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Lunar Roundup: Adventure

This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE...

The spirit of 'adventure!' was present, as the teams managed to evoke Lawrence of Arabia (tackling sand dunes), Indiana Jones (ziplining across moon caves), and Life of Pi (tigers).

But, first, some business from the teams---as they announced a new launch date; walked us through a new mission; and showed off some cool hardware:

June Moon

Barcelona Moon  announced a new launch date: June 2015!

Team image of a Chinese rocket launch.

They have a launch contract in place with the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), which they had signed in 2012 with a target date of June 2014.

That was pretty ambitious, so the team has now adjusted the date, and will be launching in summer 2015 instead.

A bunch of the teams are planning to launch in the first half of 2015, with team Astrobotic  having their own launch contract set in place for October 2015 (on SpaceX)---this should be a real tight race, given all the twists and turns that can happen on the way to the Moon!

Endurance Run

And speaking of launches & missions, Euroluna  posted a step-by-step look at their Romit-1 mission, which will be a test run for going to the Moon!

The mission's pretty awesome, as they’ll be sending their CubeSat spacecraft into Earth orbit, and then attempting to make it as far towards the Moon as they can (on its own power, across the gulf of space)! They'll be sending back pictures from space as they go along, as a test of their transmission system.

This Romit-1 mission should happen a fair amount sooner than their full Moon mission (the Romit-3), so this is a cool thing to be looking forward to before the complete Google Lunar XPRIZE mission launches!

Hardware Reel

And for a look at every team's technology, we released our own annual 2013 Hardware Reel!

These are a ton of fun, with an awesome soundtrack and great technology galore. A can't-miss:

Swinging Around

And for even more epic hardware, Astrobotic  shared a test of their sweet "zipline" robotics!

Taking an outdoorsy spirit to the Moon, Astrobotic  will not only be sending a rover to a Moon cave, but ziplining across (and even into) it! (Moon caves have big surface openings called 'skylights'---see below). Going where no man has gone before---Indiana Jones style!

Moon caves. Composite by Universe Today.

Xboxing the Moon

And for yet another cool bit, Astrobotic  let some kids get hands-on with their rover---using an Xbox controller!:

By the time that gal here graduates from college, she could be doing that as her real job! From space, even. Pretty epic.

Tigers, Beers, and Contracts

Meanwhile, in India, Euroluna  shared an additional video about their talks for a launch contract with the ISRO's Antrix. It also has one of the better openings I've seen yet, with both tigers and beer...

Lawrence of Nippon

Tigers, moon caves, children, open Space...lots of challenges for the teams this week, and here's another one from Hakuto : the desert!

Though while the rover was slugging it out through the dunes like Lawrence of Arabia, the team looked pretty comfortable:

The things we do for space.

Honorable Mentions:

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I’ll be rounding these up every week, so keep an eye here for the best developments from our very own moon race.

For the full skinny on everything that happens, follow the official feeds for team blogs, team social, and team videosYou can also sign up for the XPRIZE newsletter to get cool PRIZE news in your inbox!

And if you have any favorite stories from the week that didn’t make it in here---share them below!

[August 6th-August 12th, 2013.]

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Lunar Roundup
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