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Moon Roundup: Mighty Allies

Moon Roundup: Mighty Allies

Our first Hangout brings big news, as the teams forge alliances & explain challenges of the Moon.

This week, on the way to making history…

The teams are looking up---and getting close. Pictured: Takeshi Hakamada of team Hakuto.

With the Moon getting closer, the teams are on the move---sharing the challenges they're facing, and how to solve them:

That was our first Google Lunar XPRIZE Hangout---which will be happening regularly on Tuesdays!

Teams Astrobotic  and Part Time Scientists  came to hang out with us & Dr. Pamela L. Gay, talking about everything from the future of unexplored lava tubes on the Moon; to the sanctity of the Apollo sites; to using automated A.I. to explore as much of the Moon as possible.

It's a cerebral cornucopia; and the first of many! A really wonderful way to  get to know this competition, what it's all about, and the people making it---and history---happen.

Astrobotic's mission will be a flagship for more than just their team. Pictured: CEO John Thornton with Polaris.

The Hangout wasn't without exciting announcements, either, as Astrobotic  said that other Google Lunar XPRIZE teams will be officially joining their mission soon! (Any guesses as to who? Post 'em in the comments below!) This is a big! development, and should make for an amazing fall next year, once Astrobotic & friends land in October of '15. Back to the Moon---together!

And speaking of together---that's the CEO of Moon Express  (Bob Richards, left) hanging out with their new President, Andy Aldrin (right)---and his father, Buzz! Both Aldrins know a thing or two about space and the Moon (Buzz has been there...), and it'll be exciting to have Andy at the reins managing one of the teams on a daily basis.

Landing on the Moon. From Astrobotic.

Keeping busy, John Thornton of Astrobotic  also did a nice op-ed piece for Space.com, basically covering 'the state of the Moon' from a technical standpoint. (What does it take? What's the reward? What's the cost? Find out with his rundown!)

Meanwhile, team Stellar 's robot traveled to King's Landing, defeating the evil King Joffrey Baratheon in single combat and winning the Iron Throne...

...OK, maybe not, but it did travel to Dubrovnik, Croatia, the city (in the team's home country) where HBO's Game of Thrones is often filmed. They attended a cool robotics competiton ('you win or you die'?):

And, for more not-quite-mortal competition from students, we finish off this week with Penn State Lunar Lion  (pictured below, looking awesome) being featured in a great piece by the Chronicle of Higher Education!

Ready to take on anything---including the great challenge of our generation: space!

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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!

~Nick Azer

[March 19th-March 25th, 2014.]

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