NASA’s Centennial Challenges program recently announced the results of the second Ground Tournament in the CubeQuest. The Cislunar Explorers team is proud to say that we won first place, earning a $30,000 prize! This brings us closer to our goal of being selected for launch on the EM-1 mission as a secondary payload, which will allow us to compete in the Lunar Derby and become among the first CubeSats to depart Earth orbit. It is a great followup to our prize-winning finish in the first Ground Tournament last year. The next Ground Tournament will be in February 2016. We hope to maintain our strong position to win another prize and continue our journey towards an EM-1 launch and lunar orbit mission!
In the near future, we will begin a crowd-funding effort to ensure mission success, raising funds to buy down mission risk in certain areas. Details will be available shortly as our Kickstarter page is rolled out! Our backers will receive individual rewards, but the space technology community at large will benefit from a successful mission. Accessibility is a core concept of the Cislunar Explorers: reducing the cost and entry barriers to space exploration by proving that the popular and inexpensive CubeSat platform can be used for missions beyond Earth orbit. In keeping with this philosophy, we will be releasing our design as open source as it is completed. The idea is to create a template from which anyone can build their own lunar CubeSat mission with our design as a starting point.
With your help, we can make the road to space an easier path for everyone!