Why? Because they have this “brilliant” idea of getting a 4-6 ft rocket to the moon with a small 3-lb payload for only $5,000.
Now, let me assure anyone who is considering burning their money on this project, that this is one of the most harebrained ideas to come along in many decades. Let’s take a look at what Space.com and Lunar Robotics’ Kickstarter site says is the secret behind Lunar Robotic genius.
Well, for one they discovered something called “rockoons.” These are rockets that are launched first using weather balloons to get up to a certain height. By the way, rockoons have historically reached a height of 150,000 ft–because the balloons cannot go where there is no air. The distance to the moon is close to 250,000 miles.
And oh yeah, Lunar Robotics had another brainstorm: the reason it is so expensive to get to the moon is because everyone is foolish enough to use liquid fuel. They plan to do it with solid fuel–an idea which happens to violates every law of physics.
Even if I accept both the ridiculous arguments, let me put it to you this way: Just the amount of fuel needed will be way, way more expensive that $5000. Let’s not even get into the discussion of the materials, and the electronics needed for navigation and a landing at such an enormous distance.
Space.com is full of daily stories like this one. Many of their stories have little to do with science and everything to do with pageviews and people flocking to their website to read such ridiculous garbage. I went to the Lunar Robotics Kickstarter website, fully expecting them to have raised $2–but to my surprise they have raised $3,843 through 50 backers, and they have 41 more hours to go.
It just goes to show you that many people have no clue about what it takes to do real science. They look up and see the moon in the sky and think, sure, why not. I am sure these guys are right. The moon just seems to be right there. Anyone who has closely studied the history of the American space program knows that getting to the moon was one of the biggest technical challenges mankind ever attempted. There are literally billions of problems to be solved.
Even in 2011, with everyone falling all over each other with yet another ridiculous startup at Kickstarter, if anyone–and I mean anyone, can come with with a way to get a 3-lb payload as far as the moon for $ 5 million dollars, they would be the toast of the technological world.
Read the full story, and laugh, here.