Micro-Space withdrew from competition in November 2010.
Micro-Space, Inc. (a Colorado Corporation) has a 31 year history of producing “World Class”, high tech products for both large and small customers in niche markets. To compete with larger vendors, a small company needs dexterity, customer focus and the ability to build on its accomplishments using each as a module to be employed in new applications. This approach is central to our Google Lunar XPRIZE plan. But it also keeps us from limiting our thoughts and comments to this application of our hardware. With modest adaptation any successful Google Lunar XPRIZE system can serve on Mars, and many will approach the needs of an Ultralight Human Moon Lander.
The launch vehicle and transfer stage of any Google Lunar XPRIZE system can land twice the payload on Mars, even after subtracting the heat shield mass! This greatly expands the market for these systems.
Micro-Space shifted its developmental focus to spaceflight systems 17 years ago. Since that time we have accomplished so much more than we expected that we call it a Miracle! Results include flight of 17 innovative, bipropellant liquid fuel rockets, 3 near hover rockets with vectored thrust guidance, scores of flights with telemetry and radio tracking and several innovative life support systems. Designed for clustering, our lightweight rocket modules are in stock, ready for heavier payloads.
Starting with commercial “Freight” service to LEO, our Google Lunar XPRIZE system will combine these modules in the transfer stage and adapt the HTS version of our “Lunar Lander” to land our Rover. Our "Crusader HTS" (Human Transport System) thus becomes our "Crusader Google Lunar XPRIZE Lander" for this effort.
Which Bonus Prizes are you interested in?
Micro-Space intends to pursue the 5km displacement “Bonus Prize”. This is attractive because displacement “above the lunar surface” is permitted, and the ability to “Hop” to examine another spot on the lunar surface has long been planned for our landers used as prospectors. Demonstrating this ability makes our systems much more attractive as a Lunar research tool.
What additional scientific equipment above and beyond competition requirements, if any, might you be launching and why?
Micro-Space intends to combine our Google Lunar XPRIZE flights with demonstration and validation efforts for other “Deep Space” mission hardware (particularly for manned missions). The operation of our Crusader HTS is itself a very important demonstration of our Human lunar capabilities. Other small payloads – including prototype life support systems - will be carried in the orbital and transfer bus units.
Bruce Bahnmiller is a systems engineer who has worked for Micro-Space for 24 years. He has mastered and upgraded our manufacturing technologies, including developing automated and semiautomated systems to streamline production and flight qualification testing. His expertise includes electronic circuit development, production, calibration and documentation. He has similar skills with high strength composite materials production, and production of flight hardware through machining metals and other specialty materials and processes. He supervises assembly of aerospace components including structures, plumbing and control systems.
In addition to working on Micro-Space rocket projects, he has a critical role in our contract work related to automated test systems for major aerospace customers.
Bruce operates as Flight Safety Officer for our numerous launch activities as well as overseeing video documentation and radio tracking for those flights.
Nancy Speck is Administrator for our corporation and has a MBA from Colorado State University. She handles and supervises the financial details and reports required from both large and small companies. In addition she handles communication interface and scheduling for other employees along many other details.
Nancy has been very active at our rocket launches, managing logistics and producing additional video documentation.
Team Leader, Richard Speck combines his qualifications as an experimental physicist with a passion for affordable spaceflight. Practical experience with mountaineering brings unique insights into what spaceflight, as extreme “Adventure Travel”, can look like. Immersion in EAA activities brings an understanding of “Ultralight” aircraft concepts, while his research in pulmonary physiology has prepared him to produce life support systems. Combined, this background prepares him to both understand the potential and achieve the reality of Ultralight, Affordable Spaceflight.
Richard's decades developing and delivering World Class high tech products to niche industries prepares him to go beyond theory and deliver operational hardware. His academic credentials affirm his competency to handle the theories themselves.
With a long involvement in “cutting edge” small business, Mr. Speck can lead a small team to impressive results on a modest budget. This often includes discerning what Does Not need to be developed, or how to adapt a developed product to a new use. This works best pursuing operational objectives freed from “traditional” constraints. It works very well when unique missions are to be accomplished on limited budgets, including those to the Moon or Mars.
- Richard Speck