It’s a 1-way flight, certainly.
Audi has announced that its Lunar Quattro has a ticket to ride on a moon-bound spaceflight booked for late subsequent year. Refined, finessed, and now 18 pounds lighter, the automaker’s plucky moon rover is bound for a rendezvous with an additional extraplanetary car.
That 1, however, is a 1970s model.
Given that Audi announced its desire to land a 4-ring rover on the moon early last year, 16 of its prime experts have place their brains together assembling a battery-powered lunar automobile equipped with certain-footed all-wheel drive. Moon dust, as we all know, is terrible for traction.
It’s not boredom that’s compelling Audi to make this trip. The automaker, operating with the German space travel company Part-Time Scientists, hopes to beat out 15 competing teams to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE. To win, a team should land a rover on the moon, drive it a minimum of 500 meters (about a third of a mile), and send back images.
To make up for the expense of improvement, the prize contains a $ 30 million payday. Not bad, but spaceflight ain’t low-cost.
With two 66.1-pound Audi Lunar Quattros at the prepared, all that is left is the trip. And it is a loooong trip — 385,000 kilometers, or about 240,000 miles. Yesterday, the automaker announced that PT Scientists has secured a launcher booked via Spaceflight Inc., which should lift off near the finish of 2017. Space News reports that the launch automobile will nearly definitely be a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster, which is how Elon Musk worms his way into this story.
In contrast to a NASA mission, the Google Lunar XPRIZE does not concern itself with mineral samples and the effects of weightlessness on tiny screws in space. Simply, the mission is all about obtaining there, period.
Still, the Audi team doesn’t plan to ignore space history or science. There’s extra space in the probe, so the group plans to ship gear for NASA, the European Space Agency and Wikipedia. Also, the two rovers are headed to meet up with a relic of the previous — the Apollo 17 Lunar Rover left behind in the Valley of Taurus-Littrow following the last manned moon mission in 1972. That automobile was constructed with the aid of General Motors.
[Image: Audi AG]