International Team Enters The Google Lunar X Prize Moon Race

InterPlanetary Ventures logo. Credits: InterPlanetary Ventures

[InterPlanetary Ventures Press Release - 10.12.2007]
InterPlanetary Ventures has formed an international team to compete in the Google Lunar X Prize race to the moon, which includes $30,000,000 in prizes for competition winners. The InterPlanetary Ventures team includes working groups in Sweden, India, Sri Lanka and the United States, and individuals in several other countries, promoting international cooperation in space exploration and development.

The Google Lunar X Prize is bringing together teams from the private sector to finally do what no one has done before, move private enterprise into space beyond earth orbit. Speaking on the future of space exploration, Nicolas Peter, a research fellow at the European Space Policy Institute commented “It will involve industry, universities and other non-governmental organizations. This adventure will be driven primarily by a quest for knowledge, involving not only the hard sciences but arts and humanities as well.”

That describes the InterPlanetary Ventures team and their goals for this project. The team is lead by Kevin Myrick, founder and CEO of InterPlanetary Ventures. Myrick is currently a student in the Space Studies Masters program at the University of North Dakota. He directs the teams Consultants group, aerospace professionals working on the spacecraft and lunar lander systems. Myrick is also organizing related arts programs, including exterior spacecraft design contests and a special visual display project to be executed from the moon.

The group from Sri Lanka is lead by Rameesha De Silva, Mechanical Engineer and Researcher at the University of Moratuwa. His group is working on robotic hardware systems. The Swedish group is lead by Alessandro Saffiotti, professor of Computer Science at the University of Örebro, and Director of the AASS Mobile Robotics Lab. His group is working on robotic software systems.

The group from India is lead by Sayandeep Khan, Director of Student Activities for InterPlanetary Ventures. His group, which includes members from Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), the Space Generation Congress (SGC) and the Science Popularization Association of Communicators and Educators youth program (S.P.A.C.E. India) is developing research and development applications for the rovers and automated moon base.

The robotic players on the team include a Spherical Robotic Rover with High Definition Video cameras to capture video of its travels on the moon. The lunar lander will also play a key role on the team, expanding to become an automated lunar exploration and development base. A second rover, equipped with high definition cameras and prospecting gear will complete the robotic members of the team.

InterPlanetary Ventures is based in Point Richmond, California, USA. Their mission is to get more people supporting space exploration and development, and to do whatever it takes to assist in the development of the technological and financial infrastructure required to support humanities expansion into the solar system.

Adam Hugo, Communications Director