The scout class mission will consist of very small, simplified rovers delivered by a single lander. The lander will "hop" around to deposit the rovers, similar to an upside down Candy dispenser. The lander will return to a centralized high point and start operating as a radio relay, and will also contain a web and e-mail server. Their primary job will be to scout around to look for the best sample return locations. They will probably be driven by volunteers and contest winners, directed by the OpenLuna science team and the University of Western Ontario's new Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX). Of course, input from any and all will be taken into consideration.
NOTE: this will NOT be a GLXP mission.
The Scout class mission is, of course, not set in stone, but for preliminary estimates, we can come up with some ground rules for figuring out what our launch vehicle is going to be like:
1. LEO to Lunar Transfer (3000m/s delta-v): Uses up 2/3 of the booster's LEO payload, or multiplies required Lunar Transfer mass by 3.
2. Landing (2600m/s delta-v, plus landing gear): Uses up 2/3 of the payload taken to Lunar Transfer, or multiplies Landing mass by 3. (Therefore, a booster's LEO payload can be divided by 9 to estimate how much we can get to the surface of the Moon.)
3. The Rover: 20kg based on Sojourner Truth, the rover that went to Mars with Pathfinder in 1997, should be close enough for first estimates.
4. The Docking Port: 5kg, a conservative guess
5. A Hop (delta-v 1/10 of exhaust speed): Adds 1/8 mass to whatever mass we are hopping
Baseline: 3 Rovers, landed at three different site separated by Hops:
Docking Ports: 15kg
Hops: one at 35kg (40kg before hop), one at 65kg (73kg before hop)
Mass at Landing: 93kg (13kg hopping system)
Mass at Lunar Transfer: 279kg
Mass at LEO: 837kg
The baseline is probably a perfect fit for Falcon 1e, except that Falcon 1e wouldn't be able to inject directly to Lunar Transfer, so we'd need to procure an upper stage.
Single Rover Option: 1 Rover, 2 Hops
Docking Ports: 5kg
Nervous Factor: 10kg (somehow 25kg final mass seems too light)
Hops: one at 35kg (40kg before hop), one at 40kg (46kg before hop)
Mass at Landing: 46kg
Mass at Lunar Transfer: 138kg
Mass at LEO: 414kg