SAN FRANCISCO (Team Synergy Moon PR) — Team Synergy Moon, with team partner Interorbital Systems announced their 2016/2017 launch plans at this year’s Google Lunar XPRIZE Teams Summit Conference, held last month at Google and YouTube HQ in Tokyo, Japan. Unlike the other 15 GLXP Teams, Synergy Moon is developing their own Launch Vehicle with team partner Interorbital Systems, led by team members Rod and Randa Milliron, and will not be seeking a launch contract with any other commercial launch provider.
The first low altitude Test Flight I (8,000ft) with four commercial payloads took place in March, 2014. The next Test Flight II, shooting for 30,000ft is scheduled for first quarter of 2016, with eight commercial payloads onboard.
Test Flight III, scheduled for Second Quarter 2016 will be our first suborbital flight into space! There are currently 6 confirmed payloads for this flight, with space still available for 100kg.
Our first lunar pathfinder mission, Lunar Bullet, in collaboration with Ed Belbruno of Innovative Orbital Design, Inc. will launch Third Quarter, 2016. This mission will use a three CPM vehicle to launch a nanosat on a Lunar Direct trajectory to the moon, the same method that will be used for our GLXP lunar mission. This pathfinder probe will provide us with a look at the dynamics of our GLXP flight, with a Ranger style flyby or impact on the Moon.
Ed Belbruno is an artist ( http://www.belbrunoart.com/ ) and a research collaborator at the department of astrophysical science at Princeton University, director of the research company Innovative Orbital Design, and a visiting scholar at New York University, Courant Institute. He consults regularly with NASA and leading aerospace organizations. He has published two books with Princeton University Press, his most recent entitled, Fly me to the Moon. His early work in 1986 led to a new approach to space travel by the use of chaos dynamics to obtain low energy trajectories that require less fuel. This work was dramatically demonstrated in 1991 with the salvage of a Japanese lunar spacecraft, Hiten, successfully getting it to the Moon on a new type of transfer requiring almost no fuel. This transfer used automatic capture, where capture into orbit about the Moon is obtained without the use of rockets. The methodology he developed for this is called weak stability boundary theory.
The Fourth Quarter of 2016 brings us to our long awaited first Orbital mission, launching 30+ NanoSats to LEO on an N5, the 5 CPM Launch Vehicle. This mission includes several payloads for GLXP teams including Team Synergy Moon, Part-Time Scientist, Plan B and EuroLuna.
Our second lunar mission launches on an N5 during the First Quarter of 2017, will send a 27unit Team Synergy Moon spacecraft on a Ballistic Lunar Transfer, also known as a Weak Stability Boundary orbit, to orbit the Moon. This will be our fourth mission into Space, and our second flight beyond earth Orbit into Cis-Lunar Space.
The successes and/or failures of these flights will give us the experience we need to succeed with our third Lunar mission, our Google Lunar XPRIZE mission to land on the moon, explore 500 meters and send back high definition video of our lunar explorations. This mission will launch during the Third Quarter of 2017 on a Lunar Direct Trajectory/Transfer to the Moon.