Student Built Lunar Rover Prototype for Google Lunar X PRIZE
Student Built Lunar Rover Prototype for Google Lunar X PRIZE
Student built lunar rover for Google Lunar X PRIZE. Get 3D printed or CNC’d models, test-drive the rover or send your DNA to the moon!
Student built lunar rover for Google Lunar X PRIZE. Get 3D printed or CNC’d models, test-drive the rover or send your DNA to the moon! Read more
About this project
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 industries.
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 process.
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 metal.
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.
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