X

Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)

The Google Lunar XPrize is the next great space race, with a $30 million purse offered to commercial teams. Check out Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic's test, which won the team $750,000.

Tim_Stevens.jpg
Tim_Stevens.jpg
Tim Stevens
Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test
1 of 10 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

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

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test
2 of 10 Tim Stevens/CNET

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.

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test
3 of 10 Tim Stevens/CNET

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.

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test
4 of 10 Tim Stevens/CNET

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.

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test
5 of 10 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar Xprize Astrobotic Test

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

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test
6 of 10 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar Xprize Astrobotic Test

Prototype wheels, which had previous lives as cake tins.

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test
7 of 10 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

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

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test
8 of 10 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

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

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test
9 of 10 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

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

Google Lunar Xprize Astrobotic Test
10 of 10 Tim Stevens/CNET

Google Lunar XPrize Astrobotic Test

The entire Astrobotic team, celebrating a successful test.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More
John Cena attends Warner Bros. premiere of The Suicide Squad, in costume as Peacemaker.

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
The Best Games on Nintendo Switch in 2022
zelda-cnet-2.jpg

The Best Games on Nintendo Switch in 2022

36 Photos
US Air Force at 75: These Are the Aircraft It's Flown
110403-f-ka253-155

US Air Force at 75: These Are the Aircraft It's Flown

45 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games
astro-bot-rescue-mission-screen-02-ps4-us-18may18

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More
thor4

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

85 Photos
Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato Looks Just Like the Concept
Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato

Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato Looks Just Like the Concept

16 Photos
DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths
img9412.jpg

DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

10 Photos