Moon Roundup: Influencers, Explorers, and Robots
Major influencers & explorers are getting into the loop: the Moon is on, and exploration's back!
By Nick Azer on April 23, 2014
This week, on the road to the Moon…
Major influencers & explorers caught on---and lended their voices---as a Cousteau, a Virgin Galactic leader, and our own Leo Camacho got in the LOOP at an epic XPRIZE/YouTube Space LA event (and panel!):
A fun debate on the ocean vs space, and exploration in general. (Let's go, and explore!)
If you want to stay in the loop on who's influencing the future of mankind---and how---sign up for our LOOP! It's a new monthly contribution program from XPRIZE, that comes with some cool perks. Throw in your voice today, and you could change the future of tomorrow!
And, speaking of 'tomorrow'...XPRIZE CEO Peter Diamandis (a major influencer in his own right) stopped in with the students of team Penn State Lunar Lion , and got inspired by what he saw:
Salon also took a look at the team, posting an awesome-if-mildly-inaccurate (the prize is $20 million+---not 10! :) ) feature on how the students and their leader, Michael Paul, are tackling a mission to the Moon:
"The other major hurdle was to show the feasibility of significant corporate involvement and we’ve shown that. The university is now engaged at the executive level with major corporations in order to secure that, and it’s going very, very well." -Michael Paul, Penn State Lunar Lion
Exciting news! With the 9th-richest man in the world, major sports drinks, rock stars, and more becoming involved with the teams, the Moon is catching the eye of the limelight, in a big way. This is just the beginning!
The competition also caught the eye of Nuke The Fridge, an Indiana Jones-named geek paradise, who talked about the big planetarium show now playing worldwide: Back To The Moon For Good!
While team Italia posted an update on their rover progress:
SpaceIL introduced avionics, and what their team is working on:
Euroluna checked in from London Heathrow with a vacuum chamber testing update:
And Astrobotic talked of a potential launch from Florida:
"The flight will launch from Florida, but mission control will revert to Pittsburgh. The landing site is Lacus Mortis, a lunar "skylight" or 300-foot-deep pit that may lead to an underground cave formed by lava flow. The Astrobotic rover will drive around and look down with an eye towards a future mission exploring the slopes." - Keystone Edge
A SpaceX launch from Florida. In team Astrobotic's future? (They're signed up to go with SpaceX in October 2015!) [SpaceX image.]
I'll be rounding up these news items every week, so keep an eye here for the latest developments from your 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!
[April 9th-April 22nd, 2014.]