Lunar Roundup: 2013 Team Summit in Chile
This year's 2013 Google Lunar X PRIZE Team Summit took place last week in Santiago, Chile!
Team Angelicvm was gracious enough to host the festivities, which resulted in some buzzworthy discussions by day and social events to remember by night!
The teams convened to talk about the competition, share updates, and meet face-to-face among the Santiago city lights.
One of the main news points that came up during the three-day summit was the greatly increased media presence you'll be seeing from the Google Lunar X PRIZE!
While we can't talk about most of the details yet, some really big guns are firing, and you'll be seeing a lot of very popular names and faces involved with us in some very big places! We can't say more---yet---but a lot of these things will be rolling out in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned to hear about 'em!
Besides some of this mystery-awesome, you'll also be seeing a lot more of us and the teams on Youtube and in Hangouts, so connect to our exploding Google+ page to keep up tabs on that!
20 of the teams were available to make presentations at the Summit, and a few key pieces of information came along:
- Name Change!: White Label Space recently became based exclusively in Japan, and as a result, they will be changing their team name! While they haven't finalized the new name, an official announcement and change will be happening soon.
- 2015 Express!: Moon Express mentioned in their presentation that they are planning for a 2015 launch! This puts them in a tight race with a lot of other teams who have largely mentioned early 2015 as a timeline (e.g. Omega Envoy's planned Q2 2015), with Barcelona Moon having a launch service contract for June 2014 and Astrobotic signed up for a launch with SpaceX in October 2015. The race is on...
- Masten and NASA!: Astrobotic announced that they have been selected by NASA to fly guidance testson a Masten Xaero rocket! The helicopter-driven tests (which simulate lunar gravity conditions) will help demonstrate technology for future landers to 'pull an Armstrong': make directional adjustments once they've realised that their planned landing location is unsafe. Masten Space are the folks who won the 2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X CHALLENGE, so that's a pretty epic triumvirate!
- Malaysian launch sites!: Team Independence-X shared a lot of exciting updates, including a couple of potential launch sites in Malaysia: Gong Kedak and Kuantan!
In addition, many of the teams expressed interest in collaborating with each other---so expect more to be joining forces as things continue to heat up!
In addition to all the business, everyone managed to have a lot of fun, too.
Entertaining awards were dished out, including:
- Best Dressed Team : Part Time Scientists (A little "Hell Yeah, It's Rocket Science" with your breakfast?)
- Most Memorable Social Participant: ...ask around on Twitter about the 'grass skirt' ;D
- Best Quote: It's "payloads, not freeloads" on the way to the Moon! -Moon Express
- Best Team Presentation & Most Awesome PowerPoint Slide: White Label Space (Darth Vader made an appearance...)
- The 'Dr. Strangelove' for Best Use of a Rocket: Rockets for Fun by Moon Express, with rocket-powered bicycles and pickup trucks
- The 'Hans Zimmer' for Most Exciting Soundtrack: ARCA's ExoMars Video
- The 'Skrillex' for Best Techno Soundtrack: White Label Space's "Rave Bot' Scene
- The 'Cheezburger' for Best Mascot: Team Puli's Barking Alien
- The 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' for Most Enjoyably Strange Video: Rocket City Space Pioneers' Giant Lunar Pumpkins video
- The "Wall-E" for Best Rover Action: Team Puli's Rover Testing – Dunakeszi
All in all, great developments on the business side, a ton of fun, and a lot of exciting things to look forward to! The Google Lunar X PRIZE is just getting warmed up...
Malaysia, Israel, the United States, and Japan all represented in one photo together. To the Moon!