Odyssey Moon Limited (OML) is a private commercial lunar enterprise offering lunar services and products to aid humanity’s sustained return to the Moon.
Odyssey Moon will be sending a series of small robotic missions to the Moon in support of science, exploration and commerce in the coming decade. In December 2007, the company was unveiled as the first official competitor for the Google Lunar X PRIZE. It was also announced that mission design work had begun by the company’s prime contractor, MDA Space Missions of Canada.
The inaugural mission of the Odyssey Moon “MoonOne” (M-1) Lunar Lander, currently scheduled for launch by July 2011, has 15 to 25 kg of additional payload capacity available to the lunar surface. OML intends to offer an opportunity for the international lunar community to place scientific or technology demonstration payloads onboard the initial M-1 mission through an Announcement of Payload Flight Opportunity (PFO).
This PFO will be the first of a series of Odyssey Moon mission opportunities designed to enable low cost, rapid and frequent access to the Moon (orbit or surface) for government, academic and commercial customers. The inaugural M-1 flight opportunity will serve as a prototype for scientific and technology payloads sharing space on Odyssey Moon commercial “missions of opportunity” on a recurring basis.
OML is conducting this request for information (RFI) to survey interest in the international lunar community for this payload flight opportunity. OML seeks to identify potential payloads and Principal Investigators (PIs) who wish to explore rapid, low-cost lunar flight opportunities. OML will work with PI’s to identify how such flight opportunities could be supported by national space agencies and other sources.
Note that this RFI is not an announcement for funding of payloads.
This RFI concerns an opportunity for scientific and technology demonstration payloads (totaling 15 to 25 kg maximum, with required margins) to be delivered to the lunar surface in the equatorial regions, with launch planned by July 2011. This is a preliminary survey of interest only. Landing loads, telecom and other technical details necessary for detailed proposals will be contained in a subsequent formal PFO announcement.
Read the entire announcement HERE.