member. The Rocket City Space Pioneers team is a group of businesses led by Dynetics, competing in the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE. Tim Pickens, team leader of the Rocket City Space Pioneers, said, “Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will be a key player on our team. We are very fortunate to have such a reputable space company with a proven history of success join us on our mission.” The Google Lunar X PRIZE challenges space professionals and engineers from across the globe to build and launch to the moon a privately funded spacecraft capable of completing a series of exploration and transmission tasks. Team Rocket City Space Pioneers team is comprised of nine organizations and is among 29 teams from a dozen countries that are registered in the competition. The Rocket City Space Pioneers are competing against the other teams in a race to the surface of the Moon for a $20 million first prize. In addition to Dynetics and now PWR, team members include Teledyne Brown Engineering, Andrews Space, Spaceflight Services, Draper Laboratory, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, the Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation and the Huntsville Center for Technology.

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 a rover measuring approximately 20x30x40 centimeters and weighing approximately 10 kilograms. Dynetics recently announced the award of an Innovative Lander Demonstration Data (ILDD) contract from NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC). The data from this contract will inform the development of future human and robotic lander vehicles and exploration systems.