Lunar Roundup: Expansion
A new rover's name revealed, a new rocket project, and some awesome personal looks from the teams.
By Nick Azer on March 19, 2013
Welcome to this week’s Lunar Roundup! A power rankings-style look at who & what’s been “Awesome!” over the past week in the Google Lunar X PRIZE.
A few teams hit the powder to show how they roll, while other teams revealed new rockets, rover details, mission plans, and more! Your moon-race highlights for March 12th-March 18th:
Two teams hit the powder for skiing and snowboarding this week, and brought back some awesome videos!
Euroluna posted an update with some seriously eye-popping beauty from the Alps:
While Moon Express brought their own personal touch, introducing a bunch of their team members in this Sierra Nevada snowboarding video:
The Google Lunar X PRIZE teams really know how to work hard/play hard! And before long, they’ll be hitting the lunar powder :)
“Q: How much have you spent so far? What is the projected total cost?
A: We’ve spent about one crore rupees (10 million rupees, or about $185,200), including for registration, a little bit of prototype being done, operational expenses and salaries. It’s a design effort and we are not doing any hardware yet. Total spend, we expect it to be $15 million.”
With the $20 million grand prize, that's sounding pretty good!
They also posted a slick new (composite) overview of their mission, including their planned rocket (the ISRO PSLV)!:
Astrobotic revealed the name of their cave-exploring robot---the Tyrobot!
Astrobotic plans---after their Google Lunar X PRIZE Polaris mission to mine water ice---to send this rover into a lunar lava tube, dropping down into it through the cave's surface opening ('skylight')!
This student presentation talks about the progress they’ve made on its technical development:
And this blog post delves into the unique recharging system they plan to use for it:
It's some kind of rocket, though there’s a little mystery here, as these tweets are the only thing on the internet about it yet. If anyone has any insights or info, please share in the comments below! :)
Our own Senior Director, Alex Hall, took part in an awesome talk at Engadget's Expand conference! She joined a panel on the future of space exploration, and talked about the Google Lunar X PRIZE's many valuable roles within that :)
- White Label Space introduced some of their new team members with awesome photos!
- A new book on the Google Lunar X PRIZE (and other competitions) has been published! (“Technological Innovation and Prize Incentives: The Google Lunar X Prize and Other Aerospace Competitions” by Luciano Kay).
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!