By this time next year we will probably already know if this small lunar lander has made it all the way to the Moon in order to grab a piece of the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize! In order to win the prize, the design team from Hakuto will first need to secure a ride to the Lunar surface, this they have achieved with the Indian based crew TeamIndus!
Imagine a not-so-distant future when we witness regular travel to and from the Moon. What will we need to move over the Moon’s powdery landscape? Which cameras will accurately depict lunar vistas? What technologies will we use to communicate with our earth more than 380,000 miles away?
That is merely one small step, the rover will need to travel to the Moon, land, then travel at least 500 metres, then communicate back to base with video and other data essential to show that the mission to the Moon has been a success.
The $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration.
Out of sixteen original Google Lunar X Prize teams, the Hakuto rover project is only the fifth team to secure a launch contract and remain in the contest. This is very exciting news for all future privately funded space travel and exploration plans.