The nature of the mission objectives - to visit a specific lunar site of high interest for the first time - and the system development's short time scale could put EuroMoon 2000 into the 'high-risk mission' category. It is, however, crucial from a public-relations viewpoint, given that EuroMoon 2000 is conceived primarily to raise European enthusiasm for space research and to stimulate the interest of the next generation of scientists and technologists, that the mission proceed as flawlessly as possible once the final go/no-go decision has been taken.
The development programme would therefore be designed with a succession of clearly defined 'go/no-go' points, at which well- founded assessments of whether to continue, change course or stop the project could be made. Such a carefully stepped approach, coupled with the knowledge from the outset of where the areas of greatest uncertainty lie, should help to limit the inherent risks, both financial and in terms of potential embarrassment, to an absolute minimum.
In practical terms, a design and development time of about three years would have to be envisaged for EuroMoon 2000 which, given the overriding goal of a launch in the year 2000, implies:
This implies that the preparatory activities (somewhat equivalent to, but shorter than a traditional Phase-B), including a Europe-wide market survey for procurement source identification, would need to be carried out in early 1997. This phase would produce a Development Plan in time for a Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in mid-1997.
The development of crucial hardware and software would have to be initiated in parallel, with development models being integrated during the course of 1997 and development testing being carried out from late 1997 to early to mid-1998. This phase would be concluded by a Critical Design Review (CDR) in mid-1998.
Procurement of flight hardware would have to start in mid- 1998, with flight hardware integration taking place over a 12- month period until mid-1999. System-level testing would then occur between mid-1999 and early 2000, this phase being concluded by the final Flight Acceptance Review in early 2000.
This schedule would allow 'protoflight' model delivery to the launch site in March 2000, with three months of launch preparation time available for a launch in June 2000 (with a 6- month margin until December 2000).
Clearly, such a critical schedule calls for an innovative approach to the EuroMoon 2000 project-management function, based on a relatively small team carrying out simultaneously the tasks of Prime Contractor and customer Agency. A EuroMoon Core Team of about 15 staff is envisaged, about half of whom would be drawn from ESA, the others being key individuals from European industry and academia.