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Wed, Aug 18, 2010

Next Giant Leap Offering Lunar Mission Data To NASA

Consortium Will Participate In The Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data (ILDD) Program

A consortium of industry and academia which came together with a goal of winning the Google Lunar X PRIZE is offering lunar mission data to NASA from its planned lunar robotic lander mission via the recently announced NASA Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data (ILDD) program. The consortium, Next Giant Leap (NGL), is planning a lunar mission it says will demonstrate new landing and mobility technologies developed by their team partners. The ILDD program challenges industry to demonstrate Earth-to-lunar surface flight system capabilities and test technologies including information related to landing using a human mission profile, including identification of hazards during landing, precision landing, imagery, and long-duration surface operations.

NASA issued the ILDD Broad Agency Announcement on August 6th which will result in multiple small firm-fixed price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts with a total value up to $30.1 million through 2012. “This NASA announcement will allow for public private partnerships that will maximize the results we’ll see from this new era of lunar exploration.” said William Pomerantz, Senior Director for Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation. “From the start, we’ve worked with NASA to ensure that the technologies and systems that emerge from the Google Lunar X PRIZE will be complementary to NASA’s own efforts, rather than competing with them.”

During the mission, NGL plans to have its spacecraft send back HD video and other data needed to complete the requirements for capturing the Google Lunar X PRIZE. If it becomes the first commercial mission to land on the Moon, NGL says it hopes will engage the public in an unprecedented way and is offering unique corporate branding opportunities for their mission sponsors.

FMI: www.nasa.gov, www.nextgiantleap.com

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