This Is How The Private Sector Will Put A Lander On The Moon

In an effort to win the $20 million Google Lunar X-Prize, Astrobotic and Masten have been busy at work developing a free-flying moon lander. Watch this video of the XOMBIE rocket as it uses an onboard hazard avoidance system to execute a perfect landing.

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Indeed, NASA's free-flying Morpheus lander is not the only game in town. Thanks to the Google Lunar X-Prize, there are no less than ten teams vying to be the first among them to send a probe to the moon, move it a third of a mile, and then transmit a hi-def video back to Earth.

On February 21, 2014, Astrobiotic and Masten tested the hazard avoidance capabilities of the autolanding sensor in a flight aboard XOMBIE. Amazingly, the sensors can detect rocks and craters as small as a soccer ball.

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[ Astrobotic ]

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DISCUSSION

I find it humorous that this company can build a software/hardware combination capable of independently landing a rocket in an uncertain terrain, yet is incapable of buying a decent video tracking system for their camera documentation. :)