Lunar Roundup: Mayans and an Acquisition

Lunar Roundup: Mayans and an Acquisition

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

A big move went down, as Moon Express acquired Rocket City Space Pioneers! Meanwhile, the Mayans predicted team Puli's rover; Euroluna met with Team Indus in India; and Omega Envoy's fundraising lessons-learned were featured as they picked up another sponsor.

Your top five highlights for December 18th-December 24th:


1) Acquisition!

There was a big move in the competition, as team Moon Express acquired Rocket City Space Pioneers!

"The agreement brings the substantial space capabilities of Dynetics to the Moon Express team for the pursuit of commercial lunar missions, and will leverage and carry forward the substantial work done by [Rocket City Space Pioneers] supported by its visionary partners: DyneticsTeledyne Brown EngineeringAndrews AerospaceDraper LaboratoryThe University of Alabama in HuntsvilleVon Braun Center for Science & InnovationPratt & Whitney RocketdyneMoogHuntsville Center for Technology, and Analytical Mechanics Associates." -Press Release

Moon Express also acquired team Next Giant Leap earlier this year, whose partners included The Sierra Nevada Corp., MIT, Draper, and Aurora. That's a lot of companies behind them now!

Space pioneer Tim Pickens---who was the the lead propulsion engineer on the Ansari X PRIZE-winning SpaceShipOne---will transfer from being Rocket City Space Pioneers' team leader to Moon Express' chief propulsion engineer.

Here's Tim Pickens giving an overview of what Rocket City Space Pioneers was working on:

2) Mayans!

Team Puli revealed that the ancient Mayans might have actually predicted their rover:

3) Duck Sauce!

Omega Envoy's Kickstarter efforts---and resulting lessons, including the role of duck sauce; failure; and unexpected funding benefits---was featured by Orlando Magazine [third section, "A Worldwide Movement"]:

"National magazines and cable networks covered the project, enough publicity to attract a private investor, allowing Earthrise to buy the needed machine. The team joined forces in October with former competitors Angelicvm Chile, in hopes of capturing the prize.

'Maybe we’ll do another campaign,' Palaia says. 'The amount was too high, the barrier to success was too far away. We learned.'" - "Start Me Up", Joseph Hayes, Orlando Magazine

[Fun Fact: The article is technically from January 2013. The future! :) ]

4) New Delhi!

Team Euroluna traveled all the way to India to meet with Team Indus:

5) Rapid Fire!

Omega Envoy has added another sponsor---in this case, Rapid Machining!

"The opportunity to sponsor the Omega Envoy Team is an exciting endeavor, and we very much look forward to playing an essential role in providing prototype machined parts for the development of their spacecraft." - Rapid Machining President Jay Jacobs, Press Release. 

Here's a video of Rapid Machining making something shiny in a hurry (with a Trunnion Table):


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 blogsteam 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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