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Lunar Roundup: Launch Talks and Progress

This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE....

An ISRO rocket launch. Soon to be carrying a Google Lunar XPRIZE team to the Moon?

Team Euroluna  announced that they are in talks to launch their Moon mission from India!

Plus, a bunch of other progress from the teams---including landing sites, launch dates (an art installation on the Moon by the end of 2014?), facility construction, and more.

Here's all the highlights ---and if you want to follow these developments from your comfort of your inbox, sign up for the bi-weekly XPRIZE newsletter!:

Euroluna Launches!

Euroluna  has announced that they are in talks with the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization)'s commercial arm for two mission launches!

An ISRO launch from India.

One would be their Google Lunar XPRIZE mission---the Romit 3, while the other would be their satellite test run---the Romit 1!

Here's the video with the announcement of the talks:

The ISRO's commercial arm is called the Antrix Corporation, and would handle the launches. They're based out of Bangalore---site of that video above, and the new home of fellow Google Lunar XPRIZE competitor Team Indus . Euroluna traveled to Bangalore last year, as well.

For more on Euroluna's mission, here's the storyboard detailing their plans:

Stellar Choice

In other news, team Stellar  has announced their new landing site: Apollo 12!

The Apollo 12 site is a popular destination among the teams, for both having Apollo artifacts and being (relatively) easy to land on and move around. The "Ocean of Storms" being the Great Plains of the Moon:

Artifacts at the site of Apollo 12. Nice and flat.

In addition to the Apollo artifacts, there is also Surveyor 3 (which is why Pete Conrad & co. went there themselves). We'll be getting some fresh HD looks at that site before long! And potentially, several at once...

Calling All Artists

Synergy Moon  has put out a call for lunar artists! They plan to launch an art capsule to the Moon "by the end of 2014" (!), so if you want your piece to be part of history, drop them a line!

Calling Home

For another artistic take on the Moon, Part Time Scientists  shared some awesome facts about their rover as a comic---including that it could be partially functional on the Moon for up to 10 years. It might get human visitors someday, and be able to send back pictures of them! Kind of epic:

Facilitation of Progress

There was some great tech progress, as a few teams posted updates on facilities, including Astrobotic 's progress on their big new test center:

And Penn State Lunar Lion 's new propellant testing equipment:

Eloquent Debris

In an excellent blog post, Omega Envoy 's Daniel Johnson talked about the potential issues with pollution and debris on the Moon:

"The immediate dangers of soiling the lunar surface seem miniscule, especially considering the massive amount of resources it takes to get there. In the timeline of permanent human settlement however, there are centuries of potential sustained human presence and possibilities of pollution. Nuclear testing, garbage dumps, strip mines and piles of space junk are all fears voiced by environmentalists- and all of those fears are legitimate." -Daniel Johnson, Omega Envoy

Good old Wall-E, everyone's favorite rover, on a pile of trash. Hopefully the trash part doesn't come to fruition!

Eloquent Goals

And on some sunnier, but just as quotable notes, Moon Express  shared a highlight reel with a lot of their favorite quotes from recent videos on their goals:

That's All, Folks (For This Week)

And, for a quirky finale, SpaceIL posted a fun video of their lander getting set up outside---to the tune of Looney Tunes:


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 videos.

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

July 23rd-July 29th, 2013.

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Lunar Roundup
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