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Moon Roundup: Challenges and Answers

Moon Roundup: Challenges and Answers

Numerous challenges were tackled with big tests, new designs, and important adjustments.

This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE…

The Asimov, Jr. rover (from Part Time Scientists) adventuring in a cave,

Numerous challenges have to be conquered on the way to the Moon, and the teams tackled many of them with big tests, detailed new planning, and more:

In The Air

Moon Express  completed a landmark test flight with a NASA lander!

The Mighty Eagle in the air.

The team's guidance technology took over the wheel of the Mighty Eagle lander for a brief test flight--an important step in the development of the team's systems.

Smoke---Screened

In a slightly less successful moment, Puli 's busy rover had a setback.

It began emitting smoke during a test, and so to be on the safe side, the team has postponed their big Hawaii test run to December. Not everyting goes perfectly on the way to the Moon!

Facing Challenges

Robert Bohme of Part Time Scientists  talked about the three main challenges that any Moon rover faces:

The inside look at the production of Asimov Jr. looks at tackling temperatures; navigation lag between the Earth and the Moon; and more. A lot of cool footage (and soundtrack) to be had!

Planning Strategy

Just what are the options for funding, and launching, a space mission?

Plan B  talked about the different ideas they've gone through---both for launch options and design---and what they've selected (a new mission craft design!).

Sweat, Blood, and Tears

And, keeping busy, Plan B posted another video, about the 'sweat, blood, and tears' that go into making a successful Moon mission:

They also discuss their encryption challenge, which is now up to a reward of $100,000 (in lunaro Moon coins) if you can crack their code!

Forging the Lander

Omega Envoy  was hard at work on their lunar lander prototype:

Drawing Up

While Independence-X  discussed their plans, including a new lander design (see below) and their plans to launch their own rockets as part of their mission!

The new SQUALL lander craft.

Honorable Mentions:

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I'll be rounding up these news items 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!

~Nick Azer

[November 13th-November 19th, 2013.]

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