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Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

Welcome to the moon -- or a test version of it used by Google Lunar XPrize Milestone candidate Team Astrobotic.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Stevens/CNET
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Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

This is a representation of the team's lunar lander, with a prototype of the lunar rover sitting in the background.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Stevens/CNET
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Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

No, the rover is not studying for an attempt at challenging Deep Blue at chess. This is a high-contrast screen for testing the high-definition stereo cameras on board.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Stevens/CNET
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Google Lunar Xprize Astrobotic Test

The rover currently uses a Wi-Fi connection back to the lander, which then repeats the signal back to the base station on Earth -- which for this test was only about 30 feet away.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Stevens/CNET
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Google Lunar Xprize Astrobotic Test

A look at the front of the rover, with its eyes on the prize.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Stevens/CNET
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Google Lunar Xprize Astrobotic Test

Prototype wheels, which had previous lives as cake tins.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Stevens/CNET
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Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

The spheres represent fuel tanks, used for powering the thrusters, while the solar panels will power the electrical systems.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Stevens/CNET
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Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

Testing on an active rock quarry means protective headgear is required.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Stevens/CNET
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Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

Here, a Google Lunar XPrize judge verifies the quality of the returned footage.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Stevens/CNET
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Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

The entire Astrobotic team, celebrating a successful test.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tim Stevens/CNET
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