Oct 27 2015

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Astrobotic adds another frienemy to Xprize team

Team AngelicvM Will Fly with Astrobotic on First Lunar Mission. The Lunar Xprize just gets more and more juicy:

Astrobotic Technology, Inc. announced today that it will carry a rover for Team AngelicvM, the Google Lunar XPRIZE team from Chile, to the surface of the Moon on Astrobotic’s first lunar mission. Team AngelicvM joins Team HAKUTO, the Japanese Google Lunar XPRIZE team, which announced a partnership with Astrobotic earlier this year. Teams HAKUTO and AngelicvM, along with Team Astrobotic, will launch from Earth, fly together to the surface of the Moon, and deploy from Astrobotic’s lander. The teams will then race 500 meters across the Moon’s surface to send high-definition images and video back to Earth in pursuit of the $20M Google Lunar XPRIZE Grand Prize. The signing of Team AngelicvM adds South America to payloads from North America, Europe and Asia, expanding the unique co-opetition (cooperative competition) model spurred by the Google Lunar XPRIZE across the globe.

This is a win-win for Astrobotic. Additional teammates can help defray launch costs, and presumably Astrobotic’s rover will be the first one off their lander, giving them a leg up on the other two teams. The other two teams get a cheap(er) ride up the hill, and have at least a slugger’s chance of scoring $20 million.

Needless to say, I’ll be live-blogging the launch, then the landing, then the rover race. Might have to load up on coffee…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/10/27/astrobotic-adds-another-frienemy-to-xprize-team/

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