Moon Roundup: Generations, Together
A son of Apollo and the current space era joins a team, while the explorers of tomorrow get started.
By Nick Azer on March 20, 2014
This week, on the road to the Moon…
Name that astronaut! (Hint: Apollo 17). He's with Bob Richards and the MX-1 of team Moon Express.
Generations have come together, as the son of an Apollo legend (and, a legend in his own right) has joined one of the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams!
That was Dr. Andy Aldrin---a longtime space executive, and the son of second man on the Moon Buzz Aldrin---who left his position at the United Launch Alliance to become President of Moon Express !
The Moon is back in a big way, and now the torch is being passed from several generations---past & present---to this bright new era of Moon explorers.
Meanwhile, the Moon legends of the future are getting started today:
The MoonBots competition is back for 2014, and kids 9-17 can register to make awesome LEGO robots (with MINDSTORMS technology), test them against the clock, and win a trip to Hawaii!
And that's a trip to the summit of Mauna Kea itself, no less; a place of astronomy legend, and the site of many Moon-surface-simulation tests (thanks to its rocky and sandy landscapes), kids (whose robots will have passed all kinds of Moon LEGO tests) will get to test out their creations on a 'real' Moonscape! Well...short of the Moon itself, anyways.
But, a pretty great way to get that space career started, so that one day the kids will be testing their creations on the Moon! It's their era, and there's no better time and way to get into space early, as it starts to open up to everyone.
So, if you're 9-17 or know someone who is, let them know to gather their friends and get started today---registration is open now!
Meanwhile, speaking of past, present, and future, The New Yorker---a classic if there ever was one---did a feature about one of our teams, their ambitious plans, and their new customer:
This won't be the first time Pocari Sweat has made it into space.
Astrobotic has procured a customer for the first-ever commercial delivery to the Moon, and The New Yorker took a look at the plan---and its interesting history!
It's a time capsule (made by space junk cleaners AstroScale) containing a bottle of Pocari Sweat---a sports drink out of Japan which is popular across Asia and the Middle East. (We're not kidding about this being an international competition!) As you can see above, this isn't the first time Pocari Sweat has made it into space; it flew on the International Space Station back in 2001.
Sports drinks and space might seem like a weird combination, until you consider this:
Felix Baumgartner, complete with energy-drink sponsor, jumping onto the planet.
That worked out pretty well.
For a bit of modern fun, team Indus posted a hip video on the assembly of their Moon lander:
Students, going to the Moon.
This is just the tip of the iceberg---for the full skinny on everything that happens in the Google Lunar XPRIZE, follow the official feeds for team blogs, team social, and team videos. You can also sign up for the XPRIZE newsletter to get cool XPRIZE news in your inbox!
And stay tuned here every week for the latest news from the road to the Moon---and the people who are taking you there...
[March 12th-March 18th, 2014.]