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Hakuto's lunar rovers cross the sand in Hamamatsu

It was a windy, blustery day when Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto took to the dunes in Hamamatsu to test their rovers. We were there to capture the proceedings.

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Tim_Stevens.jpg

Tim Stevens

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1 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

Welcome to the dunes outside of Hamamatsu, Japan. This was the site of Team Hakuto's rover test in late 2014.

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2 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

Before heading to the beach, members of the team went through final preparations in a nearby conference room.

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3 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

Professor Kazuya Yoshida oversees the members of the team, most of whom are students at Tohoku University.

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4 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

On the beach, a scrum of Japanese media showed up to capture the proceedings.

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5 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

These are the rovers Team Hakuto tested.

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6 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

The big rovers are called MoonRaker, and they're identical test units. The smaller is called Tetris.

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7 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

A closer shot of Tetris, which is dragged behind MoonRaker on a tether.

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8 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

Tetris has a small camera on the front, and hopefully will be dropped down into lava tubes on the moon.

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Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

MoonRaker uses a 360-degree camera that protrudes from the top of its carbon fiber chassis.

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Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

The scene on the beach.

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11 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

Japanese media gathered to capture a shot of Tetris being deployed down the side of a dune.

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12 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

Team Hakuto members controlled the rovers via laptops positioned some distance away.

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13 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

This is the deployment box to simulate the lunar lander that will deploy MoonRaker and Tetris on the moon.

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14 of 14 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize team Hakuto

And a close-up of MoonRaker, ready to roll out and explore the simulated lunar surface.

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