Feeds

Australian telco in $20m robot moon shot bid

PlusComms joins Lunar X Prize team, plans for Sydney mission control

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Australian telecommunications and satellite communications company PlusComms has emerged as a key partner in a space consortium planning to send a robotic spacecraft to the moon.

PlusComms, which is backed by telco industry stalwart Robert Brand, is part of Team Stellar one of the teams competing for the Google Lunar X Prize.

The Googleplex-sponsored initiative is an international moon exploration challenge organized by the X Prize Foundation, challenging space explorers to be the first to land a robotic craft on the lunar surface, to travel at least 1,650 feet and send data and high definition images back to Earth.

The first privately funded team to achieve this by December 31, 2015, will scoop a $US20 million prize.

According to Brand, the regional operations manager of Sydney based PlusComms is partnering with US based KGo Aerospace and i7 Engineering for a commercial lunar mission scheduled for late in 2014.

The partners are the operational founders of Team Stellar, with KGo Aerospace driving the development of the spacecraft through strategic partnerships with other aerospace and technology companies.

Team Stellar has also partnered with George Washington University to develop the cruise vehicles plasma propulsion system and will work with production company Flightline Films to develop a 3D stereoscopic, HD camera system which will be fitted on the cruise, decent, and rover vehicles and will beam footage back to earth.

As part of the basic PlusComms mandate for the project, the company claims that it will build mission control centres in Sydney and Croatia, secure 3 x 30m dishes, build a global data network and backup data network.

The centres are expected to be kept on line for other missions after the 2014 Stellar mission is completed. Brand said that the group will also partner with local universities to acquire and train staff for the mission.

The funding for the local portion of the project’s development have yet to be detailed.

“Although I have been involved in many space missions here in Australia, this will be the most complex ever," Brand said. "It will bring some serious long term ability to Australia and support for other space missions. Once the Spacecraft is launched, the responsibility of many of the major activities will reside with me and my team."

Brand, has been appointed director of spacecraft communications, navigations and data for the Team Stellar group.

Earlier this year, PlusComms bid for the purchase of the Jamesburg Earth Station in California's Carmel Valley. Jamesburg, with a price tag of $US3 million was built to assist the Apollo moon landings and until 2002 was a fully functional communications station operated by AT&T.

Brand told The Register that the transaction is in progress and should be completed by the end of January. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN Kickstarter breaks NINETEEN THOUSAND of your EARTH POUNDS
That's right, OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.