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ALINA (Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module)
Rover "Asimov Jr. R3" bei Fahrtests.jpg
Prototype rover Asimov Jr. R3 during test drives in Eisenerz, Austria, end of April 2012
Mission type Robotic lander and rovers
Operator Part-Time Scientists
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft ALINA
Start of mission
Launch date 2019 (proposed)
Rocket Falcon 9
Contractor SpaceX
End of mission
Landing site Taurus–Littrow (proposed)
Moon rover

PTScientists, formerly known as Part-Time Scientists, is a group of volunteer scientists and engineers based in Germany. They became the first German team to officially enter the Google Lunar X-Prize competition on June 24, 2009,[1] which was finished without winner in March 2018. Their goal remains to land a mission on the Moon by 2019.[2]

Moon landing[edit]

The planned landing site for ALINA is next to the Apollo 17 lander, located at Taurus–Littrow

In March 2017, the group announced that they planned to perform the world's first private Moon landing.[3] A landing module called Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA) will launch on a Falcon 9 to the surface of the Moon.[4] ALINA lander will deploy two lunar rovers in the Taurus–Littrow lunar valley, that will search for the Lunar Roving Vehicle left there by NASA astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt in 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission.[3]

The rovers are being developed by German automobile manufacturer Audi.[5] The prototype rover is called Asimov Jr. R3, while the two flight rovers are named Lunar Quattro.[6] ALINA lander will also perform communications relay between the rovers and Earth, using technology based on Infineon chips, Nokia, and Vodafone's 4G LTE network.[2][5]


The lander and rovers may carry commercial payloads or scientific instruments for a fee. The only confirmed payload to date is hardware for a live video broadcast.[5]


The Part-Time Scientists team formed in June 2009, when ten teams had already entered Google Lunar X-Prize (GLXP), which had started in 2007. Later the company Part-Time Scientists GmbH (Limited) was founded.

On August 22–23, 2009, the Part-Time Scientists presented their project at the Open Doors Day of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.[citation needed]

On December 28, 2009, the team presented their mission at the 26th annual Chaos Communication Congress. In a two-hour presentation, the team provided a detailed overview of all parts of the project. This was the first time the European-made private lunar rover prototype had been presented to the public.[7][8]

Early 2015 the team won awards in the categories Mobility and Vision, and a total of $750,000 in the Milestone Prizes of GLXP.[9]

During the Advertising Festival in Cannes, on June 23, 2015, Audi was announced as a main sponsor and the rover developer.[10][11] As a result of this cooperation, the two identical rovers were named Audi Lunar Quattro during the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.[12]

Part-Time Scientists GmbH[edit]

Part-Time-Scientists GmbH
Headquarters Berlin, Germany
Key people
Robert Böhme

Part-Time Scientists GmbH is the company representing the team. The company opened offices in Berlin-Mahlsdorf in 2015. It also uses the name PTScientists.

Part-Time Scientists GmbH is reselling payload on the Moon mission to individuals, organizations and companies. The cost for one kilogram of payload is between €700,000 and €800,000.[13] Furthermore, the know-how of the team is available as a consulting service.[14] The European Space Agency is currently studying six private companies, including PTScientists, to work on potential ISRU payload delivery to the Moon surface by 2025.[15]

An additional source of income are merchandising products for the Moon mission.[16]


Part-Time Scientists lists as their partners:[17][18]

Key partners

Mission scientific and academic partners

Mission technology partners

Mission supporters


  1. ^ German Team Part-Time Scientists enters $30-million Google Lunar X-Prize Competition[permanent dead link] Part-Time Scientists, 2009-06-24. (PDF, English)
  3. ^ a b "European rocket scientists pledge to make first private Moon landing in 2018". Daily Telegraph. 19 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "European rocket scientists pledge to make first private Moon landing in 2018". 
  5. ^ a b c The Mission. PTScientists' lunar mission home page. Accessed 12 July 2018.
  6. ^ PTScientists 'Mission to the Moon' to Take Care Not to Harm Apollo 17 Landing Site. Robert Z. Pearlman, Yahoo News. 7 December 2017.
  7. ^ online, heise. "26C3: Wie eine Handvoll Hacker den Mond erobern will". heise online. 
  8. ^ "Deutsches Team will Mond erobern und 30 Millionen Dollar gewinnen". 
  9. ^ Google Lunar XPrize Milestone Awards Announced Accessed 2016-03-29
  10. ^ Accessed 2016-06-27
  11. ^ Mission to the Moon Archived July 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 2016-06-27
  12. ^ The Verge: Inside Audi's wonderfully improbable project to put a rover on the Moon Accessed 2016-03-29
  13. ^ ALINA's payload. Accessed October 15, 2017.
  14. ^ Accessed Oktober 15, 2017
  15. ^ Giving ESA a helping hand to the Moon. PTScientists News Release. 26 April 2018.
  16. ^ Imprint auf Accessed Oktober 15, 2017
  17. ^ Accessed 2016-10-15
  18. ^ Mission to the Moon]. PTScientists. Accessed 12 July 2018.
  19. ^ Nokia is selected by Vodafone to be its technology partner for Mission to the Moon project. Nokia Press Release. Accessed 12 July 2018.

External links[edit]