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The Barcelona Moon Team is the first customer for Galactic Suite Easy Space. This is a mission opportunity for the national industry to win an international technology competition and demonstrate the feasibility of a low cost industry in this new stage.

The mission is considered as a driving project, and it has been granted with certain tax benefits to corporate sponsors. It can be considered then, that this first mission is partially subsidized. In any case, most of the budget will be obtained by selling the 25kg payload that remains unassigned. Another 15kg are already assigned to the lunar rover, which will perform the competition. Given the fact that this is a demonstration mission, these 25kg are offered at the sale price of 1.35MEur/kg.
Galactic Suite Easy Space’s first commission is to sell those 25kg payload to enable the first Spanish mission to the Moon and the first European one that lands on the lunar surface.

Moon 2.0

The Apollo landings 40 years ago ended the first era of space exploration marked by the confrontation between the U.S. and the USSR in the context of the Cold War. 500 million people worldwide watched the event, the largest television audience for a live broadcast at the time. The confrontation gave way to cooperation and now, sixteen countries have worked together in building the International Space Station (ISS).

With 25,000 million dollars in 1969 (approximately 135,000 million current dollars), the development of the Apollo program was a high investment, which unfortunately was not sustained despite the benefits for humans to explore our moon.

The Moon is an outpost for exploration of the solar system because (1), its gravitational field is one sixth that of the Earth and has enough oxygen to make fuel to launch probes and missions from there, and (2) is a large and stable platform without the impediments of the Earth’s atmosphere, which allows optimum astronomical observation, particularly in its far side where radio waves do not reach.

On the other hand the Moon is a source of environmental benefits (3) considering the research conducted over 30 years to capture solar energy, clean and abundant, for later use on Earth, through the construction and launch of space collectors from the Moon, which would allow a continuous supply from LEO, even at night

Moreover, the Moon may help human to survive (4) by serving as a test bench for systems to expand through the solar system as a means of preservation in the event of a major cataclysm on Earth due to the impact of a meteorite, or (5) by collecting a biological library on the Moon, a new Noah’s Ark, to ensure the preservation of life beyond Earth.

Finally, space research develops technologies reverting to society in the form of countless spin-offs like Velcro, the LED lights, solar panels, fireproofing materials, etc. Studies of government agencies like NASA or ESA show that every euro invested in space research is increased to 4 to 6 euros in benefits in other sectors.

Google Lunar X-Prize

The $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented international competition that challenges and inspires engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. The competition’s grand prize is worth $20 million. To provide an extra incentive for teams to work quickly, the grand prize value will change to $15 million whenever a government-funded mission successfully explores the lunar surface, currently projected to occur in 2013.

To win the Grand Prize, a team must successfully soft land a privately funded spacecraft on the Moon, rove on the lunar surface for a minimum of 500 meters, and transmit a specific set of video, images and data back to the Earth.

Additionally, a second place prize of $5 million will be available for the second team to complete the competition objectives. $4 million in bonus prizes are available for achieving other specific mission objectives, including operation at night; traveling more than 5km over the lunar surface; detection of water; and precision landing near an Apollo site or other lunar sites of interest (such as landing/crash sites of man-made space hardware).

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. In 2004, the Foundation captured the world’s attention when the Burt Rutan-led team, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private spaceship to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for suborbital spaceflight.

The Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE and the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation, with the support of its partner, BT Global Services, is creating prizes in Space and Ocean Exploration, Life Sciences, Energy and Environment, Education and Global Development. The Foundation is widely recognized as a leader in fostering innovation through competition.

Barcelona Moon Team

The Barcelona Moon Team (BMT) is a multidisciplinary joint venture bringing together entrepreneurial, industrial and academic capabilities representing the only Spanish based team at the GLXP.
Among its objectives are (1) to take the leadership in an ambitious space project. This important project elevates the Spanish aerospace sector to a leadership position in all the aspects related with the management and execution of a highly complex space mission. Thanks to this leadership position the national industry can play a role as a main contractor using its demonstrated experience and capabilities, meaning a competitive advantage. It is foreseen that these capabilities will help win contracts for our companies in the future.

And (2) to foster the scientific and technical vocations and to retain talent; thanks to an extensive communications program with the aim to stimulate the participation of the general public in the event. In one hand scientific and technical careers will be encouraged among the youth, developing specialized knowledge workers for the future. In the other hand the attraction of international talent will bring new professionals and researchers from abroad, stopping the exodus of professionals and young graduates and doctors to other countries.

The lunar mission of the Barcelona Moon Team consists of four main segments: launch, landing module, rover module, and ground segment.

Due to its reliability and cost, the selected launcher is a LM2C-CTS2. The CTS2 is a solid third stage that will place the lander into lunar transfer orbit, where it will take control.

The lander module is a simple and reliable platform, which will land 40kg of payload, of which 14kg will be dedicated to the lunar rover, while another 26kg will be commercial payload. Within those, 6kg will be mounted on the rover module while the remaining will be placed below the lander, including the first experiment to demonstrate the viability of the extraction of oxygen from the lunar regolith (SELENA).

The rover module is a teleoperated cargo platform designed to accomplish the main goals of the GLXP mission, drive 500 meters and transmit imagery and video. Its design simplifies the mechanisms and the mechanical complexity. All systems and subsystems are ITAR free, without American components and, when possible, commercial COTS to low its final price. The rover will move at an approximate speed of 0,1m/2 and it will have several cameras to offer stereoscopic vision for navigation and several other subjective views of the rover.