Lunar Roundup: Expansion

Lunar Roundup: Expansion

A new rover's name revealed, a new rocket project, and some awesome personal looks from the teams.

Welcome to this week’s Lunar Roundup! A power rankings-style look at who & what’s been “Awesome!” over the past week in the Google Lunar X PRIZE.

A few teams hit the powder to show how they roll, while other teams revealed new rockets, rover details, mission plans, and more! Your moon-race highlights for March 12th-March 18th:


1) Powder!

Two teams hit the powder for skiing and snowboarding this week, and brought back some awesome videos!

Euroluna posted an update with some seriously eye-popping beauty from the Alps:

While Moon Express brought their own personal touch, introducing a bunch of their team members in this Sierra Nevada snowboarding video:

The Google Lunar X PRIZE teams really know how to work hard/play hard! And before long, they’ll be hitting the lunar powder :)

2) Fifteen!

Team Indus sat down for an interview with Reuters India, where they mentioned a budget estimate: only $15 million! 

“Q: How much have you spent so far? What is the projected total cost?

A: We’ve spent about one crore rupees (10 million rupees, or about $185,200), including for registration, a little bit of prototype being done, operational expenses and salaries. It’s a design effort and we are not doing any hardware yet. Total spend, we expect it to be $15 million.”

With the $20 million grand prize, that's sounding pretty good!

They also posted a slick new (composite) overview of their mission, including their planned rocket (the ISRO PSLV)!:

3) Tyrobot! 

Astrobotic revealed the name of their cave-exploring robot---the Tyrobot!

Astrobotic plans---after their Google Lunar X PRIZE Polaris mission to mine water ice---to send this rover into a lunar lava tube, dropping down into it through the cave's surface opening ('skylight')!

This student presentation talks about the progress they’ve made on its technical development:

And this blog post delves into the unique recharging system they plan to use for it:

4) Bullseye?

Omega Envoy shared some progress photos of their ‘DART project’!:

It's some kind of rocket, though there’s a little mystery here, as these tweets are the only thing on the internet about it yet. If anyone has any insights or info, please share in the comments below! :)

5) Expansion!

Our own Senior Director, Alex Hall, took part in an awesome talk at Engadget's Expand conference! She joined a panel on the future of space exploration, and talked about the Google Lunar X PRIZE's many valuable roles within that :)


Honorable Mentions:


I’ll be rounding these up on a weekly basis, so keep an eye here for all the most awesome developments.

For the full skinny on everything that happens, follow the official feeds for team blogs, team social, and team videos!

And if you have any favorite stories that I didn’t post here...share ’em in the comments below!

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