Team FREDNET is an international Open Source and Open Participation competitor in the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition. Uniquely, the team also allows organizations and individuals to participate freely in its mission through the team's website. Their strategy is to utilize the same approach for developing open source software in order to build a lunar lander and a lunar rovers capable of winning the Google Lunar X Prize. Team FREDNET plans to establish an Open Space Foundation that provides incentives, education, and funding to future individuals and organizations seeking to develop their own space projects. In addition, they hope to foster greater public interest and education in Space Exploration and Research.
Team FREDNET is led by Fred J. Bourgeois, III. Dr. Sean Casey of the Universities Space Research Association manages business development for Team FREDNET. Mike Barrucco is the principal guidance, navigation, and control engineer for the team. Richard Core is Team FREDNET's project manager.
Team FREDNET has affiliations with a number of clubs, schools, and businesses.
As of 2009[update], the team had two sponsors.
The team's charter is "Make Cool Stuff." This objective applies towards "stuff" that can be used in Space and towards building tools that will make it easier to build design the space "stuff". Essentially, the goal is to build a catalog of Space Components in order to make Space Commercialization more open, cost-effective, productive, and accessible.
Organizing this far-flung group posed perhaps the biggest and earliest challenge. Open source software teams can normally download a program and add their own contributions, but Team FREDNET had to translate its many individual ideas into rocket engines and rover gears.
To address this challenge, Team FREDNET took major steps in August and September 2009 to make it easier for globally distributed collaboration to occur by providing guidelines for people who wanted to make contributions.
Team FREDNET relies heavily on Open Source Software Tools to accomplish their mission.
Team FREDNET plans to use a simple architecture in their bid to win the Google Lunar X PRIZE, consisting of a small lander that will deploy a small lunar rover which in turn will use the lander as a communication relay back to Earth.
There are three main components to the Team FREDNET mission which include (a) the transfer mission (i.e. getting the rover from the Earth to the Moon), (b) the Moon mission (i.e. directing the rover to accomplish the tasks needed to win the Google Lunar X-Prize), and (c) the Earth mission (i.e. receiving the data that the rover must transmit to Earth to win the Google Lunar X PRIZE).
The team wants to offer educational institutions an opportunity to add science projects fitting inside the parameters of the mission to promote awareness of commercial space travel and space exploration.
As part of this education effort, the team has contributed towards a team that created a LEGO Mindstorms based rover that is controlled by Bluetooth technology. A future elementary school level competition will be used to name the Rover that the team will eventually send to the moon.