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Odyssey Moon Announces NASA Partnership (News) October 31, 2008

Posted by Nick Azer in Current News, Google Lunar X Prize, NASA, Odyssey Moon, private sector.
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Right on the heels of Astrobotic‘s big announcement of the details of their commerical missions, there’s big news out of Odyssey Moon, Ltd., another Google Lunar X Prize competitor and major private lunar venture.

Odyssey Moon put forth a media release announcing a deal between them and NASA, with Odyssey Moon paying NASA for technical support on their MoonOne (M-1) Google Lunar X Prize mission. This agreement was reached through a Reimbursable Space Act Agreement, signed at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. As that above link notes, the difference between a ‘reimbursable’ and a ‘non-reimbursable’ Space Act Agreement is whether or not there is a transfer of funds from the private entity (here, Odyssey Moon) to NASA, with NASA providing “data, facilities and services to the paying entity.”

An important element of the agreement is that Odyssey Moon will then “share its technical data from its engineering tests and actual lunar missions with NASA”, as the release puts it. So in exchange for getting initial support from NASA, Odyssey Moon’s operational (and efficiency, a crutch of the value of the private space sector) knowledge will be utilized by NASA it it’s own colonization efforts.

Leonard David over at LiveScience.com had the inside scoop on the agreement; check out his blog post for neat insider tidbits from his own experiences at Ames and from elsewhere.

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