Lunar Roundup: Rocket Science and Replacements
By Nick Azer on December 04, 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.
ARCA made big progress on their rocket, while Astrobotic sat down for a great webcast; Stellar revealed new sponsors and plans; SpaceIL gave their Team Summit interview; and Team Indus looked at great new rover concepts.
Your top five highlights for November 27th-December 3rd:
1) Rocket Science!
2) Move Over, Red Rover!
Lots of Polaris details, plus some news: Astrobotic's original Red Rover will not be going on a mission to the Moon, and Astrobotic might do a mission to a lunar skylight as their follow-up to Polaris!
Red Rover, one of the first rovers to be revealed in the competition, will be officially replaced by Polaris as Astrobotic's mission.
3) Mission Control!
The team plans a late 2014 mission, with mission control centers in Sydney, Australia and Croatia! Plus, new sponsor details:
"Team Stellar has also partnered with George Washington University to develop the cruise vehicles plasma propulsion system and will work with production company Flightline Films to develop a 3D stereoscopic, HD camera system which will be fitted on the cruise, decent, and rover vehicles and will beam footage back to earth." -Australian telco in $20m robot moon shot bid, The Register
4) Careful Aim!
Team SpaceIL sat down for their Team Summit 2012 interview, revealing some of the interesting challenges of launching from Israel:
- Omega Envoy added a new sponsor---this time, Florida architecture firm HuntonBrady! They also took a fun look at levitiating their lander.
- Rocket City Space Pioneers' Tim Pickens explained Bigelow Aerospace's inflatable-moon-base concept!
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!