Friday, July 11, 2008

Google Lunar X PRIZE for July 11

Odyssey Moon Visits the Smithsonian Folklife Festival - The Launch Pad (X PRIZE Foundation) - This is by video, and as the Launch Pad post mentions, there's more at the Odyssey Moon YouTube page.

Electric Propulsion and Bi-Weekly Telecons - LunaTrex - They were the first to incorporate electric propulsion in their GLXP plan, and they as for input on keeping a geographically dispersed team in sync.

Communications Options - Micro-Space - Surplus communication equipment may help solve one challenge in reaching the Moon on a budget. Could this equipment be used for more than 1 team, or even after the prizes are won?

"Where are the European teams?" - STELLAR - The registration heat map at The Launch Pad shows the strong U.S. interest in the competition, in spite of the Team Summit being held in France and the XPF working with BT. Based on some earlier articles by Jeff Krukin, STELLAR notes that part of the problem may be an attitude held by some European bureaucrats that opposes entrepreneurial space.

My opinion is that may be true, but Europe certainly doesn't have a monopoly on such views. There are European teams already, and more are in the formation process like GLXP-France.

One thing I'd like to see, though, is a European space agency prize suite like NASA's Centennial Challenges. It would not duplicate Centennial Challenges (although it could cooperate with it when mutually beneficial), but rather would sponsor space prizes of particular interest to Europe.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore Joins the JURBAN team - JURBAN - The JURBAN team expands.

High School Students ask about Advanced C and C++ programming options for robot kits - JURBAN - Dr. J gives some program language advice to the newest rover programmers.

X PRIZE TV - Google Lunar X PRIZE Community Forum - Mike Fabio gives some insight into the GLXP thoughts on video.