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Lunar X PRIZE

Two of the teams competing for the prestigious Google Lunar XPRIZE have announced a partnership, bringing them one step closer to landing on the moon. The HAKUTO team’s rover will hitch a ride on the Astrobotic Griffin lander when it sets off in the second half of 2016. Read More
Back in December, we learned that the final deadline for the prestigious Lunar XPrize had been pushed back to 2016, giving the teams a little more time to perfect their creations. We also heard that up to US$6 million in funding would be awarded to the most promising teams. The results are now in and the front runners are beginning to emerge. Read More
Teams competing for the Google Lunar XPrize have been given some significant leeway to develop their projects, with the final deadline now pushed back to 2016. According to the competition’s judges, there’s been significant progress towards completing the lofty goal, with US$6 million in funding to be awarded in January 2015. Read More
Carnegie Mellon University has unveiled Andy, a four-wheeled unmanned rover designed to explore the rough terrain and recently discovered pits of the Moon. Developed in cooperation with Pittsburgh's Astrobotic Technology, the solar powered robot is CMU's entry for the US$20 million-plus Google Lunar XPrize, and may one day help pave the way toward permanent outposts on the Moon. Read More
Five international teams are moving forward from a field of 33 proposals with the goal of performing a robotic landing on the moon, followed by a short drive and high-quality video mooncast, all as part of the Google Lunar XPrize competition to incentivize a new novel, low-cost era of lunar exploration. Read More
Moon Express, a privately held company driven by a short-term goal of winning the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition, and a longer-term strategy of mining the Moon, last week revealed its MX-1 lunar lander at the closing session of Autodesk University in Las Vegas. Not a one-trick pony, the MX-1 is being designed as the first of a series of robotic spacecraft that can carry out a multitude of tasks in Earth orbit as well as in deep space. Read More
The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) is being backed by Google Lunar X Prize contestant Moon Express in placing a small telescope on the Moon's surface to test and troubleshoot operating protocols for a fully loaded remote telescope. Last week, the ILO-X, the first ILOA telescope that will be sent to the Moon, was remotely tested by ILOA and Moon Express on the summit of Mauna Kea, and passed with flying colors. Later ILOA/Moon Express missions will include landing considerably larger telescopes at strategic locations on the lunar surface. Read More
If you’ve ever yearned to take part in a space program but haven’t been given the chance, then perhaps you should take a look at the Remote Rover Experiment (RRE) Kickstarter campaign. Created by a team named Part-Time Scientists (PTS), the project aims to involve the general public in testing technology which will eventually be sent to the moon. Available pledge points include the option to remote-pilot an Asimov R3A moon rover in an Earth-based location modeled after the Apollo 17 landing site, and the purchase of an Asimov R0 moon rover self-assembly kit. Read More
Interorbital Systems (IOS), a rocket and spacecraft construction company founded in 1996, has announced the age of the Personal Satellite. For US$8,000, IOS provides the TubeSat Personal Satellite (PS) Kit, complete with launch to low Earth orbit (LEO). A TubeSat is a (very) low-cost alternative to the CubeSat - for comparison, by the time you have assembled a CubeSat and had it placed in orbit, your cost will be well north of US$100K. Read More
Barcelona Moon, a new Spanish team led by entrepreneur Xavier Claramunt, has officially announced its entry into the ongoing $US30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE. To win the Grand Prize, a team must soft land a privately-funded spacecraft on the moon, send a rover at least 500 meters out onto the moon’s surface, and transmit a specific set of video, images and data back to Earth. The as-yet-unnamed Spanish rover, appropriately enough, looks rather like a sombrero. Read More
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