Moon Roundup: STEM TV
This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE…
Astrobotic's Polaris moon mining robot.
Videos galore, as the teams were busy getting the next generation of moon explorers involved---and sharing the important progress they've made towards the Moon:
Running of the Rover
While also giving a somewhat audio-limited tour of the lander:
The Polaris ice mining robot.
They're building a software planning tool (seen below in the brief video) to help manage things like movement within the tight Moon mining window (lunar days are two weeks long, but the extreme temperature shifts at the poles mean that might be all the time you get! The moon can be a harsh mistress for a robot trying to survive.).
"This video shows the mission planning tool in action in a simulation of Shackleton Crater, at the Moon’s South Pole. The colored line shows the planned path, with red indicating the robot has plenty of battery power at that point, and blue indicating low battery power. As shadows shift with time, the robot lingers in the sunlight to charge its battery before darting across a shadowed region to reach its goal.". -Astrobotic
The People of Penn
Penn State Lunar Lion introduced new team member (and Navy vet) Joe Volansky---and his inspirations/motivations:
While team member Alwin Paul talked about their vehicle work the past few weeks:
SpaceIL 's avionics lead, Sandy Hefftz, introduced herself and her mission:
Omega Envoy talked about their STEM work and the awesome things their students have been working on:
As well as some of their awesome facilities:
Plan B talked about the challenges for managing the temperature of their nano-satellite:
Team Stellar talked about their stratospheric balloon project, and how it will carry student experiments:
And last but not least, Hakuto shared a video from the point of view of their rover:
- Team Moon Express added space veteran Dr. Michael Sims!
- Jeff Foust wrote about the Google Lunar XPRIZE and China over at The Space Review.
- Puli shared a video of their 'rover driving school' day.
I'll be rounding up these news items 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!
[November 27th-December 3rd, 2013.]