Florida-based Earthrise Space, Inc.(ESI) is a non-profit research laboratory and student training ground dedicated to developing space technology. ESI has been awarded an Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data (ILDD) contract from NASA worth up to $10M. It provides students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience designing, building, testing and operating real spacecraft.
Omega Envoy, the Florida team of ESI, involve significant numbers of students and young professionals through paid internships. The team is competing in an international contest to land a lunar rover on the moon, the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP).
The first team who safely lands a robot on the surface of the Moon, has that robot travel 500 meters over the surface, and sends HD video, images and data back to Earth can win a total of $30 million in prize of GLXP. 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.
The Omega Envoy project is sponsored by organizations such as the University of Central Florida, Space Florida, Imaging Source, National Instruments etc, among which, Stratasys, a 3D printers and production systems manufacturer, provides a Dimension 1200es 3D printer for prototyping spacecraft components before cutting actual metal.
In order to raise funds for a CNC milling machine for completing construction of their flight-like lunar rover prototype, the team announced the launch of a Kickstarter project.
Rewards offered for backers of the project include 3D printed and metal milled models of the team's lunar rover, tours of ESI's Orlando facility, opportunities to test drive the team's actual lunar rover.
The very special reward is for a pledged donation of $10,000 or more: "ESI will collect your DNA sample, package it into a storage container mounted on the company's Lunar Descent Vehicle and fly it to the surface of the moon where it will be preserved for all time."
"For the first time in human history, individuals will have the opportunity to send a sample of their DNA to the lunar surface. This interplanetary backup will ensure the survival of their genetic material independent of conditions here on Earth."
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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