Today is October 4th -- a day infamous in space history books which marks the launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite of Earth. To celebrate this important event, the anniversary of the launch is also the start of World Space Week -- which happily coincides with the Google Lunar X PRIZE Team Summit this year (want to know what events are happening in your part of the world? Check out http://www.worldspaceweek.org/).
Today kicked off Day 1 of the annual Google Lunar X PRIZE team summit, where teams come together to collaborate, share, and discuss the competition once every year. This year the event is taking place at the Isle of Man -- aka the "Space Isle" -- which has kindly offered to host the 2010 Summit. 13 teams are represented here; however, one team could not make it to this year's Summit for a very good reason...
Just yesterday, Team ARCA had the much-anticipated launch of their Helen 2 rocket. The Romanian team formerly competed in the Ansari X PRIZE, and has developed their own unique launch system which first hoists the rocket up to a high altitude using a balloon, then fires the hydrogen peroxide fueled rocket for the final push to space. Further details are expected to be released very soon, but the team has already posted photos of the event (view the whole album on Picasa):
The entire Google Lunar X PRIZE team sends congratulations to Team ARCA. We will be posting updates and photos from the Isle of Man Summit later today, so please stay tuned!