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Moon Roundup: Everyday People

This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE...

“The bottom line is, we’re going to the Moon. When you realize the significance of that statement, it’s mind-blowing.” -Penn State Lunar Lion team member (and college sophomore) Kara Morgan [pictured].

Ordinary people, who decided to shoot for the Moon...here's the latest stories from them:

Rovers Galore

In India, Team Indus  is having students compete to submit their moon rover designs!:

For the challenge, 201 different student teams from across India have registered, with the winning team's design potentially having a place on Team Indus ' expedition to the Moon. The video there is some of the first teams showing off their range of creative rover (and other) ideas; which do you think might win?

The Judges

The Judging Panel for the Google Lunar XPRIZE has been introduced!

A big milestone for the competition, these eight (soon to be nine) individuals were chosen as the best of our applicants, and represent a seasoned foundation of decades+ space expertise who will measure & evaluate many of the technical, awarding, and other aspects of the competiton. Read our blog post on it to hear more about the people who will be key in the making of history, as our teams take mankind back to the Moon (for good).

Always Have a Plan B

Team Plan B  faced some technical challenges this week:

Nothing goes perfectly, and in this video they discuss some of the mishaps and challenges they (and, all of the teams) have had to overcome on the way to building their moon explorers.

Not Just Rocket Scientists

Penn State Lunar Lion ---and their many great students working on the project---were featured in a cool PSU article:

"Lunar Lion needs the likes of student Web designers, social media managers and videographers. Two students pursuing masters of business administration degrees just came on board.

'Stuff like this doesn’t just happen with engineers at the helm', [student Ajeeth] Ibrahim said." -PSU article

So, you heard 'em---even if you're not a rocket scientist, contact your local team! They might just need your help. (In my example, I'm a writer with a bachelor's degree in Urban Planning. who got on the Moon/space train pretty late compared to most people---as an adult! And yet, here I am, and so could you be.)

In the Pits

Astrobotic  has been heading out to a pit in Pennsylvania recently to test their moon cave explorers---and now they've shared a video of one:

It's not exactly HD, but it's a pretty cool look at the team dropping their brave explorer to the bottom of a pit (via highwire), and running around---all in order to simulate a lunar cave environment. Astrobotic is currently planning to go check out some huge lunar caves as part of their Moon expeditions.

Landing Date

Team Puli  revealed in an interview their projected landing date!

Puli's leader, Tibor Pacher, introducing their robot to some folks.

They currently expect their Puli bot to arrive on the Moon in the last few months 2015. For comparison, Barcelona Moon  currently has a launch date of June 2015, while Astrobotic  will be heading up there for their shot in October of 2015.

Baumgartner (Kind Of)

Team Stellar  is planning some stratospheric balloon action, and revealed a new render:

Teams often use high atltitude balloons to test communications and other systems at altitude (a la Felix Baumgartner, without the, you know, 'human jumping off of it' part.)

Hangouts Galore

For World Space Week 2013, the Google Lunar XPRIZE had a series of Google Hangouts!

We chatted with teams Puli  and Part Time Scientists , as they also demonstrated a rover:

And took questions live from India (while in Berlin. An international competiton, to say the least!:)

And that's just the tip of the iceberg---Puli  and Part Time Scientists  really went the extra mile in engaging audiences! Check out our blog post on it for the full list of videos.

Honorable Mentions:

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I'll be rounding these up every week, so keep an eye here for the latest developments from the moon race!

And 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!

[October 2nd-October 6th, 2013.]

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Lunar Roundup
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