Lunar Roundup - Chinese Handshakes and Beer's Law
By Nick Azer on September 11, 2012
Hi all, and welcome to our first Lunar Roundup!
With 25 teams all ramping up the action, there’s a lot of fun news that comes along...so, right here, I’m going to be rounding up the 5 best items of the week, every week!
A little about me---I ran my own blog on moon colonization (Luna C/I) for three years, before catching on with NASA’s MyMoon. I’ve covered the competition a ton, and I’m pumped to be able to help you all follow the 'what’s-what' of the prize!
The Google Lunar X PRIZE is quite literally history in the making...if you want to be along for the ride, check back every week to see what’s going down! :)
This week, we’ve had Beer’s Law, an agreement with China, and STELLAR updates!:
1) Brand Development!
“Three years ago I had nothing to do with space other than Moon Bounce – using amateur radio to bounce signals off the moon and back to earth. Today I just accepted the roll of manager for Communications, Navigation and Data (CND) for an attempt to land a probe on the moon...” -Robert Brand
STELLAR restructured with new management this summer---with Brand saying in his post this week that “registration had closed and that meant that the new players had to buy an old team to make this a reality”---so many more exciting things should be coming from the new-look STELLAR!
A Moon Express project had an exciting international development!
As part of their mission, Moon Express teamed up with the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) to develop a small lunar telescope---the ILO-X---for placement on the Moon.
“Moon Express has designed and is building the ILO-X as the first independently developed astronomical telescope that will operate on the Moon...” -Moon Express release
Well, this week, the ILOA signed an agreement with China's NAOC to allow them use of the (Moon-Express-developed) ILO-X!
The agreement also lets the ILOA be a part of next year’s big, national Chang’e-3 mission that aims to be the first to land a rover on the Moon in almost 40 years. (Do you think a GLXP team might beat the Chang'e-3? Let us know in the comments! :) )
3.) Looking Stellar!
Check out the full post if you want to nerd out about carbon tubes and what goes into rover construction!
5.) Beer’s Law!
Team JURBAN is carrying the design of a 16-year-old gal---Lakshmi Raju---on their mission! Specifically, it’s the spectrophotometer---a device for detecting water on the moon---and they posted a relatively-reader-friendly explanation of it! (Beer's law is involved, so it has to be awesome, right?)
Cool stuff---and evidence that anyone (even you!) could participate :)
I’ll be rounding these up on a weekly basis, so keep an eye here for all the most awesome developments.
And if you have any favorite stories that I didn’t post here...share ’em in the comments below!