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.
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!