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Moon Race Roundup: Locked In!

Moon Race Roundup: Locked In!

One moon-bound team partners with Lockheed Martin, while others hit the Science Channel and more!

By Nick Azer  on August 15, 2014

This week, on the road to the Moon…

"There are very few start-ups in the world which start with a Moon Mission. And there is Team Indus ." -Sheelika Ravishankar, Team Indus

And now, they've partnered up with Lockheed Martin!:

A Lockheed Martin portrait of one of their space engineers. [Image.]

The legendary aerospace company has worked on countless space programs, and now they'll be working on the start-up moonshot from India with their lunar trajectory, descent, and landing!

"We have partnered with L&T Engineering that will build the spacecraft based on our specifications. Tata Communications will help us with long-range communication for data centre and low latency connectivity between ground stations. Sasken Communication Technologies is assisting us in avionics and Lockheed Martin is working with us on the mission side for trajectory and landing." -Sheelika Ravishankar, Team Indus, Times of India article

As you can see, Indus  has lined up a ton of great partners to help build their landmark mission. As one of teams in on the Milestone Prizes ($6 million that can be won in 2014 for technical progress), they're well on their way!

And speaking of the Milestones, fellow Milestone Prize teams Astrobotic , Moon Express , and Part Time Scientists  were featured in the premiere of Science Channel's new show, Man Vs. The Universe!

Get that DVR fired up, as the episode (the show's premiere, "Mining the Moon") was pretty epic, illustrating the billions or even trillions that could be made by the first to successfully claim the resources of the Moon.

It featured the cool preparations and field tests as the teams work to get a part of that big $6 million Milestone Prizes pool this year (with the total Google Lunar XPRIZE pool, of course, being $30 million!).

"What we're doing as a company is creating a long-term sustainable business of carrying payloads to the moon, so it's like UPS or a FedEx truck that flies regularly to the moon." -John Thornton, Astrobotic, CNN feature on the Google Lunar XPRIZE this week

The Google Lunar XPRIZE teams of today could be the first 'space barons' becoming the Hudson's Bay Companies of tomorrow. laying the tracks for the railroad to the Moon (and stations beyond, like Mars!).

And as you can tell there, the show's executive producer Morgan Freeman is pretty pumped! Check out his Facebook for some of his features on the teams (it's cool to see a team's rover getting 16,000 likes!), and of course be sure to check out our Facebook as well (where yours truly keeps you up to date with cool space happenings and the latest from our race).

CNET's Tim Stevens is pumped, too, and he got in on the Moon race action with a visit to Mojave for that big Astrobotic  flight test. Read up on his adventure and watch the video below for sand-meltingly-hot lunar lander rockets!

The Milestone Teams weren't the only ones to see action, too, as Penn State Lunar Lion  completed a successful hotfire test:


Chloe Nagle at the controls.

And SpaceIL  was named one of Wired UK's hottest European startups! ($16.4 million from the 9th-richest man in the world and an awesome Moon mission will do that!).


Want to Q+A the teams before they get too famous? Tune in this Tuesday (8am Los Angeles time) for the next in our series of Team Hangouts:

And catch #GLXP on G+ and everywhere for all of the latest on all of these up-and-coming lunar rockstars! The mainstream is catching on, and the universe is the limit...


I'll be rounding these up every week---as the teams march forward towards history----so keep an eye here for the latest developments from your moon race!

For the full skinny on *everything* that happens, follow the official feeds for team blogs, team social, and team videos. You can also sign up for the XPRIZE newsletter to get cool PRIZE news in your inbox!

~Nick Azer, resident history nerd/blogger dude/Moon advocate extraordinaire

[August 8th-15th, 2014].

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