- Parabolic Arc
- November 27, 2023
Private Race to the Moon Takes Off
Ten teams are now competing in the Google Lunar X PRIZE challenge, the race to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon.
The X Prize Foundation revealed that nine additional teams had joined the competition during a press conference this week at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. “It’s not just a new mission,” said X Prize CEO Peter Diamandis announced. “It’s a new way of doing business.”
The 10 teams are:
Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association (ARCA): Based in Valcea, Romania and led by Dumitru Popescu, ARCA was also a contender in the Ansari X PRIZE.
Astrobotic: Team Astrobotic, led by Dr. William â€œRedâ€ Whittaker, was formed to coordinate the efforts of Carnegie Mellon University, Raytheon Company and additional institutions.
Chandah: Chandah, meaning â€œMoonâ€ in Sanskrit, was founded by Adil Jafry, an energy industry entrepreneur. He is now chairman and CEO of Tara, the largest independent retail electricity provider in Texas.
FREDNET: Headed by Fred J. Bourgeois III, this multi-national team is comprised of systems, software, and hardware developers who serve as the leaders and overall coordinators of an international group of Open Source developers, engineers, and scientists.
LunaTrex: Led by Pete Bitar, LunaTrex is comprised of several individuals, companies, and universities from all over the United States, some of whom were also competitors for the Ansari X PRIZE.
Micro-Space: Helmed by Richard Speck and based in Colorado, Micro-Space, Inc. has a 31-year history of producing world class, high tech products.
Odyssey Moon: The first team to register for the competition, Odyssey Moon is a private commercial lunar enterprise headquartered in the Isle of Man and founded by Dr. Robert Richards.
Quantum3: A U.S.-based team, Quantum3 is led by Paul Carliner, a senior executive in the aerospace industry.
Southern California Selene Group: According to team leader Harold Rosen, the approach taken by the Santa Monica Selene Group can be succinctly summarized as â€œan elegantly simple design that is relatively inexpensive to implement.â€
Team Italia: Based in Italy and led by Prof. Amalia Ercoli-Finzi, Team Italia is a collaboration between several universities. The team is currently running a prototype of its system at Politecnico di Milano.