Lunar Roundup: A Flurry of Updates
By Nick Azer on December 18, 2012
Welcome to this week’s Lunar Roundup! A power rankings-style look at who & what’s been “Awesome!” over the last seven days of the Google Lunar X PRIZE.
A real flurry of updates, as four teams make it in with two articles apiece. The MoonBots winner was announced, as Moon Express, JURBAN, Stellar, and Omega Envoy explored everything from lunar mining and gravity to fateful meetings in bars and Australian mission controls.
Your top five highlights for December 11th-December 17th:
The MoonBots 2012 winner was announced---team HungaroBots!
The competition is an annual LEGO Mindstorms challenge for young ones everywhere to make working Moon-challenge robotics.
Moon Express was part of two really great articles.
The first looks at the importance of NASA’s GRAIL mission to their ability to land safely on the Moon:
A Moon gravity map.
And their informative Q+A with Space Tech Expo was a real gem:
"Mining the Moon is on the long term horizon for Moon Express, at least a decade or two away. But we suspect that there are more platinum group metals on the surface of the Moon than all the reserves of Earth." -Dr. Bob Richards, Moon Express
Team JURBAN partook in a couple of great videos.
Their team summit interview reveals how a chance meeting with a Virgin Galactic CEO at a bar got them started:
And a thorough look at their history and plans can be found in their MyMoon webcast from this week:
- Team Indus looked at Moon mission trajectories (including a classic “whoops...”).
- Moon Express also had a great interview with their own Bryan Chan!
- Synergy Moon is kickstarting a digital paper airplane project.
- Part Time Scientists shared a video that starts off with some electronics, but goes to show what they do---powering their Asimov rover in action!
For the full skinny on everything that happens, follow the official feeds for team blogs, team social, and team videos!
And if you have any favorite stories that I didn’t post here...share ’em in the comments below