WASHINGTON – The European Space Agency has published a Google Lunar X Prize competitor to study a concept for a lunar regolith.
ArianeGroup announced Jan. Lunar regolith and extract resources, such as oxygen, from it. The purpose of the mission is to demonstrate the ability to mine
The Ariane 6 with four strap-on boosters. PTScientists, Lunar X Prize competition for privately developed lunar landers, is responsible for the spacecraft. Belgian company Space Applications Services wants to provide ground control and communications services.
ArianeGroup spokesman Julien Watelet said Jan. 22. The study is about the feasibility of a mission,
"The [Phase] A / B1 study of concept and technology development, preliminary design and technology completion," said Andreas Schepers, spokesman for PTScientists, Jan. 22.
The ESA holds its next ministerial meeting, called Space1
"The use of space resources could be a key to sustainable lunar exploration and this study is part of ESA's comprehensive plan to make Europe a partner in global exploration in the next decade, a plan we will put to our ministers for decision later this year at the Space19 + Conference, "said David Parker, director of Human and Robotic Exploration at ESA, in a statement. [19659002ThemissionifitdoesgoforwarddoesnotwanttobethefirstlunarthatPTScientistsdevelopsThecompanyhascontinuedtoworkonitsfirsteverLunarXPrizecompetitioninearly2017aftertheXPrizeFoundationwhichadministeredtheawardconcludeditdidnothaveavalidlaunchcontract
In a November conference speech, Torsten Kriening, chief commercial officer of PTScientists, said that "lunar lander mission, which has backing." Audi, Vodafone and Red Bull's Media House, a subsidiary of Red Bull, could launch by late 2019. The lander is planned to visit the Taurus-Littrow region of the Moon, in the vicinity of the Apollo 17 landing site, carrying two rovers.
Schepers said that lander is still under development, but will not fly before early 2020. "We're progressing as fast as possible, with the strict goal in mind to accomplish mission success, "He said. "We [will] launch not earlier than Q1 2020."