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Moon Roundup: Meet the Teams

Moon Roundup: Meet the Teams

Astrobotic builds their lander and tests a cave bot, as the teams share some cool interviews.

This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE..

An Astrobotic field test over an open pit.

Meet the teams---and their hardware---as great interviews, tests, and technical progress were shared...

Real Hardware

For some serious hardware, Astrobotic  shared a video of the construction on their Griffin moon lander (with an epic time-lapse starting at 3:57):

And tested one of their moon-cave robots over an open pit in Pennsylvania:

The robot rappelled over the chasm, lowering a sensor package to the bottom and creating a detailed 3D model of the pit.

They will eventually do this with (completely unexplored) Moon caves---potentially, in 2015 as their Google Lunar XPRIZE mission:

Future Launch Country

Barcelona Moon  reported in from China---the site of their June 2015 launch to the Moon!:

They were attending a major conference, and the video here includes both their personal comments and their slides---including cool information about their rocket, their lander and rover, their budget ($73 million), and more! A dream for any moon mission geek.

The Cost of a Moon Mission

And speaking of budgets---what goes into the cost of a space mission? Our own Nathan Wong blogged about the challenges:

Meet: Omega Envoy

Omega Envoy ’s team leader, Ruben Nunez, sat down for a great interview:

"The lunar market is still just beginning. A study made by Futron establishes the potential [lunar] markets from the 2011 to 2019 period to be valued at about $1.56 billion." -Ruben Nunez [Image: Ruben meeting with university influencers in Florida.]

While the team also posted the first three episodes of their new ‘meet the team’ series, “Around the Office”! Here's episode 3:


And you can catch episodes 1 and 2 at their Youtube channel.

Meet: Penn State

Penn State Lunar Lion  also posted a new team member profile:


The Many Faces of Moon Mining Bots

While Moon Express  put together a slick video of the moon-mining competition they attended:


Called Lunabotics, the competition had a ton of teams from around the world build moon-mining robots and put them to the test. Pretty spectacular results!

Moon Challenge

And in another big student challenge for the Moon, Team Indus  had the first round of their Lunar Rover Challenge. The Times of India detailed some of the crazy designs, one of which might make it to the Moon on the team's mission!

The beginnings of the rover challenge. From their Facebook.

Honorable Mentions:

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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!

[September 25th-October 1st, 2013.]

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