in Space

Leicester Uni Professor heads judging panel to land robot on Moon

Posted 30 January 2017 · Add Comment

A University of Leicester Professor has been elected to Chair a judging panel in a global $30 million prize competition to land a robot on the Moon.

Professor Alan Wells (right), Emeritus Professor and Founding Director of the University’s Space Research Centre, was this week appointed Chair of the judges for the Google Lunar XPRIZE.
 
Professor Wells has been a member of the distinguished panel of judges that comprises leading space experts from around the USA and Europe.
 
To win the grand prize ($20 million), private teams (with no more than 10% in government funding) must:
 
•    Land a robot safely on the Moon
•    Move 500 meters on, above, or below the Moon’s surface; and
•    Send back HDTV Mooncasts for everyone to enjoy
 
Professor Wells said: “The Google Lunar XPRIZE lays down an exciting challenge to creative engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs around the world to find new ways to go into space without help from governments with freedom to innovate, explore and find new uses of low cost access space for future generations. It is an honour to be asked to chair the international judges panel who will decide on the prize awards as the competing teams progress with their exciting missions.”
 
This week XPRIZE and Google announced that a $1 million Diversity Prize will be split among 16 Google Lunar XPRIZE teams, and that five teams have verified launch contracts and are moving forward to the final phase of the competition to land an unmanned spacecraft on the surface of the Moon.
 
All teams had until December 31, 2016 to have a verified launch contract in place. XPRIZE has verified the launch contracts of the following five teams, who are moving forward to the final phase of the competition:
 
•    SpaceIL (Israel), a non-profit organisation, has secured a position on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Their goal is to make an educational impact and to create an “Apollo Effect” for the next generation in Israel.
 
•    Moon Express (USA), signed a multi-mission launch contract with Rocket Lab USA for three lunar missions by 2020. Their directive is to open up the Moon’s vast resources for humanity and establish new avenues for commercial space activities beyond Earth orbit.
 
•    Synergy Moon (International), team member Interorbital Systems will serve as the launch provider, using a NEPTUNE 8 rocket to carry a lunar lander and rover to the surface of the Moon. Synergy Moon is made of up individuals from over 15 countries, with a mission to make manned orbital travel, personal satellite launches and Solar System exploration cost effective and accessible.
 
•    TeamIndus (India), signed a commercial launch contract aboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). TeamIndus’ spacecraft is designed to nestle inside the nosecone of the PSLV and will launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
 
•    HAKUTO (Japan), signed a rideshare agreement to have TeamIndus carry its four-wheeled rover to the Moon. Hakuto’s ultimate target is to explore holes that are thought to be caves or ‘skylights’ into underlying lava tubes, for the first time in history, which could lead to important scientific discoveries and possibly identifying long-term habitats to shield humans from the Moon’s hostile environment.

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Smiths Detection to enhnce security at Japan's Narita Airport

Smiths Detection has been selected to supply innovative solutions for people screening and search functions in Tokyo's Narita International Airport.

Air Mauritius takes delivery of its first A350 XWB

Air Mauritius has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft, opening a new chapter for the Indian Ocean carrier. The aircraft, leased from AerCap, was delivered during a ceremony held in Mauritius today.

Maycast-Nokes wins National Apprenticeship Award

Maycast-Nokes has won the Medium Employer Of The Year 2017 (East of England) at the regional final of the National Apprenticeship Awards 2017.

Global airport industry climate action surpasses 200 airports

At this year's ACI World & Africa Annual General Assembly (WAGA) hosted by Airports of Mauritius Co, the global airport industry issued an update on the progress it has been making in addressing its CO2 emissions, through the

Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 powers A330neo first test flight

The Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 has successfully powered the new Airbus A330neo into the skies for its first test flight today.

Crawley Borough Council approves Boeing Gatwick hangar

Boeing's proposed plan with Gatwick Airport to build a new aircraft hangar has been granted permission to go ahead by Crawley Borough Council, with full works scheduled to commence later this year.

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
Advanced Engineering BT1007021117SMI MilSat BT2907101117Aviation Africa BT18418SMI AirMissBT0305251017FIL18 BT111017220718SMI FAV BT1007161117