Press Release

Google Lunar X PRIZE contender Odyssey Moon Announces Historic Teaming with Top Industry Leaders for its Commercial Moon Venture

By SpaceRef Editor
July 16, 2009
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Google Lunar X PRIZE contender Odyssey Moon Announces Historic Teaming with Top Industry Leaders for its Commercial Moon Venture

Mountain View, California & Douglas, Isle of Man – Google Lunar X PRIZE contender Odyssey Moon Limited announced today that top industry leaders Near Earth LLC, WPP Group, Aon and Milbank have joined its corporate team. Odyssey Moon intends to become the first private company to supply payload delivery services to the Moon in support of science, exploration and commerce. This is the first time such major organizations have come together to support a commercial Moon venture.

As the world celebrates the 40th anniversary of “Moon 1.0” – mankind’s first but short lived activities on the lunar surface – Odyssey Moon is forging ahead with its plans to capitalize on commercial opportunities created by renewed interests in exploring the Moon – “Moon 2.0”.

Joining the Odyssey Moon venture is:

Near Earth LLC: a leading investment bank specializing in satellite, media and telecom The Brand Union/WPP: one of the world’s largest marketing and communications companies Aon International Space Brokers: the leading global space risk advisor and provider of space related insurance Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP: a leading global law firm experienced in telecommunications and space

“This is a power house team, a dream team,” said Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards, Odyssey Moon’s CEO. “We are combining the very best from the global satellite industry with the very best of the space exploration community to make this company and its historic first mission a success.”

“Odyssey Moon’s team now includes world-class leaders from the areas of finance, insurance, law, marketing, communications, advertising, and technology,” said Odyssey Moon chairman Dr. Ramin Khadem. “Each of these are esteemed firms that have been highly successful in their own right and now for the first time they have come together to support our lunar venture.”

Odyssey Moon has also announced the addition of veteran investment banker Ms. Carol Goldstein to its executive team. With a career spanning 25 years on Wall Street specializing in financings and corporate transactions in the commercial satellite and telecommunications industries at ABN AMRO and Morgan Stanley, Carol is leading the company’s financial activities focused on its fundraising requirements. “I am very excited to be working with this world class group,” she said. “While providing attractive returns to investors, Odyssey Moon creates new opportunities for public and private companies in lunar science, exploration and commerce.”


Near Earth LLC is a leading specialized provider of investment banking and advisory services to companies and investors in the satellite, media and telecom sectors. The company provides a full range of private placement, corporate finance, and mergers & acquisition services to emerging as well as established companies in its sectors of specialization. Reflecting the extensive industry-focused track records of its team of professionals comprising more than 50 years and $30 billion in aggregate transactional experience at major Wall Street firms, the company maintains high-level relationships with the leading corporations and institutional investors in its field. []

The Brand Union/WPP is a world leading brand design and communications group, which includes Caviar (specializing in premium, leading global innovative brands), Brouillard (global corporate brands) and BIG (global experiential branding). The Brand Union is an agency part of the WPP group, one of the world’s largest communications services groups, employing 135,000 people working in over 2,000 offices in 107 countries. WPP’s advertising agency company holdings include the Grey Global Group, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Young & Rubicam, and JWT (formerly known as J. Walter Thompson Co.), Asatsu-DK (a.k.a ADK). Its public relations company holdings including Hill & Knowlton, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Burson-Marsteller (originally part of Y&R Brands) and Cohn & Wolfe. The Brand Union/WPP will be applying its world leading expertise to support Odyssey Moon’s branding, marketing, advertising and sponsorship goals. []

Aon is the leading global space risk advisor and provider of space related insurance. The Aon ISB Insurance team combines individuals with market leading experience in space engineering, contract negotiation, finance, risk management and insurance. The company’s client list is a ‘Who’s Who’ of the space industry, including eight of the world’s Top 20 Satellite Companies. Aon ISB has placed over $52bn in insured values, collected over $1.5bn of insurance proceeds since its founding in 1991 and today acts for some 35% to 40% of the world’s space insurance business. []

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is one of the world’s preeminent global law firms, providing a full range of financial and business legal services to many of the world’s leading financial, industrial and commercial enterprises, as well as governments, institutions and individuals. In recognition of its leadership in the telecommunications and space industries, Milbank has been awarded numerous awards from top industry publications, including being named “Law Firm of the Year” for three years running (2007, 2006 and 2005) by Satellite Finance magazine and ranked “the predominant law firm for telecom finance” by Chambers & Partners. With excellence recognized around the world, Milbank is headquartered in New York with offices in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, London, Frankfurt, Munich, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore. []

The announcement of the Odyssey Moon veteran finance, marketing, insurance and legal team fortifies the existing corporate partnerships with experienced industry players, including:

NASA – Odyssey Moon Ventures LLC, a related U.S.-based company responsible for all Odyssey Moon U.S. programs and commercial launch operations, established a partnership with NASA in 2008 for the development of a robotic lunar lander. The unique public-private partnership combines NASA expertise with Odyssey Moon’s innovative approaches to commercial space systems, resulting in new industrial capabilities for the company and benefits to the American space program. []

MDA (MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd) – Odyssey Moon’s prime contractor, is an experienced company with substantial space heritage in priming end-to-end space missions, as well as in providing robotics on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, and more recently for satellite servicing and planetary exploration. []

ManSat Limited – an Isle of Man Corporation that focuses on international telecommunications and spectrum issues, representing a revolutionary partnership of aerospace, banking, financial services, strategic consulting, and international legal interests that have come together to offer unique business services to the world’s commercial space marketplace. []

Paragon Space Development Corporation – a Tucson-based company that joins the engineering disciplines of environmental control, life support, and thermal control to provide premier products and services for the world’s most challenging life support needs, such as human spaceflight and first responder personal protection. []

Optech Incorporated – a privately-owned Canadian high technology company that dominates worldwide markets in advanced laser measurements systems, including laser radar (lidar) based hazard avoidance and precision landing technologies that are expected to play an essential role in lunar missions. Optech’s proprietary lidar technology was the first of its kind in orbit and was flown to Mars in 2004 aboard the NASA Phoenix Mars Lander. []

Quayle Munro – a leading independent merchant bank specializing in corporate finance advice, public finance advice, specialist fund management and principal investment, with offices in London, Edinburgh and New York. []

* * * About Odyssey Moon

Odyssey Moon is a multi-national corporation headquartered in the Isle of Man with U.S. and Canadian subsidiaries that was created to capitalize on commercial opportunities created by renewed interests in exploring the Moon. The company is building an experienced world-class team from the space and satellite arena to enable lunar science, exploration and commerce with a particular focus on mission planning, system design, contractor supervision, and most importantly, customer service. Odyssey Moon will provide a cost-efficient means for government, academic and commercial institutions to send scientific instruments and other payloads to the Moon. Odyssey Moon is the first official contender in the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE competition. The company has attracted numerous customer commitments and expects to begin its operational phase with its first mission to the Moon in 2012. []

SpaceRef staff editor.