Lunar Roundup: Star Alignment
This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE...
The first privately-funded space telescope has been unveiled---and it's going to be from a Google Lunar XPRIZE team!
Moon Express ---along with their customer, the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) has unveiled the ILO-X lunar telescope!
This telescope---a project with ---will be the first-ever privately-funded telescope in space (likely beating out the new ARKYD from Planetary Resources by a few months in 2015):
"We are extremely excited about sending the ILO-X to the moon as soon as possible, and continuing our progress toward a permanent human presence on the moon." - Steve Durst, founder of the ILOA
The Moon Express-built telescope will be placed on the Moon by the team in 2015 and be available as a webcam, allowing people to (at the very least) stream its current view live on the web!
"Clear, dark skies, a simple telescope, and a solid support for your telescope are all you need to discover the universe. The surface of the Moon would be an excellent place to set up camp and stargaze. Too bad the Moon has been so unreachable by private citizens, at least, until now." - Alain Berinstain, former Director of Planetary Exploration and Space Astronomy at the Canadian Space Agency
This won't be the first telescope on the Moon ever---as John Young used one during Apollo 16---but it will certainly be the first to see any wide use! The project is a precursor for what will eventually be a much larger telescope at the lunar south pole.
The event had a lot of stars---Seth Green (pictured below with the telescope), Jim Parsons (Sheldon on Big Bang Theory), and of course, our favorite, the Moon. (Funny how the 'star' of the night sky isn't a star...) Check out their Facebook album for the complete coverage!
While hobnobbing with all these famous people, what do the teams tell them about their work? Omega Envoy provided a meme to answer for that:
Mars, the Moon, and You (Tube)
I’ll be rounding up the latest from the competiton every week, so keep an eye here for the best stories from the Google Lunar XPRIZE!
And if you have any favorite stories from the week that didn’t make it in here---share them below!
May 28th-June 3rd, 2013.