AFRL Announces Winners of Space University Research Initiative Funding Opportunity

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratoryvia its basic research office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, announced December 17, the winners of the newly established Space University Research Initiative (SURI) program – a first step in improving the transition of critical concepts from academia into revolutionary new military technologies for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force (USSF).

“Our way of warfare depends on space superiority and AFRL has a long history of research and development in support of this domain. With the recent standup of the USSF, along with the emergence of U.S. Space Command and new energy in the commercial space sector, we have exciting opportunities to modernize the way we lead and manage S&T,” wrote AFRL Commander, Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle in her 2021 Commander’s Intent.

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Astrobotic, Carnegie Mellon Selected for NASA Award for Cooperative Rovers

Astrobotic is one of 14 companies selected for NASA’s Tipping Point solicitation. This illustration depicts CubeRover, an ultra-light, modular and scalable commercial rover.(Credit: Astrobotic/Carnegie Mellon University)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected Astrobotic Technology and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for funding to continue development of technologies to enable groups of rovers to cooperatively explore the surface of other worlds.

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CMU’s Whittaker has high hopes for Google Lunar X Prize Entry

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has a great profile of William “Red” Whittaker, the Carnegie Mellon University professor who is leading one of 10 teams competing for the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize.

Whittaker’s team, Atrobiotic, hopes to land its “Tranquility Trek” rover on the lunar surface in July 2009, the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing by Apollo 11. Whittaker is planning to set the rover down near the original landing site and beam back pictures.

“When I was really little, I thought about adventuring, discovering new worlds, unclimbed mountains,” he told the paper. “A lot of people just get iced over; it’s as if there isn’t anything new under the sun. But the reality is that history is written every day.”