Moon Roundup: Back To the Moon, Together?
Some of the teams could be joining forces to explore the Moon.
By Nick Azer on October 16, 2013
This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE…
A future Moon settler? [Team Stellar image.] The teams may be working together to make that happen.
A team has stated they may ride along with other teams for their Moon mission---could this be a growing trend for the competition? Updates from the innovators who may be joining forces to explore the Moon:
Back to the Moon: Together
One of the teams may end up hitching a ride with another!
It's fairly often that a team has one piece of the puzzle----say, a moon rover---but not the others. So, one team could have a lander, but no rover, and another team has a rover, but no lander...making them a great match to work together!
The teams discussing their challenges at the annual Team Summit in Chile this year.
In fact, team Angelicvm is already hitching a ride with team Omega Envoy (as a paying customer) to deliver their rover to the Moon, but now team Puli has also stated they may be sending their rover to the Moon alongside another team!:
"Currently, our Moon flight is scheduled for the last months of 2015. Although at this point details cannot be disclosed, the most probable option is to get to the Moon by sharing a ride with one or more of our fellow competitors." -Dr. Tibor Pacher, in a recent interview. [Image: Puli's robot (foreground) during the Mars2013 test in Morocco.]
"The next immediate big challenge is to ensure that our [rover] will become a fully space grade one, meaning we have to shake, boil, freeze and radiate it, and we will also bring our [rover] into the vacuum chamber. At the same time we have to finalize our Moon ride and landing strategy, which, as I mentioned before, might include close cooperation with another GLXP team or teams." -Tibor (pictured below)
A great read, and significant news---could we perhaps see a mass mission to the Moon with multiple teams? Back to the moon---together!
Costs and Prices
Meanwhile, team Plan B shared a couple of interesting updates:
In this first video, they talk about the monetary costs they're facing in getting to the Moon---and what engineers in the 1970's thought they would be today. (Something the teams are looking to change, in a hurry!). Plus, the other personal challenges from their week on the way to the Moon.
And in this second video, they've upped the ante on their encryption contest----break their code, and they'll give you $20,000 worth of their lunaro sterling coins. Find out why this benefits their mission (and if you can meet his challenge!):
A Few Small Steps For a Robot...
In Italy, Team Italia 's moon robot is making progress, taking some first baby steps on its way to awesomeness---and Moon explorations:
Omega Envoy featured young Moon pioneer Alberto Bird!
Alberto is their Avionics lead, and he talks about what that means; what got him onto #TeamSpace; how he's living out the dream of a Moon mission on a daily basis; and more!
Innovation, in Person
Stellar also made an introduction---Uros Kejzar!
Uros is their experimental technologies leader, and (though it's not the greatest audio in the world) he talks about the opportunities of an international team and Stellar 's background, as well as the innovation he's working on to propel the team to the Moon!
They’re Huge in Japan
Hakuto's leader, Takeshi Hakamada (far right), with some budding Moon pioneers.
Adventures in the Eerie---and Beautiful---Atacama
And Angelicvm took to the desert (and beach) of the Atacama in Chile to work on a Mars-type project:
Check out the cool end of the video there!
And last but not least, XPRIZE leader Peter Diamandis was honored as one of Popular Mechanics' 10 innovators who changed the world this year---largely through the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and our race to the Moon! Plus his other fascinating projects.
Peter---and humanity---soaring to new heights.
I'll be rounding these up every week, so keep an eye here for the latest developments from the moon race!
And 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!
[October 9th-October 15th, 2013.]