World class air navigation company sponsors Puli Space’s Saharan field simulation test
HungaroControl, one of Europe’s most prominent air navigation service providers announced to support Team Puli Space in its mission to send an unmanned robotic probe to the Moon, as part of the mission of the Google Lunar X PRIZE. The company grants a substantial financial support for MARS 2013 analog field simulation mission. The agreement was announced on a joint press conference in Puli Space’s newly established mission control centre set up at the Budapest City Hall, from where the team successfully operates its remote-controlled rover unit currently taking part in tests in the Moroccan Sahara.
Budapest, Hungary – 08.02.2013. HungaroControl announced that it will be sponsoring team Puli Space in its mission to compete for the Google Lunar X PRIZE and land a remote-controlled rover on the Moon. The air navigation company offered besides financial support an opportunity for the team to present itself at the World ATM exhibition in Madrid, 2013. Discussions regarding further co-operation are under way. Team Puli Space aims to use the opportunity to benefit from the company’s extensive technological knowledge.
The sponsorship was announced in Team Puli Space’s newly established Mission Control Centre, which is a fully equipped headquarters designed to control the team’s current simulation experiments in the Sahara. The centre contains six workstations for the mission control team, and allows the communication with both the overseas desert simulation unit, and the local test prototype. The control centre is set up at the City Hall in Budapest, which also offers press rooms and live broadcast opportunities for the mission.
Team Puli Space is currently taking part in the MARS2013 simulation experiment organized by the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF). The goal of this mission is to test equipment for future Mars missions by using an area of the Moroccan Sahara as an analogue for a Martian environment. More than a hundred people from 20 different countries take part in the project, with tasks ranging from testing experimental Mars suits through trying out various rovers and exploring the environment, to simulating emergency situations.
Puli Space's I2 rover uses this opportunity to test its remote navigation system and solar panels, while exploring the desert. The rover will explore a set of sandy and rocky environments, and navigate in foreign territory using its stereo cameras on five different running days. . Although the I2 is actually a Moon rover prototype, this simulation environment is also similar to a lunar mission in many aspects, and should therefore provide valuable information and experience for Team Puli Space. Communication with the rover is handled via OeWF's system, which introduces time delays as are to be expected during an actual space mission.
Team Puli Space is undertaking these simulations to prepare for its upcoming Moon mission. According to the team’s road map, using the experience obtained from the I2 rover’s performance, the next step is to start work on a fully operational, space grade lunar rover, capable of completing an actual Moon mission in the next few years. The project is built up to accommodate requirements of the Google Lunar X PRIZE.. The competition dubbed Moon 2.0 will reward successful teams from its 30M USD purse, for landing an automated rover on the Moon, travelling at least 500m on the lunar surface, and sending back high quality imagery from Earth’s companion.
HungaroControl provides navigation services in Hungary’s air space and it offers basic and advanced training for air control personnel. Some 600,000 flights are controlled by the Company each year, about 80% of which are overflights across the territory of Hungary, while some 90,000 flights land at or take off from Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport. HungaroControl has caused practicallyzero-second delay for airlines and passengers for the last years, its aviation safety indicators have gained international recognition. HungaroControl launched a number of major development projects in the last years aiming at developing its aviation navigation services, guaranteeing the safe and secure handling of the growing air traffic. The new projects include the new air traffic control centre, which will make HungaroControl one of the region’s leading air navigation service providers in terms of its technical and technological standards. This development will also make it possible for the Company to transfer its already operating international training, simulation and R&D undertakings (including the international air navigation academy Entry Point Central, along with the Centre of Research, Development and Simulation) to a single knowledge centre. The goal of the investment projects underway at HungaroControl is to contribute to the success of European integration and to turn FAB CE, a block of seven Central European countries, into one of Europe’s most efficient functional air space blocks, with the highest technical and technological standards.
About the Austrian Space Forum
The Austrian Space Forum (Österreichisches Weltraum Forum, OeWF) is a national network for aerospace specialists and space enthusiasts. The organization serves as a communication platform between the space sector and the public; it is embedded in a global network of specialists from the space industry, research and politics. Hence, the OeWF facilitates a strengthening of the Austrian space sector through enhancing the public visibility of space activities, technical workshops and conferences as well as Forum-related projects. The Forum has a small, but highly active pool of professional members contributing to space endeavours, mostly in cooperation with other -national as well as international- space organizations. The spectrum of their activities ranges from simple classroom presentations to 15.000-visitor space exhibitions, from expert reports for the Austrian federal ministry for technology to space technology transfer activities for terrestrial applications: we can say they are Austria's space network.
The mission of Puli Space Technologies is to develop the new techniques required to routinely send spacecraft to the Moon, to explore new frontiers and to provide quality services for forward-thinking investors interested in commercializing space. We aim to demonstrate our abilities by landing a selfmade probe on the Moon by 2015 and thus complete the Google Lunar X PRIZE challenge. Our Moon probe will ascend to orbit with the help of a commercially available rocket and journey on its own to land on the lunar surface, explore the nearby area and send high quality imagery and video recordings of its surroundings and itself back to Earth. The project requires the setting up of a functional mission design, researching the necessary components, building a functional module and finally managing its mission to space. Based on the GLXP experience, independently of our result, we intend to become a prominent player in the growing space industry. Puli Space also considers it a top priority to promote scientific thinking and to encourage students in choosing a career in sciences.
About the Google Lunar X PRIZE
The $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a privately-funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters and transmits high definition video and images back to Earth. The first team to do so will claim a $20 million Grand Prize, while the second team will earn a $5 million Prize. Teams are also eligible to win a $1 million award for stimulating diversity in the field of space exploration and as much as $4 million in bonus prizes for accomplishing additional technical tasks such as moving ten times as far, surviving the frigid lunar night, or visiting the site of a previous lunar mission. For more information, go to www.googlelunarxprize.org.
The pdf version of the press release is available on our homepage.