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Lunar Roundup: Star Alignment

Lunar Roundup: Star Alignment

Moon Express reveals their landmark moon telescope! Plus, stars line up (literally) for the teams.

This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE...

Moon Express  CEO Bob Richards and actor Seth Green explore the Moon.

The first privately-funded space telescope has been unveiled---and it's going to be from a Google Lunar XPRIZE team!

Seeing Stars

Moon Express  ---along with their customer, the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) has unveiled the ILO-X lunar telescope!

This telescope---a project with ---will be the first-ever privately-funded telescope in space (likely beating out the new ARKYD from Planetary Resources by a few months in 2015):

"We are extremely excited about sending the ILO-X to the moon as soon as possible, and continuing our progress toward a permanent human presence on the moon." - Steve Durst, founder of the ILOA

The Moon Express-built telescope will be placed on the Moon by the team in 2015 and be available as a webcam, allowing people to (at the very least) stream its current view live on the web!

"Clear, dark skies, a simple telescope, and a solid support for your telescope are all you need to discover the universe. The surface of the Moon would be an excellent place to set up camp and stargaze. Too bad the Moon has been so unreachable by private citizens, at least, until now." - Alain Berinstain, former Director of Planetary Exploration and Space Astronomy at the Canadian Space Agency

This won't be the first telescope on the Moon ever---as John Young used one during Apollo 16---but it will certainly be the first to see any wide use! The project is a precursor for what will eventually be a much larger telescope at the lunar south pole.

Greening Things

And as part of the rollout for the ILO-X, Moon Express  demonstrated the telescope at a fancy Fox Studios/Singularity University event.

The event had a lot of stars---Seth Green (pictured below with the telescope), Jim Parsons (Sheldon on Big Bang Theory), and of course, our favorite, the Moon. (Funny how the 'star' of the night sky isn't a star...) Check out their Facebook album for the complete coverage!

Penn's Statesman

Meanwhile---speaking of big stars---a certain famous lunar enthusiast visited Penn State Lunar Lion : Newt Gingrich!

The Scoop

While hobnobbing with all these famous people, what do the teams tell them about their work? Omega Envoy provided a meme to answer for that:

 

Mars, the Moon, and You (Tube)

And last but not least, there were a couple of pretty cool videos this week---an animation from Team Italia ; and Puli  showing off their Mars simulation testing in Morocco (and related adventures)!

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I’ll be rounding up the latest from the competiton every week, so keep an eye here for the best stories from the Google Lunar XPRIZE!

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 from the week that didn’t make it in here---share them below!

May 28th-June 3rd, 2013.


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