Rocket City Space Pioneers on an "amazing journey"

[Tim Pickens][1] (see [videos below][2]) writes about “having a blast the last few weeks since we kicked off the [Rocket City Space Pioneers Team][3] (RCSP)”: [Rocket City Visits Isle of Man – X PRIZE Foundation][4].

> We are on an amazing journey to race to the moon against other international teams to take a rover to the surface of the moon, and drive it around! We will send back video and images, and hopefully allow students and other folks to pan the camera! How cool is that?

We have been so busy! The phones have been ringing off the hook from companies, learning institutions, and individuals that want to know how they can join, sponsor, help, and get involved. I have really been amazed at the response. We were not prepared to respond to various requests. The formal mechanisms to process their inquiries were not in place yet. That, coupled with the annual Google X PRIZE Team Summit, has made for an interesting last few weeks.

In summary, here is where we are: We have a great team made up of small and large companies and institutions that have a proven history that supported the Apollo moon landing as well as recent space exploration. In addition, we are not a huge corporate giant; we are a mid-tier size team that represents innovation and lean thinking. We are a group of doers. We are not a thought experiment. We are not a social experiment or club, but we do know how to have fun and accomplish serious technical endeavors. We do have a combined corporate strength of over $1.2 billion of combined sales per year, which means we are established and have the resources to put into innovation and product development. In fact, just Dynetics alone has put over $8M of their profits into developing commercial satellites instead of giving that money to shareholders as is often done. That is what I like to see. We do our homework, we take calculated risks, we conquer, we reap the rewards.

I’ve been disappointed that no [Google Lunar X PRIZE][5] team has yet announced that it has arranged for a launch either as a primary or secondary payload. As was clear at the start of the contest, raising the money for that has clearly been the biggest hurdle for all of the teams. However, the RCSP team certainly hints strongly that it has or soon will have a launch contract. In cooperation with [Spaceflight Services][6], they are [taking reservations][7] for secondary riders on a Falcon 9 launch. It would certainly be odd if a collaboration of companies with “$1.2 billion” in annual sales got into the GLXP, especially at this relatively late date in the contest, without high confidence that they could get their lunar rover off the earth.

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