Moon Roundup: Everyday People
Meet the everyday people who decided to shoot for the Moon, and the challenges they face.
By Nick Azer on October 09, 2013
This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE...
“The bottom line is, we’re going to the Moon. When you realize the significance of that statement, it’s mind-blowing.” -Penn State Lunar Lion team member (and college sophomore) Kara Morgan [pictured].
Ordinary people, who decided to shoot for the Moon...here's the latest stories from them:
In India, Team Indus is having students compete to submit their moon rover designs!:
For the challenge, 201 different student teams from across India have registered, with the winning team's design potentially having a place on Team Indus ' expedition to the Moon. The video there is some of the first teams showing off their range of creative rover (and other) ideas; which do you think might win?
A big milestone for the competition, these eight (soon to be nine) individuals were chosen as the best of our applicants, and represent a seasoned foundation of decades+ space expertise who will measure & evaluate many of the technical, awarding, and other aspects of the competiton. Read our blog post on it to hear more about the people who will be key in the making of history, as our teams take mankind back to the Moon (for good).
Always Have a Plan B
Team Plan B faced some technical challenges this week:
Nothing goes perfectly, and in this video they discuss some of the mishaps and challenges they (and, all of the teams) have had to overcome on the way to building their moon explorers.
Not Just Rocket Scientists
"Lunar Lion needs the likes of student Web designers, social media managers and videographers. Two students pursuing masters of business administration degrees just came on board.
'Stuff like this doesn’t just happen with engineers at the helm', [student Ajeeth] Ibrahim said." -PSU article
So, you heard 'em---even if you're not a rocket scientist, contact your local team! They might just need your help. (In my example, I'm a writer with a bachelor's degree in Urban Planning. who got on the Moon/space train pretty late compared to most people---as an adult! And yet, here I am, and so could you be.)
In the Pits
Astrobotic has been heading out to a pit in Pennsylvania recently to test their moon cave explorers---and now they've shared a video of one:
It's not exactly HD, but it's a pretty cool look at the team dropping their brave explorer to the bottom of a pit (via highwire), and running around---all in order to simulate a lunar cave environment. Astrobotic is currently planning to go check out some huge lunar caves as part of their Moon expeditions.
Puli's leader, Tibor Pacher, introducing their robot to some folks.
They currently expect their Puli bot to arrive on the Moon in the last few months 2015. For comparison, Barcelona Moon currently has a launch date of June 2015, while Astrobotic will be heading up there for their shot in October of 2015.
Baumgartner (Kind Of)
Teams often use high atltitude balloons to test communications and other systems at altitude (a la Felix Baumgartner, without the, you know, 'human jumping off of it' part.)
For World Space Week 2013, the Google Lunar XPRIZE had a series of Google Hangouts!
And took questions live from India (while in Berlin. An international competiton, to say the least!:)
- Team Italia is working on the final design of their lander!
- Some Team Indus team members are working on a computer game project! And the team also posted a blog on their Q3 progress.
- Angelicvm headed to a ridiculously gorgeous beach in Brazil for a conference!
- Synergy Moon was featured on Good Morning San Diego (stay classy, now!).
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 2nd-October 6th, 2013.]