tanstaafl223 karma2015-10-06 17:50:07 UTC
Do you guys actually have a ride with Astrobotic in 2017? And by that I mean does Astrobotic actually have a ride in 2017? They make a lot of noise about having a launch with SpaceX, but it seems they have yet to ink a real contract. They certainly aren't on the SpaceX manifest and if anything they have announced to date had any merit then wouldn't it have unlocked the GLXP extension to 2017? This question may be more directed at Astrobotic than Lunar Mission One, but it seems that the validity of your claim about a first mission in 2017 is entirely dependent upon the answers to this question.
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tanstaafl221 karma2015-10-06 19:06:15 UTC
Getting the engineering work done and flight ready is certainly a notable achievement, but it seems like the biggest hurdle in GLXP is getting enough funds to land a concrete launch contract. I believe Astrobotic's spacecraft requires a dedicated launch and even with SpaceX's GLXP discount this comes in at around $55 million. Does Astrobotic even have anywhere close to this sum stored away in the bank? This seems pretty hard to believe...
I read the other day that another GLXP contender, Moon Express, just announced a firm launch contract with Rocket Lab for 3 launches on Electron and two of those are in 2017. Why not send your payload up with them? I think they have even already flight tested some of their technology. It seems like those two achievements alone puts them far ahead of the pack.
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