Lunar Roundup: Into the West
Some very memorable quotes; 3D printing; Star Trek; and a cool plan for getting to the Moon!
By Nick Azer on June 11, 2013
This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE...
That, and a bunch of other great quotes from around the competition---plus, one team shows how they plan to get to the Moon; another talks about why the space industry today is like the IT industry in the 1970's; one shows off their current 3D printing; and a whole bunch more!
So, go ahead and dive in to a pretty cool week's worth of Google Lunar XPRIZE goodness:
Into the West
Team leader Michael Paul talked about how history influenced his interest in exploration:
"I grew up reading books about the American expansion into the West, and that idea of constantly discovering and seeing something new was an idea that always captivated me, and this is the place---space is the way for us to continue to expand and to explore new things." -Michael Paul, to Newt Gingrich
As well as Penn State's role in expanding the space frontier; a detailed breakdown of their budget, include recent cost breakthroughs; and other topics! The 25 minute interview is one of the best to date on the XPRIZE.
Newt also did a write-up on his newsletter:
"Michael and his team’s current estimated cost to launch is only about 10% of their original expectation, and their unconventional design eliminates unnecessary weight and complexity. If the mission takes place in Spring 2015 as planned, the ultimate price will be a tiny fraction of what previous projects would require to do such a mission." - Newt Gingrich
Plus, a pretty cool Twitter shout-out.
Some pretty serious folks getting really involved with the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams these days!
The Gameplan: Getting There
As far as how to actually get to the Moon, Euroluna laid things out in a step-by-step video!
This detailed look at their plan illustrates every part of their journey, going into detail about their CubeSat-powered craft and how it will both power itself from Earth to the Moon, and land there---with help from a bit of string:
Meanwhile, Stellar announced a new contest, relating to: where exactly do you actually land once you get there?
At their ISDC 2013 presentation, they announced a new joint contest with the National Space Society that will involve selecting potential landing sites on the Moon! While there's not very many details at the moment, there's surely more to be coming soon.
Here's the complete presentation, including a cool quote (good stuff/better audio starting at 2:00 in the video):
"The space industry now is where the IT industry was in the 1970's. In the 1970's, if you had told anybody that you'd have a supercomputer in your pocket which could communicate with billions of people around the world, you would be call mental, insane, and probably be institutionalized. Now as we know, the people that are laughing all the way to the bank are the telecom carriers." - Team Stellar COO Theo Valich
Now, in order to actually get to the Moon, you have to build the robotics---and Plan B released a new video of their current work with 3D printed parts, tech, and machinery:
They're making rapid progress, and they're going to be posting one of these video journals every week! A moon rover in the making---as it happens! Pretty cool.
And meanwhile, JURBAN revealed their own new technical detail: the nature of their lander!
"The JURBAN lander is a cube, just a little bigger. 50 x 50 x 50 cm to be exact :)." -Team JURBAN on Twitter
Just a little bit bigger. Cube enlarged to show detail? ;) (Contuining our Star Trek theme for the week...)
Meanwhile, some of Omega Envoy's team members are going to Mars. Or, a Mars habitat, anyways.
Barcelona Moon headed out to Beijing, China to meet with their launch partner, the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), and discuss their propulsion options.
And last but not least, a long-quiet team is back! Phoenicia has returned with an animation, which while they say is for PR purposes (and not necessarily a current design), is a harbinger of more things to come:
- Moon Express recapped their star-studded Fox Studios/Singularity U event, and also posted hundreds of photos from the Lunabotics moon mining rover competition!
- Penn State Lunar Lion posted some cool video blogs on power tech and other progress!
I’ll be rounding these up every week, so keep an eye here for the best developments from our very own moon race.
And if you have any favorite stories from the week that didn’t make it in here---share them below!
June 3rd-June 10th, 2013.