Team Part-Time Scientists has won two Milestone Prizes: the Mobility Prize ($500,000), and the Imaging Prize ($250,000), for a total of $750,000 in prize winnings...so far! (See the complete $30 million in prizes that are available)
The Part-Time Scientists are a Berlin Germany based team of scientists and engineers with the goal to soft land two lunar rovers in travel distance to the Apollo 17 landing site using a fully autonomous soft landing vehicle. To this day the team managed to position themselves amongst the front-runners of the competition and has been awarded 2 Google Lunar XPRIZE milestone prize awards. The team consists of around 70 members contributing across 3 continents with a fixed staff of 35 based in Germany.
In cooperation with the AUDI AG and several other technology and research partners such as the German Space Agency (DLR) the team is developing both mobility and landing technology with the goal to lower the costs of space exploration and make exciting and important places such as the moon more accessible. With the first mission heading back to Taurus-Littrow Valley, the landing site of Apollo 17, the goal is to pickup on surface exploration right where Apollo left off over 43 years ago. Based on the extensive research and experiments being done as part of this Apollo mission a number of carefully selected experiments will help gather additional data points and clarify current unknowns while helping understand how to utilize the moon as a starting point for further ongoing space activities.
If you want to know more about the moon and the mission check out the mission website at www.mission-to-the-moon.com and of course the team blog right here.