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Moon Roundup: Xombie Fire

This week, in the Google Lunar XPRIZE...

One of the teams is beginning their tests with this:

Masten Space Systems' Xombie lander! Winner of the 2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander XCHALLENGE, and pioneer of landing technologies across the industry.

And that's just the beginning---teams all over the place are working on imminent space flights, rocket launches, fuel tests, 3D printing, and more. Find out all about the cool progress:

Xombie Mastery

Astrobotic , by way of a NASA award, headed out to Mojave this week to test on the Masten Xombie lander---and blogged all about it! Here's a video of the Xombie in action:

Ready for Launch

Meanwhile, Euroluna 's Romit-1 test spacecraft is nearly ready for launch!:

They talked about some of the final preparations as they ready it for launch, and a space mission:

While utilizing a light bulb (yep, a light bulb!) for some final testing:

Rocket Flight, Incoming

And they're not the only ones readying themselves for a flight---team Synergy Moon 's parent, Interorbital Systems, is now planning a flight of their propulsion test module within the next month! Here's the team update:

3D Printing Production 

Meanwhile, team Omega Envoy   posted a series of videos on the construction of their 3D-printed camera housing!

Starting with the removal after 3D printing:

Followed by the chemical-bathing away of support material:

And then the final assembly of the product (which will eventually make its way to the Moon):

A Moon mission, hard at work!

Awesome Fuel Tests

Speaking of awesome work, team Independence-X   has been hard at it testing various rocket fuels---with a lot of cool rocket flames to show for it!:

Antenna Challenges

While Plan B  tackled metallurgy, antenna design, and more:

Marines to the Moon

Penn State Lunar Lion  shared the story of Patrick Gorski, whose path has taken him from the U.S. Marines to the Moon!

(That's the famous Penn State Nittany Lion mascot, if you're wondering!)

Expertise to Expansion

While Team Stellar  COO Theo Valich sat down and talked about the challenges they've faced, including getting from 'people with awesome CVs' to outside funding:

Rover Progress

Team Italia  blogged about progress on their rover design:

"The most recent activities related to the Rover were aimed to optimize the Rover configuration. Now the Rover generates more electrical power and rejects a large amount of heat toward the external environment." [Image: the team at work.]

Pittsburgh Revolution

While Astrobotic  was featured in a great piece on the role of robotics in revitalizing Pittsburgh (including a leading role from their founder, Dr. Red Whittaker.)

Image: Dr. Red Whittaker, with Astrobotic's Polaris rover.

Cool Rover

Team Hakuto  shared a cool new concept model/prototype

The Big Day

While Moon Express  shared a behind-the-scenes of their exciting Moon lander reveal at Autodesk University 2013:

Comparing Chang'e

And last, but not least, Barcelona Moon  blogged a cool comparison of their mission and China's Chang'e 3/Yutu effort, including a series of videos:

---

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!

~Nick Azer

[January 29th-February 4th, 2014.]

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Lunar Roundup
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