At the end of 2017, the “part time scientists” want the first private vehicle to operate on the moon, and also succeed on the marketplace.
The underlying reason for the well-developed plans for the first private moon mission was a competition organized by Google in 2007. The Google Lunar X-Prize (GLXP) is endowed to the sum of USD 30 million. At least 90% of this amount will go to the privately-funded team whose lunar vehicle (rover) travels 500 meters on the moon.
In the meantime, the “leisure-time” researchers have established a company with the objective of developing promising, future-oriented technologies for aspiring companies involved in private spaceflight beyond the horizon of the Google competition.
Subsidiary planned in Austria
In the following years, the company was given two GLXP intermediate prizes. In the meantime, a team of twelve employees is working on the project, but there are still a larger number of “part-time researchers”. The company plans to set up a subsidiary in Austria due to the strong Austrian involvement, comprising about 50% of the people working as researchers and technicians.
In fact, Brandner is convinced that some ten years after the Google tender, the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module ("Alina") with a weight of 210 kilograms, transporting the two “Audi lunar quattro” rovers, each with a weight of 30 kilograms, a length of one meter, a height of about 60 centimeters and width of 75 centimeters, will actually land on the moon.
The name of the partner shows that the company has attracted a potent industrial partner. The company has also learned a lot from research partners such as the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and cooperation agreements with German and Austrian universities.
The start of the moon mission is within a time frame of the end of 2017 to the middle of 2018. There are four to five serious competitors.