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Team FREDNET tf(x) Logo.

Team FREDNET is an international Open Source and Open Participation competitor in the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition. Uniquely, the team also allows organizations and individuals to participate freely in its mission through the team's website. Their strategy is to utilize the same approach for developing open source software in order to build a lunar lander and a lunar rovers capable of winning the Google Lunar X Prize.[1]. Team FREDNET plans to establish an Open Space Foundation that provides incentives, education, and funding to future individuals and organizations seeking to develop their own space projects. In addition, they hope to foster greater public interest and education in Space Exploration and Research.[2].


Organization Overview

Key People

Team FREDNET is led by Fred J. Bourgeois, III[2]. Dr. Sean Casey of the Universities Space Research Association[3] manages business development for Team FREDNET. Mike Barrucco is the principal guidance, navigation, and control engineer for the team[3]. Richard Core is Team FREDNET's project manager[3].

Key Affiliations

Team FREDNET has affiliations with a number of clubs, schools, and businesses.

The Team FREDNET website also lists a number of sponsors [7].

Open Source Development Team

The Open Source Development Team is the most visible of the Team FREDNET organization. This is the place where anybody can work and add value to the project. This team gets the attention, the buzz, and develops the stuff needed to complete the primary mission of winning the Google Lunar X PRIZE by 2012. This includes hardware, software, systems, code, as well as management software, collaboration tools, and an efficient distributive development hardware environment that'll work successfully on shoe-string budgets.

The team's charter is "Make Cool Stuff". This objective applies towards "stuff" that can be used in Space and towards building tools that will make it easier to build design the space "stuff". Essentially, the goal is to build a catalog of Space Components in order to make Space Commercialization more Open, Cost-Effective, Productive, and Accessible [8]

Open Source Development Team

Members of the online community that form Team FREDNET may never meet in person. The team's three leaders come from three different time zones in the United States, while the head of communications lives in Sweden and the head of the rocket group hails from Australia.

What gets the team volunteers — ranging from senior aerospace engineers at Boeing to high school students — is a shared sense of excitement about a return to the moon. The former may remember the heady days of Apollo, while the latter see spaceflight as the untapped frontier for entrepreneurs.

Organizing this far-flung group posed perhaps the biggest and earliest challenge. Open source software teams can normally download a program and add their own contributions, but Team FREDNET had to translate its many individual ideas into rocket engines and rover gears [9].

To address this challenge, Team FREDNET took major steps in August and September 2009 to make it easier for globally distributed collaboration to occur by providing guidelines for people who wanted to make contributions [10].

Open Source Development Software Tools

Team FREDNET relies heavily on Open Source Software Tools to accomplish their mission.

  • The team uses MediaWiki software from the Wikimedia Foundation for organizing its development efforts [11].
  • Launchpad is used for certain bug tracking and configuration management utilities [12].
  • Blender is the animation software the team uses for showing a simulation of the mission[13].

Missions and Objectives

Team FREDNET tf(x) Lunar Rover Rendering.

Mission Architecture

Team FREDNET plans to use a simple architecture in their bid to win the Google Lunar X PRIZE, consisting of a small lander that will deploy a small lunar rover which in turn will use the lander as a communication relay back to Earth.[citation needed]

There are three main components to the Team FREDNET mission which include (a) the transfer mission (i.e. getting the rover from the Earth to the Moon), (b) the Moon mission (i.e. directing the rover to accomplish the tasks needed to win the Google Lunar X-Prize), and (c) the Earth mission (i.e. receiving the data that the rover must transmit to Earth to win the Google Lunar X PRIZE)[14].

The Transfer Mission

  • The Launcher cost is proportional to mass. An applicable approximation is 31,000 $/kg. The launcher will put this mass to LEO orbit (8600 m/s of Delta_V for about 200 km LEO) with a solid propellant stage having a 260 second specific impulse.[14]
  • The Lunar Bus will do a number of maneuvers (elliptic transfer orbits) in order to gain 4400 m/s of Delta_V for the transfer orbit to the Moon. The Lunar Bus will use bi-propellant with a specific impulse of 320 s. Note that in some contexts we regard the Launcher and Bus as one component, the vehicle system transporting the Lander and Rover.[14]

The Moon Mission

  • The Lunar Lander is being designed to do a descent maneuver in order to gain 2200 m/s of Delta_V to transfer orbit to the Moon. The Lunar Bus will use a bi-propellant with a specific impulse of 320 s.[14]
  • The Lunar Rover plan is to travel 500 meters from the Lunar Lander then send prize-specified Mooncast, videos, pictures, emails, etc.[14]

The Earth Mission

  • A Ground Support System is planned to be able to receive the weak signal from the Moon in order to receive the rover Mooncast.[14]

Education Programs

The team wants to offer educational institutions an opportunity to add science projects fitting inside the parameters of the mission to promote awareness of commercial space travel and space exploration.[15].

As part of this education effort, the team has contributed towards a team that created a LEGO Mindstorms based rover that is controlled by Bluetooth technology [16]. A future elementary school level competition will be used to name the Rover that the team will eventually send to the moon[1].


  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Register - Google encourages 10 teams to rocket to the moon.". 02/22/2008. Retrieved 09/12/2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "FREDNET - X Prize Foundation". Retrieved 09/12/2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Space Show episode 1193". 07/20/2009. Retrieved 09/12/2009. 
  4. "Stuyvesant H.S. Robotics Team website". Retrieved 09/12/2009. 
  5. "Elphel sponsors Team FREDNET". "Elphel Inc. - Team FREDNET Wiki". 
  6. "Re: Landing Gear". Team Cheese introduction to Team FREDNET
  7. "Team FREDNET". 
  8. "Three Teams, Many Goals, One Primary Mission". 
  9. "Online Community Project Aims for the Moon". 05/20/2009. 
  10. "Guidelines for New Members". 
  11. "Sites using MediaWiki/en". 
  12. "Team FREDNET in Launchpad". 
  13. "Animation Talk Page". 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 "System Overview / Mission Architecture". 
  15. "About TEAM Frednet on the GLXP". 
  16. "LEGO Mindstorms on Team FREDNET from the GLXP". 

External links

Personal tools

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