Team Italia proposes reliability and costs as our driving criteria for the mission design. (Therefore, high TRL equipment will be preferred to contain the costs, still taking into account advanced solutions – typically technologically refined - to reduce the overall mass.) It should be underlined that the goal of the mission is the success; scientific objectives should be read as secondary. A soft landing---achievable thanks to a cluster of dedicated thrusters---is our goal. The landing will occur after a few days of orbiting the Moon, in order to finalize commissioning operations.
Team ITALIA is considering many different possible rover designs, ranging from traditional wheeled rovers to more advanced robotics. The image seen on this page is an example of one such concept, currently under consideration.
The architecture of the robotic system is under study; a single big rover (rover 10 kg; with devices to host and deploy the rover--support elevator for antennas, TV cameras, rover guidance & tracking laser, and the needed Power Supplì Sys., for a total 62kg); or, a colony of many robots, light and mobile, with many legs and wheels, able to be compacted in the lander and distributed quickly on the Moon's surface with cameras & sensors support.
The colony of small robots would perform 4 actions: preparation of soil for human use; Internet connection on the Moon; special actions for science on the surface; presentation with laser of images Moon – Earth. Every small robot contains locomotion motors, microcameras, nanosensors, microactuators at high efficiency, solar cells and batteries, and a special material body. A prototype is already running at Politecnico di Milano.
"Team Italia aims at bringing together the Italian academic and industrial capabilities that have already an impressive track record in space exploration and planetary missions. We are confident that we have the skills and the experience to meet the challenge put forward by XPRIZE. The real innovative challenge will be in mobilizing resources beyond the traditional space community and without public funding. We believe the comprehensiveness of the Team and the reputation of the individual Team members is a guarantee to potential sponsors. We look forward to completing such an ambitious and exciting undertaking."
Why did you decide to enter the Google Lunar XPRIZE?
Italy has a first class tradition in space exploration, both on the engineering and scientific sides. Italian researchers, scientists, academia and industry have greatly contributed to nearly all the most recent and most successful planetary missions. It is a shared vision, among the Team Italia members, that space exploration will eventually see the involvement of private resources---as public funding will not be enough to cover all the potential objectives of space exploration.
Team Italia will build on this large experience to implement a private mission, thereby paving the way to future private investment in space exploration undertakings.
An important outreach campaign will aim at including main sponsors drawn from the most important Italian corporations.
We wish to rally a whole country behind the ambition of reaching the Moon with a private mission, thereby living up to the Italian traditions of ingenuity and craftsmanship, as well as engineering and scientific excellence. This is depicted by the choice of a Latin name to identify the mission.
What do you think gives your team an advantage over your competitors?
The current members plan to build on their capabilities and synergies to develop a "design-to-cost" mission, leveraging on the innovation potential of academia and SME's as well as on the strength of Large Systems Integrators.
Politecnico di Milano
Politecnico di Torino
Università La Sapienza, Roma
Università Federico II, Napoli
Thales Alenia Space SpA, Torino
CGS SPA - Compagnia Generale per lo Spazio, Milano
Techno System Developments, Napoli