Penn State Lunar Lion Team
The Penn State Lunar Lion Team is a combination of Penn State students and faculty combined with engineers from Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory aimed at fulfilling the requirements of the Google Lunar XPRIZE. The team draws on Penn State's extensive expertise in electrical, mechanical and aerospace engineering which includes experience in drafting, fabrication, assembly and testing. The team is pursuing partnerships with companies throughout the aerospace industry to strengthen the project.
The Penn State Lunar Lion mission is built on a philosophy of simplicity – assembling the minimum number of systems in the shortest possible time. A single machine, the Lunar Lion, serves as spacecraft, lander and rover.
A commercial launch vehicle will inject the Lunar Lion on to its trajectory to the Moon where the Lion's main engine will place the vehicle on a direct approach to the moon. The same engine will provide the necessary thrust for course corrections and landing. After touchdown and transmission of the first mooncast, the Lion's engine will lift the vehicle into a low flight path to a second landing 500 meters (about a third of a mile) away.