Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Step to an Announcement

Doing an AMA on Reddit now

Hi reddit. My name is William Baird. I am the CEO and founder of Team Phoenicia. We are an orbital payload manifesting company. We started out as a Google Lunar XPRIZE entrant and now we are specialists in commercial space launch management, making sure someone will make it to the moon. We have already manifested Pennsylvania State University's Lunar Lion team and are working on manifesting another two GLXP teams. We will also be providing launch slots for low earth orbit commercial satellites and the very small cubisats.   
The Phoenicia-1 mission (our next launch: http://i.imgur.com/yZpWylw.jpg (F9 fairing used for planning purposes only)) is currently planned for Dec 2015. We will be aggregating a large number of payloads; upwards of 20 satellites plus around 60U of cubesats. Some of the cubesats will be the first ever past low earth orbit. Each U of a cubesat is 10cm x 10cm x 10cm. Cubesats come in 1U, 3U, 6U , 12U and 27U flavours. We have partnered with Adamworks, Spaceflight, Applied Defense, Space Exploration Engineering, Tyvak, Astrotek, USN and others, in order to deliver a strong and viable mission. 
Among the payloads we are manifesting is the Lunar Iditarod - a micro rover challenge where teams build, qualify and then race rovers the size of a smart phone. The winning three rovers will be carried to the moon on one of the GLXP landers, where they will race again on the lunar surface. They will carry cameras that will allow us to follow the races at home. The finalists may be university students, engineering startups, your mechanically-inclined next door neighbor, and even you! 
I grew up in Los Alamos, NM (and I glow in the dark). I attended New Mexico State University. I have worked for Los Alamos National Lab, Northrop Grumman, White Sands Missile Range's High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. In my career I have developed control systems as a defense contractor, used and operated some of the fastest computers in the world, shot down missiles and rockets with lasers for the US military, designed and programmed robots for industrial and space exploration purposes, helped astronomers on some of the earliest exoplanets, and am now working with rockets and payloads. 
Or as I like to put it..... I have worked on death rays, proto terminators, skynet and spaceships. All I need now is a tropical volcanic island. No, I am not bald and I don't put my fingers to the corner of my mouth. And I DEFINITELY don't wear a cape.