In all geologic time, the responsibilities are on our generation ... including you ...

Past Efforts -- Abandoned, Stalled, or Creeping

LunaCorp, abandoned

LunaCorp, founded in 1989 by David Gump, promoted a private robotic rover mission to the Moon, to be funded by the entertainment value of having customers driving the rover around the Moon, plus commercial broadcast rights by the mass media of this copyrighted video, plus selling research data from any probes on the rover, plus supported by various sponsors who wanted their brand associated with the project.

The project actually made a lot of progress, but the company was surprisingly dissolved in 2003, not long after some high profile publicity.

Dr. Buzz Aldrin, the Apollo 11 astronaut and second man on the Moon, was a prominent advisor, and there were some highly reputable people doing actual work on the project.

The heart of the robotics work, however, became a rover named Nomad, designed and built by the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, led by Dr. Red Whittaker.

Nomad was tested under extreme conditions in the Canadian Arctic in 2001, after $1 million of support was offered by NASA. Later, Nomad was also tested in the Atacama Desert in Chile, as well as in Antarctica.

The two main issues of the rover were dealing with the extreme temperatures of the Moon, and energy storage for nights.

The first mission idea had been to visit the Apollo 11 and 17 sites plus two older probe sites (Ranger 8 and Surveyor 5), but later, this changed to possibly probing the lunar poles for volatiles, and also a proposal by mission controller Geoffrey Landis to circle the Moon at a high non-polar latitude so that the rover was always on the illuminated side of the Moon for solar power and thermal control at a higher latitude. It would need to average a speed of a few kilometers per hour to stay in the sunlight.

1990s launch dates slipped due to lack of success in obtaining funding. In the year 2000, LunaCorp had published a press release which included the year 2003 as the launch of its multimedia lunar robot called Icebreaker Moon Rover, and named Radio Shack Corporation as the initial corporate sponsor, but failed to mention another sponsor, Mitsubishi Corp., while seeking another 3 or 4 additional sponsors. Mission cost was estimated at $80 to 130 million.

There was also a plan to work with Microsoft to develop an online game to simulate Icebreaker Moon Rover, as well as other commercial items to bring in revenues. Radio Shack promised $ 1 million, and additional millions in the future. With funding from Radio Shack, LunaCorp also promoted musician Lance Brass of NSYNC as a space tourist.

In 2003, the company was dissolved. Some say it was due to insufficient support despite a last ditch effort.

In 2004, David Gump started working as President for Transformational Space Corporation (t/Space), a NASA contractor, and in 2008 switched to Astrobotic Technology, Inc., again as President. Astrobotic is covered elsewhere in this website and is associated with the same leading robotic people who developed Nomad, with another planned lunar mission.

The homepage in 2012 is run by somebody promoting various products not related to space, but retains a little bit of information on Lunacorp at . The owner of the domain is hidden by an anonymizer service. However, there's lots of info on Google for LunaCorp. > Missions, Plans, Concepts > Past Efforts, Stalled or Creeping

Additional, children pages of this current parent page:

Past Efforts, Stalled or Creeping :
  SpaceDev / NEAP


PERMANENT needs a PHP / MySQL (actually, MariaDB) programmer. Are you a PHP / MySQL programmer interested in getting into space development as a career, or already working in space development? Or do you know somebody else who might be interested?

There is an ongoing process to update this website in 2019 with a target relaunch in 2020.
This website is actually very out of date. Much of the website text content was written in the 1980s to early 2000s, but that's a different matter. As regards PHP / MySQL, some offline databases go into the 2010s, as regards professional publications, engineers, companies, etc., and this is what we need programming help with. We are updating our databases on people, organizations, publications, and other things, for open source space development for all.

The current status is we have some working databases which we have been using internally for a long time for organizing professional publications, and to track people (authors, R&D people, other professionals, quality volunteers, journalists, etc.) and organizations. We want to put information online for the general public pending a security review of the programming code.

Step 1 is fixing some bugs in what we already have, the PHP code. It is functional, and been used a long time, but there are some bugs.
Step 2 will be improving the system. Some small improvements would help its usability.
Step 3 will be a security check for putting it online for the general public to be able to access and use, but with reasonable protection against hackers.
After Step 3, the main mission is accomplished, as regards PHP / MySQL, though of course we hope to keep people engaged and happy, and the sky's not the limit.

This is a volunteer, unpaid role at this point in time. A limited paid role would be considered on a tight budget, such as for at least bug fixing with some minor improvements, and/or a security review of our code before it goes online publicly. If you or one of your friends or associates may be interested, please send an email to spaceprogrammer at ... of course this domain.

Reasons to do something yourself:

  • It will help save life on our special planet -- be part of the solution in your generation.
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You can join us and volunteer to help out,

... or ...

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