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The $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE has 26 teams competing for the prize---each with their own rover...and each jockeying for the adoring love of the space community.
So not only does each rover, lander, hopper, ball, and other budding moon explorer have different functionality, but their own brand of robochique. The best rover may win, but the foxiest will walk away with the style points.
So, to that end, I'll be rolling out each of the 26 teams' rovers onto the catwalk for the ultimate in wheeled robotic fashion shows! Bundle up and brace yourself for a whirlwind tour of the finest Mr. and Mrs. Moons Luna will have to offer circa 2015.
I'll be drawing on the expertise of three “judges” for each entry...:
Samuel Bell: Noted lunar citizen
GAL 9000: Lonely lunar supercomputer
Simon Jester:The Moon's own slippery, sharp-witted satirist
So, without further ado, let's roll with our first 8 entries (in order of entry in the X PRIZE):
Odyssey Moon's MoonOne
In three words: Shiny Solar Sweetness
Samuel Bell would say: “Where are my sunglasses?”
GAL 9000 would say: “The dream of the 90's is alive in those panels, and I like it!”
Simon Jester would say:“Shine on, you crazy diamond.”
Would be the lunar equivalent of: Bono
Astrobotic's Red Rover
In three words: Tough As Nails
Samuel Bell would say: “Looks like a trusty companion.”
GAL 9000 would say: “Rugged and handsome. Blue collar, baby!”
Simon Jester would say: “Caterpillar, not the butterfly.”
Would be the lunar equivalent of: Bruce Willis
TEAM ITALIA's Ascensio Machinae Ad Lunam Italica Arte - AMALIA Nationality
In three words: Spaghettified Spider Spiffiness
Samuel Bell would say: “Hard to miss, but hey, it worked for ATHLETE.”
GAL 9000 would say: “The future has arrived, and it's in neon.”
Simon Jester would say: “Sure to be a web sensation.”
Would be the lunar equivalent of: Tobey Maguire
Next Giant Leap's unnamed craft
In three words: Soaring Hoppy Goodness
Samuel Bell would say: “Hoppy---a good brew, if you ask me.”
GAL 9000 would say: “A little Napoleonic, but great strength in the legs!”
Simon Jester would say: “Leaps and bounds.”
Would be the lunar equivalent of: Aaron Eckhart
Team FREDNET's Picorover
In three words: Pint-Sized Punch
Samuel Bell would say: “Micromanagement at its finest.”
GAL 9000 would say: “Smooth operator.”
Simon Jester would say: “The meek shall inherit the Moon, too?”
Would be the lunar equivalent of: Tom Cruise
Team ARCA's European Lunar Explorer (ELE)
In three words:Electric Spherical Awesome
Samuel Bell would say: “Ballsy.”
GAL 9000 would say: “Very well-rounded...”
Simon Jester would say: “Roll over, rover.”
Would be the lunar equivalent of: Jack White
Team Moon Express's MoonEx-1
In three words: Clever Crawler Creator
Samuel Bell would say: “Gotta love minions. Gets the job done!”
GAL 9000 would say: “Michigan; UCLA; the Moon. Rah-rah!”
Simon Jester would say: “Smart, but smacks of Shelob.”
Would be the lunar equivalent of: Daniel Craig
Team STELLAR's rover (from KGO Aerospace)
In three words: Gold Is In
Samuel Bell would say: “Thumbs up---good to have a tank on my side.”
GAL 9000 would say: “Ooo, gold...”
Simon Jester would say: “Does the tail wag the dog?”
Would be the lunar equivalent of: Pierce Brosnan
Tune in to MyMoon again soon for Part 2!
And feel free to add your female equivalents...I had some ideas, but are rovers male or female? A few felt more masculine, so for the first run I went 'male'. Let the lady ideas fly!
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