Mexico to the Moon---with Astrobotic
By Nick Azer on June 10, 2015
The agency will be sending an approximately toaster-sized payload on board Astrobotic's Google Lunar XPRIZE mission, part of the hundreds of pounds of cargo Astrobotic (and the other Google Lunar XPRIZE teams on their own missions) will be taking to the Moon as part of their plans to create long-term business in lunar transporation. This will be the first thing ever sent to the Moon by a Latin American nation!
“Many people just aren’t aware that it’s possible to spend low-digit millions to land on the Moon. That possibility, once entertained at groups from around the world, is extremely enticing. The price point is really game-changing for a lot of these organizations." -John Thornton, CEO, Astrobotic [Aviation Week] [pictured above; image: Astrobotic].
“Mexico and other Latin American countries want to participate more and more in the great missions of humankind in the space age, even in a modest, even in a gradual way, that will provide us with knowledge and technology that will be used for other Mexican and Latin American needs.” - Francisco Javier Mendieta Jimenez, AEM General Director [Aviation Week][pictured above; image: UCI].
The payload will be carried on board Astrobotic's big Griffin lander, pictured at top. The AEM has issued the request-for-proposals (RFP) for the payload, and will be taking submissions until the fall, so if you know a Mexican university or company that might have cool ideas for the Moon, drop them a line! And Astrobotic still has a lot of cargo space available for other projects.
Nations---and companies---are catching on to the golden opportunity the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams are providing. The Moon's not just for the huge, established agencies anymore---access to the Moon is now open, for everyone!
Be sure to stay tuned to see what other epic partnerships and customers might be coming along soon for the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams...they've been picking up a lot of steam!