Google-backed Moon robot teams confirmed

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PostSun Feb 20, 2011 10:50 pm » by Phoenix rising


The final line-up of teams competing for the $30 million (£18.5m) robotic Moon-explorer prize has been confirmed.

The prize will go to the builders of the first robot to send back video as it travels over 500 metres of the Moon's surface.

Competition organisers hope to spur the development of low-cost robotic space exploration.

The Google-sponsored Lunar X-Prize will be fought over by 29 teams from 17 different countries.

Organisers believe that the competition - first announced in 2007 - could have a winner by 2015.

"The official private race to the Moon is on," said Peter Diamandis, chief executive of the X-Prize Foundation.

The teams come from a wildly divergent background, ranging from non-profit consortia and university groups to well-funded businesses.
Robotic explorers

Several of the teams have already bought rides on spacecraft to transport their robots.

Astrobotic Technology, a spin off-off from Carnegie Mellon University has signed a deal with SpaceX - the private space company set up by PayPal founder Elon Musk - to use its Falcon 9 rocket.

Meanwhile, government-backed space agencies are also planning to send craft to the Moon.

Spacecraft from a joint Russian and Indian team and a separate one from China are pencilled to set off for the Moon in 2013.

But the X-Prize's backers think the future of space exploration will be driven by privately-funded groups.

"The most successful and revolutionary discoveries often come from small, entrepreneurial teams," said Tiffany Montague, of Google Space Initiatives.

Do u really think they will allow unsensord video footage to reach us, I suspect there will also be a few conditions attached, one being that video footage has to be taken with a black and white video recorder, now we dont want to be seen with better technology than NASA do we? this is of course depends if anyone still has a black and white video camara in their loft or seller, secondly the resolution would have to be pre mega pixel, more akin to the resolution we see on video games 30 years ago, if this can be maintained u have a great chance of scooping this x prize.

If of course u can hire a cheep ramshackle studio or even better your garage and replicate lunar conditions and fake the footage then u stand a great chance of scooping an oscar much like NASAs much cherished lunar landing one for fakery.
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PostSun Feb 20, 2011 11:24 pm » by Hr2burn


So a non government ran party will be sending a robot to the moon? NICE! Then we will know the truth. I assume they will be looking into some controversal places on the moon? Hopefully not just for water/ what the moon is comprised of. If google is involved I wonder the outcome...hopefully no blacked out boxes!
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PostMon Feb 21, 2011 12:24 am » by Phoenix rising


hr2burn wrote:So a non government ran party will be sending a robot to the moon? NICE! Then we will know the truth. I assume they will be looking into some controversal places on the moon? Hopefully not just for water/ what the moon is comprised of. If google is involved I wonder the outcome...hopefully no blacked out boxes!

I wouldent hold my breath, imagine that a private groop beating nasa to a discovery on the moon, wouldent it be great though if it were the case.
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PostMon Feb 21, 2011 12:32 am » by Punjedi


Wouldn't this stand to be some defense of Nasa?

In other words, if they are allowing people to privately fund missions to the moon, then wouldn't there be some outcry of

"No, you can't we have sensitive equipment up there and we don't want you tampering with it "

which of course would be translation for "We flubbed the whole thing, and if you go, you will find out vapid nothingness"

It's so confusing!!

Maybe nothing will ever truly make it there. Like, no matter what, some strange malfunction or glitch will keep any team right at the brink of finding the answers......
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