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Lunar Roundup: Micro Machining

This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE...

A lot of micro-machining, as one team develops a small version of their lander, and another plans to launch a miniature...TARDIS?... (yes, from "Doctor Who"!)

Plus, the teams checked in for our 'state of the union':

State of the Union

We released the official video for this year's Google Lunar XPRIZE Team Summit!

What is the competition? Where are the teams now, and where are they going? What are the challenges? (And, how awesome was it to be in Chile?)

All those questions (and more) are answered! It's our 2013 'state of the union', and it rocks.

Micro Machine

Meanwhile, Moon Express  announced this week that they are developing a new, smaller version of their lander!

“It is so much more powerful, and so much cooler in its integration of technology, that I think it will be a revolutionary new lander system." -Bob Richards, CEO, Moon Express

The original lander design undergoing testing. A 'micro' version is underway. NASA image.

The new lander could be "delivered to the Moon for under $50 million", which is "half the company’s original estimates".

Read the full article for more about the work on the new lander!

TARDIS!

And speaking of 'micro', team Synergy Moon 's parent company---Interorbital Systems---plans to launch a miniature TARDIS into space! Complete with blinking light and everything:

Guardian photo of a TARDIS being awesome in space.

The TARDIS launch was a Kickstarter project to celebrate Doctor Who's 50th anniversary. Originally aimed to launch for the Doctor's 50th anniversary in November, the TARDIS will reach space sometime in 2014. It'll have a camera inside that will allow it to send back photos of the Earth.

If Interorbital can launch a TARDIS in 2014---what else can they launch? Something to the Moon, perhaps? Keep an eye on team Synergy Moon!

Vacuum Testing

Euroluna  posted a pair of vacuum-testing, tech-talk videos---one about batteries (and their challenges), and one about motherboard testing:

Copper Construction

And in another awesome tech video, Penn State Lunar Lion  featured the building of their copper rocket-thruster!:

Honorable Mentions

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I’ll be rounding these up every week, so keep an eye here for the best developments from the Moon race!

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

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

[July 30th-August 5th, 2013.]

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Lunar Roundup
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