Moon Roundup: On A Roll!
The Google Lunar XPRIZE teams were on a roll with rocket flights, lander tests, and great video!
By Nick Azer on April 02, 2014
This week, on the road to the Moon...
The Google Lunar XPRIZE teams have been on a roll! Astrobotic completed a major lander test with the Masten Space Systems 'Xombie' Moon lander (pictured above), while team Synergy Moon completed a key test flight of their own NEPTUNE rocket!
Here's video of that epic Astrobotic/ Masten Moon lander flight systems test:
While Astrobotic has also been busy completing some cool rover movement tests:
For even more cool flight/test video, here's Synergy Moon 's landmark rocket flight:
Complete with GoPro aboard!:
Synergy Moon is the only team currently developing their own launch vehicle (versus buying a ticket on someone else's). Shoot for the Moon---and you might just get there!
A couple of young Moon pioneers on Penn State Lunar Lion have done that---and it got them a ticket to the prestigious Explorers Club (whose membership has included the first men to the North Pole, the top of Mt. Everest, and the Moon), where they met a certain famous someone:
Elon Musk of SpaceX! And they're just getting started. Who knows where being part of a Google Lunar XPRIZE team will take them?
Another week, another space and business legend. Kara Morgan of Penn State Lunar Lion with XPRIZE Founder & CEO Peter Diamandis, who was speaking at the university.
Moon adventures took one team to a special destination this past December: Mauna Kea, Hawaii!
Team Puli 's Moon rover did its best "Aloha!" as it tackled the Moon-like slopes of the famous volcano.
Want to win a trip there? If you're 9-17, you can join MoonBots 2014! Build an awesome LEGO robot, test it, and win a trip to the semi-lunar slopes:
And from the Big Island to the Big Time...the Google Lunar XPRIZE is going to be a reality show on Discovery and the Science Channel!
Stay tuned for more on that!
For some current inside looks, check out our second weekly Google Hangout, where our epic host Dr. Pamela L. Gay sat down with our technical director, Dr. Andrew Barton, to talk about the history of prizes (and the XPRIZE Foundation)---as well as clarifying a bunch of confusing matters re: the Google Lunar XPRIZE:
Meanwhile, Astrobotic talked with ImagineP!ittsburgh about the team's efforts to transform Pittsburgh into a space-faring city:
SpaceIL tackled the challenges of lunar dust:
Plus, sat down for a cool interview with the International Business Times! (Unembeddable here, but click for video awesomeness!)
While Omega Envoy dove into the interface for controlling their lunar lander:
We're just getting to know the personalities (and major events) that are making the Moon happen---for good---so stay tuned to get excited & get inspired!
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!
[March 26th-April 1st, 2014.]