My Proposal for Winning the $30 Million Google Lunar X-Prize




Introduction: My Proposal for Winning the $30 Million Google Lunar X-Prize

About: I am an American teaching English at Shangluo University, Shaanxi. I like making machines that do interesting but fairly useless things - I call them Quixotic Machines.
Here's hoping my team will win.



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    18 Discussions


    1 year ago

    At least you got it. Some folks got almost irate with me - guess they never heard of satire. Or perhaps they were being satirical. Hmm.

    There might be a problem using a prop for thrust on a Lunar mission. ;)

    Pesky lack of atmosphere aside, good luck on getting the prize!

    8 replies

    Okay, so I guess I have to be more direct. Propellers do not work in space. The end. Space is something called a vacuum, where there is no medium. Light travels without a medium and it has a fixed speed. This means that time and space are not fixed, which is where time dilation comes from.

    Hmmm . . . Do we know they're actually going to the moon this time. I believe there was some doubt last time, what with that blurry black & white footage.

    Either way Jim, it might be an idea to slip out the back door once you get the 30 mil rather than hang around to watch.

    "The propeller would not function in the vacuum of space." - are you sure? I was assured that the propeller would work adequately against the ether, which is good enough to convey light, and so will operate under that assumption. Redesigning, even to a higher standard, is out of the question at this late date. But thank you for the idea of the rocket thruster - I am seriously considering that to enable the rover to return samples to Earth.
    As to the amount of peroxide - perhaps we could produce it from the toothpaste sealant I will be using to protect the vital electronic parts from the invasive moon filth. Your share of the prize money is assured.

    3 replies

    I'm not sure where you've been for the past 140 or so years, but Michelson and Morley disproved the existence of the "ether" in 1887. Space is a vacuum. There's nothing there for you to propel against. No ether, no air, nothing. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just trying to let you know so you can adapt this design into a workable form.

    Thank you Andy! Finally we may find dark matter. Should be good for a Nobel.

    I'm behind you 100%!! I too now struggle to buy my talcum powder with today's prices. I propose collecting 'dust bunnies' that accumulate under sofas and beds and then using them to create a realistic lunar surface. Keep up the good work.

    1 reply

    Excellent idea - worthy of an instructable and I'm sure yours would get featured. Thanks for the encouragement. If we had more supportive souls such as yourself, we would be walking on Saturn by now. When I come into the prize money there will a round for everyone - of talcum powder.

    Now try it on the desert floor to simulate the lunar landscape.

    How much payload will it need to carry?

    If you scale it up how big will the prop & drive motor need to be to get the same performance

    1 reply

    I am a bit constrained on resources at the moment, so traveling to an appropriate desert is out of the question. I have been thinking of throwing talcum powder on my floor but that is an expensive option as well and it is so hard to get it back into the can.
    Payload capacity is somewhat limited with a single wheel but what is most important is how good it will look.
    Scaling can be accomplished by simply using a fisheye lens to make it look bigger or smaller on a case by case basis.
    Good questions though and I will add them to my database for others to have a go at.
    Thanks for your obvious interest and when I do receive the prize money you will get an appropriate cut.
    It gladdens my heart to see that there are such brainy and cerebral individuals such as yourself taking an interest in the scientific welfare of the human condition. There is hope yet for human-kind.