GLXP Update: Penn State Lunar Lions now in #3 spot

07 January 2014

share this:

Google_Lunar_X_PrizeWhat are they putting in the water in the Keystone state?  It turns out that Penn State Lunar Lions team announced plans to get launched to the moon as well.  They have made a deposit for a ride in the fourth quarter of 2015 through Team Phoenicia LLC.

The Lunar Lions from Penn State are the only university team that is competing.  Astrobotic is a spin out from Carnegie Mellon, just a few hours down the road from State College in Pittsburgh.

The story of the Lunar Lions ride is actually quite interesting and shows how the Google Lunar X Prize is making humanity’s future in space a reality.  Team Phoenicia was originally a GLXP competitor.  However, in looking around at launch services, the team discovered that there was excess rocket payload capacity that was hard to purchase: surplus capacity on flights scheduled for other customers.

Team Phoenicia dropped out of the GLXP and now runs a business breaking up the payload capacity of rockets. Since the Lunar Lions don’t need all the spare payload capacity, some is going to be sold to other customers who want a ride to orbit.  Some of this capacity will be to low Earth orbit, but at least two cubesats will also make the ride to lunar orbit.

When the GLXP says we are going back to the moon for good they are serious.  We are going back with an armada!

Here is the new GLXP leader board:



Though I’m a bit late in reporting this, I believe that the leader board above now accurately reflects the launch dates that have been announced as of the end of 2013. Once again, please note that the the leader board does not yet take into account the certainty of the launch date or the likelihood of a team succeeding.

More team disclosures would give us a better picture of how things are heating up!


tags: , , ,

Robert Morris is founder and CEO of the aerial imaging start-up TerrAvion. He is also the author of the blog
Robert Morris is founder and CEO of the aerial imaging start-up TerrAvion. He is also the author of the blog

Related posts :

Automate 2023 recap and the receding horizon problem

“Thirty million developers” are the answer to driving billion-dollar robot startups, exclaimed Eliot Horowitz of Viam last week at Automate.
01 June 2023, by

We are pleased to announce our 3rd Reddit Robotics Showcase!

The 2021 and 2022 events showcased a multitude of fantastic projects from the r/Robotics Reddit community, as well as academia and industry. This year’s event features many wonderful robots including...
30 May 2023, by

European Robotics Forum 2023 was a success!

One of the highlights of the conference for us was our workshop "Supporting SMEs in Bringing Robotics Solutions to Market", where experts gave insights on how DIHs can create a greater impact for SMEs and facilitate a broad uptake and integration of robotics technologies in the industry.
28 May 2023, by

Helping robots handle fluids

Researchers create a new simulation tool for robots to manipulate complex fluids in a step toward helping them more effortlessly assist with daily tasks.
27 May 2023, by

Robot Talk Episode 50 – Elena De Momi

In this week's episode of the Robot Talk podcast, host Claire Asher chatted to Elena De Momi from the the Polytechnic University of Milan all about surgical robotics, artificial intelligence, and the upcoming ICRA robotics conference in London.
26 May 2023, by

Building a Tablebot

There was a shortage of entries in the tablebot competition shortly before the registration window closed for RoboGames 2023. To make sure the contest would be held, I entered a robot. Then I had to build one.
23 May 2023, by

©2021 - ROBOTS Association


©2021 - ROBOTS Association