Home > Rocket City Space Pioneers Rely on SolidWorks Software to Power Lunar Mission Entry

Rocket City Space Pioneers Rely on SolidWorks Software to Power Lunar Mission Entry

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article image Rocket City Space Pioneers Use SolidWorks Software for Lunar Mission

According to Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. (DS SolidWorks), a world leader in 3D design software solutions, the Rocket City Space Pioneers (RCSP) will use SolidWorks software to boost their entry in the Google Lunar X PRIZE.  

The Google Lunar X PRIZE competition challenges and inspires engineers as well as entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods for robotic space exploration.  

RCSP is one of six teams competing for the X PRIZE to be awarded the Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data (ILDD) contract by NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The data from this contract will be used to develop future lander vehicles and exploration systems.  

A Huntsville, Ala. team featuring leaders in the spaceflight and educational fields is currently developing a low-cost lunar lander/rover system to send to the moon by 2014, which will be able to travel 500 metres and transmit video images and data back to the Earth.  

Led by Dynetics, the team comprising Teledyne Brown Engineering, Andrews Space, Spaceflight Services, Draper Laboratory, the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation (VCSI) plans to be the first privately funded team to get to the moon.  

Using SolidWorks CAD software and SolidWorks Simulation software, RCSP will be able to quickly and easily validate its designs for the lunar lander system, which will be capable of making a soft landing on a planetary body and deploying the rover.  

SolidWorks will enable RCSP to test its designs to ensure that the lander and rover stay within the specified dimensions and weight, while minimising costs.  

SolidWorks Simulation software will allow RCSP to subject its designs to the same airflow, stress and thermal conditions that the system will experience while in orbit.  

RCSP is also using SolidWorks Enterprise Product Data Management software for configuration management to ensure complete control over all design information across its diverse team.  

Ricky Jordan, lead mechanical engineer, Space Vehicles Department at Dynetics said that choosing SolidWorks software for the X PRIZE competition was a natural extension of the work they did every day.  

He adds that SolidWorks has been Dynetics’ primary CAD software for automotive, space vehicle and propulsion design since 2001.  

Expressing their excitement at being part of the lunar mission, Christine Washburn, vice president of marketing, DS SolidWorks comments that RCSP’s experience in various aspects of space travel as well as the commercial market makes them uniquely qualified to succeed.  

Christine is confident that DS SolidWorks’ design software solutions will provide RCSP with the necessary tools to test their ideas, share design information across seven partners and ultimately deliver proven designs for their mission.    

Jon Carlton, vice president of ModernTech Mechanical is happy with the opportunity to strengthen the relationship with their Huntsville, Ala. area customers and the SolidWorks community at large through their support of SolidWorks design, simulation and data management tools.  

DS SolidWorks’ design software solutions are available in Australia from Solidtec Solutions- SolidWorks 3D CAD .

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