Astrobotic Technology Announces Launch Contract with SpaceX
Astrobotic Technology, one of dozens of companies competing for the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, announced today that they have signed a contract with Space Exploration Technologies, commonly known as SpaceX, for a launch on board a Falcon 9 rocket. The launch, targeted to take place in late 2013, will propel Astrobotic's robotic lander and rover towards the surface of the Moon, where the team hopes it will explore the lunar surface and send back HD, 3D footage. SpaceX is a Preferred Launch Partner, having offered substantial discount to all Google Lunar X PRIZE teams as a way of further fostering exploration and innovation. Astrobotic is the first team to announce a launch contract with the firm, and thereby secure on spot on SpaceX's crowded launch manifest. The announcement is indicative of the impressive progress being acheived by team Astrobotic and by the other Google Lunar X PRIZE competitors. For more information, see the featured article in The Daily or the Astrobotic website.
Photo Montage by Allison Jones, Astrobotic, using SpaceX and NASA photos.