Photos and video: X-Teams race for the right to rove on the moon

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Team Frednet Sphere - X-Teams race for the right to rove on the moon

Source:  Team Frednet/Joshua Tristancho

Team Frednet Sphere - X-Teams race for the right to rove on the moon

One of open-source Team Frednet’s rover candidates is this small sphere, the Picorover. Its shape gives it the adaptability to neither know nor care which way is up.

In tests the Picorover has shown it can roll uphill and keep traction on slippery surfaces. It hasn't been tested on anything as rugged as lunar regolith yet but as this video shows, it is of interest to cats.

At just 500 grams, it would be relatively cheap to get into orbit. "If we can make friends with an astronaut, maybe we can have him carry it in his pocket," team leader Fred Bourgeois jokes.

 

More than a dozen teams are racing to claim the $30 million Lunar X Prize for landing a robot rover on the moon.

This article first appeared on New Scientist.

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