The Brief Synopsis
- We're competing in an international contest to land a lunar rover on the moon. It's called the Google Lunar X PRIZE.
- We need to purchase a CNC milling machine in order to complete construction of our flight-like lunar rover prototype.
- We need your help to do it... and we have some pretty awesome rewards for you.
Background & Vision
Earthrise Space, Inc. is a
non-profit research laboratory and student training ground located in Orlando,
Florida near the University of Central Florida. The company provides students the
opportunity to gain hands-on experience designing, building, testing and
operating real spacecraft, the ultimate STEM experience! The skills and
knowledge gained from this provides students with a significant advantage as
they enter the workforce and seek high-tech jobs in aerospace or related
ESI allows students to take on the responsibility of designing and
building complex spacecraft systems. The company forces them to work together
with other students, company management and senior engineering advisers and
experts in a fast paced, multi-disciplinary environment. Students must satisfy
challenging engineering constraints and manage customer requirements. They are
encouraged to innovate and explore, and to learn from and overcome mistakes
that are made along the way. These efforts provide the students with critical
real-world experience unavailable to them from the classroom or through
internships with large corporations.
Earthrise Space Inc. is the
Florida team pursuing the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP), through its Omega Envoy
Project. Of the 26 teams in the competition, ESI is one of only six teams which
have been selected for a NASA Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data contract worth
up to $10M. The company is aggressively moving forward with development of its
lunar spacecraft to pursue the GLXP and deliver valuable data to NASA in the
With the GLXP, a total of $30
million in prize money is available to the first privately funded teams to
safely land a robot on the surface of the Moon, have that robot travel 500
meters over the surface, and send HD video, images and data back to Earth.
Bonus prizes are available for surviving the lunar night, visiting lunar
heritage sites (including those of the Apollo landings), traveling more than 5
km and detecting water. More details about the competition are available here.
Why we need your help!
As a non-profit company, we rely
on contributions to move the project forward. We have already secured many key partners and
sponsors including the University of Central Florida, Space Florida, Imaging
Source, National Instruments, and many others (visit our Partner and Sponsor
pages on our website for a full list).
We consider one of our most
important sponsors to be Stratasys, a company that produces 3D printers and
production systems. They have provided us with a Dimension 1200es 3D printer
which we are using to prototype spacecraft components before cutting actual
Our Dimension 1200es 3D Printer, Courtesy of Stratasys
For our project to move forward,
we need to take our designs to the next step. We need your help to obtain a 4-axis
CNC milling machine. We’ll be able to use the machine to take our rover (and also our lander) designs from
CAD drawings to real spacecraft parts. Design, analysis, 3D printing, CNC
machining… it’s all done by our students!
Our team of students, advisers and management at Earthrise Space Inc.
We should also mention that while
we have been awarded a contract by NASA worth up to $10M, the contract is
awarded incrementally. We can’t keep going after and delivering more segments
of the contract without a CNC machine… and your help!
Besides that warm fuzzy feeling
you’ll have inside from supporting students in this incredible project, there
are also a number of other interesting, fun and cool rewards available to you.
For the most part, the rewards
are self-exclamatory. We’ve included a few pictures below.
Lunar Stress Ball... Marvin not included! ($8 or more)
Omega Envoy T-Shirt ($25 or more)
12" Diameter Lunar Globe ($115 or more)
For as little as $150, you can
get a 3D printed model of our lunar rover (in 1/8 scale). $300 will get you a
larger 3D printed version with wheels that roll and solar arrays that
articulate. For $500 you can get one at the largest size we can print with the
Dimension 1200es… 9/32 scale (approximately 10” across)!
1/8 Scale 3D Printed Lunar Rover Model ($150 or more)
3/16 Scale 3D Printed Articulating Lunar Rover Model ($300 or more)
Making good use of our new CNC milling
machine, we also are offering models of the rover machined out of solid
aluminum blocks. 1/8 scale and an incredible ¼ scale are available!
For our biggest supporters, we’re
providing even more amazing rewards. $3,000 will get you an opportunity to
visit our facility for a behind-the-scenes tour. You’ll meet our students and
see our spacecraft hardware up close.
Drive a Real Lunar Rover
$5,000 will get you the tour,
plus a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drive the REAL lunar rover! We’ve been
building a huge, tilting lunar sandbox similar to those used by NASA JPL to put
Mars rovers through their paces. It will be filled with lunar soil simulant provided
by NASA’s Granular Mechanics and Surface Systems Laboratory. You’ll get to suit
up and drive the actual rover we will send to the moon!
Send your DNA to the moon!
Our biggest contributors will get
to secure their place in history by sending their DNA to the lunar surface, to
be preserved for all time! We’ll collect the DNA, package it on the spacecraft,
and fly it to the moon during our mission to win the Google Lunar X PRIZE. It’s
a little like a lunar burial… but not as depressing. Imagine looking up at the moon,
and knowing a little piece of you is up there… and it will still be up there
after the human race is long gone!
Fly your DNA to the moon! ($10,000 or more)
You also will get to place your
name or a small logo of your choosing onto the lunar spacecraft. Of course you
will get to visit our facility, try your hand at operating our lunar rover, and
receive two 1/4 scale models of the lunar rover to commemorate your
participation in our mission.
We’re working out the precise procedures
for DNA collection and storage but should have the details finalized in time to
collect all the samples and launch them to the moon with our mission, currently
scheduled for December 2014.
Contributions small or large… it’s all appreciated!
There are a number of
intermediate rewards as well which we haven’t pointed out here. At whatever
level you contribute, know that you are helping students build real spacecraft,
and you’re going to be getting some pretty amazing rewards as well! The
students appreciate your support!
For more information about our
team and our project, please see our website www.earthrisespace.org
* Note: Shipping of rewards to international locations will be at extra cost.