Monday, August 30, 2010

Google Lunar X-Prize teams progress

Omega Envoy’s spacecraft development lead engineer Dillon Sances (l) and Steve Murphy (r) their lunar lander’s base plate after being machined at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). Dillon, a graduate student at ERAU, is developing test models of the vehicle he designed through a rapid prototyping process. Murphy is an ERAU undergraduate assisting in the design and developing a payload assist stage to put the Omega Envoy bus in lunar orbit prior to landing [Omega Envoy].

The Omega Envoy Project, competing for the Google Lunar X-Prize, spotlighted its proposed lander design, August 27. Most lunar rover mission designs incorporate a lander bus to ferry a rover to the lunar surface which afterward can serve as a range marker, telemetry translator and uplink [Omega Envoy].

Caterpillar, Inc. has joined in co-sponsoring Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) spin-off Astrobiotic Technology's bid for the Google Lunar X-Prize. CMU has already expended $3 million toward winning the competition. Astrobiotic lead David Gump's announcement may be read, HERE.

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