Friday, July 11, 2008

Regolith Excavation Teams Start Revealing

We're starting to see and hear more from the Regolith Excavation Challenge teams on the Internet, now that there probably isn't enough time for any competing teams to do much about anything they might learn from their competitors.

25 Teams to Compete for $750,000 in NASA Prizes - The news of the headline was already announced, but this time it's packaged in a nice-looking newsletter from the California Space Authority. The article also summarizes some of the difficulties of working with lunar regolith.

T Minus 26 Days... - That was the countdown a few days ago at Tech Ranch for the 2008 Regolith Excavation Challenge. It sounds like he's done a lot of testing with JSC-1A lunar regolith simulant, but he's still getting that feeling of all-or-nothing at a space launch. Also check out the comment from one of the other teams, Green Cheese Solutions.

UBC Tread has a nice gallery of photos.

McGill LunarEx has a press release from sponsor Groschopp:

Groschopp is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the LunarEx team and was flattered by the team's choice of Groschopp Right Angle Gearmotors for their design. Motors were needed to power the excavator wheels, as well as drive the excavator's shovel.

Here's another case where Groschopp has worked with students in an engineering competition:
Brushless Motor Control Wins Award in Collegiate Competition.

Full Scale Robotics/Op2moonist apparently got their website up on June 16. They have quite a few photos available now. There are also a few videos of machining parts, optics testing, and wheel movements.

CSM Nerds (that's Colorado School of Mines) show their entry in the competition ... but the secret is nevertheless safely hidden.