The MILO Institute aims at speed and cost control, seeking to perform missions within five years that cost $200 million or less.
Fremont, CA: The nonprofit Milo Institute has disclosed names of a number of the governments and universities across the world signing onto its plan of sharing the prices of deep space science missions across multiple organizations. The Milo Institute, disclosed at the recent International Astronautical Congress in Bremen Germany, is a research collaborative led by Arizona State University with support from Lockheed Martin and Lockheed Martin subsidiary GEOShare.
The organization was engineered around the premise that many worthwhile space science missions don’t receive the government backing they need to reach orbit. “There is a lot of compelling space science that ought to be getting done, that needs to get done but is simply not getting done,” said GEOShare CEO Lon Levin. Milo Institute executive director and CEO of the ASU research Enterprise (ASURE) David Thomas believes that if organizations pool their resources, a lot of missions could fly and a lot of engineers, scientists and students would have opportunities to participate.
Also, the Milo Institute aims at speed and cost control, seeking to perform missions within five years that cost $200 million or less. "A scientific panel can guarantee Milo Institute missions perform decadal level science," said Levin. The lunar missions are scheduled to fly alongside NASA payloads. In case there are enough payloads, then the mission could fly alone on the McCandless lunar Lander. This would provide an opportunity for Milo Institute members to perform compelling science on the surface of the moon at a small fraction of the traditional mission cost.
Lockheed Martin was one amongst the nine countries selected by NASA last year within the commercial lunar Payload Services program to bid on task orders to send payloads to the lunar surface. However, Lockheed Martin is yet to induce any task order of nature. Besides, the Milo Institute will be inviting members to perform close flybys of asteroids and comets during a mission called NEOShare and travel to Apophis, before 2029 when the asteroid comes within 30,000 kilometers of Earth's surface.