Checking In with Potential Google Lunar X PRIZE Teams

By now, you all know that the registration window for Google Lunar X PRIZE teams is nearly closed. You are probably also aware that potential teams are working hard to meet that deadline, and that some of those potential teams have elected to complete an optional partial registration process of filing a Letter of Intent to Compete. As of when I blogged on the topic last week, we had nine active Letter of Intent signatories; and as I mentioned on Twitter the following day, that number has since risen to ten.

We don't require Letter of Intent teams to reveal themselves publicly, and we also don't list them ourselves, as we want each group to be able to take on whatever announcement strategy best suits them. As of today, though, six of our Letter of Intent signatories have at least some presence online. Given the rapidly approaching deadline, we thought it would be interested to flag those groups for your information--and, as many of them accept donations, to offer you the possibility of of supporting them. In order by team number (explained here):

We're still looking for our first Google Lunar X PRIZE team based in South America, so we're very excited that three of our current Letter of Intent signatories come from there. The first of these is a Venezeulan group, VenSpace. They've created a gorgeous mission animation (no sound):

Venspace is largely built around a group of students from a Venezuelan university, Universidad Dr. Rafael Belloso ChacĂ­n. Spanish speakers will enjoy this video about the team, featuring an interview with their president, from URBE's campus TV station.

You can also read more about Venspace (mostly in Spanish, but with some translations available) at their website.

Next, we head to Hungary, and to the prospective team Puli. Puli uses social media fairly heavily--they are on Twitter and Facebook--so you may very well have already heard of them. They've also got a concept video without sound:

You can also check out a very brief teaser video showing (just barely!) some actual hardware testing one their unique design.

Puli blogs pretty frequently, so surf on over to their site and check them out. While you are there, you'll notice a "donate" button, if you feel so inclined.

Next, we head back to South America; this time, to Brazil, where we actually have two Letter of Intent signatories. Neither of them have much in the way of web presence thus far, but one of the two--a group called SpaceMETA--did post in this discussion thread on team registration over at the unofficial Google Lunar X PRIZE forum hosted by the Space Fellowship. SpaceMETA is part of the group of Letter of Intent signatories that only contacted us very recently, so there's not a whole lot posted there... but this is an exciting group. We're hopeful their main webpage will go online soon.

Our next potential team comes from another continent that doesn't yet boast it's own Google Lunar X PRIZE team (even if it does have an important office of one): Australia. Specifically, prospective team Boomerang-One hails from Western Australia. This group is also very new, and doesn't have a whole lot of information on their webpage. They do, however, have this little song:

Once you've heard that, can you help but hope that the team registers--I mean, just think of their team blog! In any case, Boomerang-One notes that they are soliciting donations to help cover their registration fee, and that "if we win, we will pay those who donate towards the registration fee ten times the amount that they donate. If you donate, and we don't raise enough, you will be refunded all of your money." Contact info for the team is on their webpage, if you are interested.

Next up, another team that you may have heard of: MoonBaseX. This group is based out of the UK, and has active accounts on Facebook and Twitter. They also recently posted a few videos of their team leader speaking from the historic Royal Observatory in London.

MoonbaseX has several cool things planned along the way to their Google Lunar X PRIZE mission, including an "iPod to Space" project. They are also asking for contributions from those willing to support what would be our first UK-based Google Lunar X PRIZE team. You can find their contribution page on Kickstarter here; be sure to read the important update. We had several UK-based teams compete in the Ansari X PRIZE, so we're quite hopeful that MoonbaseX will fully enroll!

Plan B
Last but not least, we come to our newest prospective team, team "Plan B." These are the group that rendered my blog post from last week inaccurate; at the moment, they hold team number 31. They hail from another country that was involved in the Ansari X PRIZE but which does not currently host a Google Lunar X PRIZE team: Canada. They've actually posted the bulk of their draft application online here, allowing you to get a pretty good feel for some of the technical aspects of their current mission design.

So, there you have it. A quick introduction to six of the prospective teams that have begun the registration process. We're eager to hear more from these teams, and from any others that may still be lurking out there!

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