Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Astrobotic Lands Huge Prize Team Nets $1 Million in Lunar Competition

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Astrobotic Lands Huge Prize Team Nets $1 Million in Lunar Competition

Article excerpt

For a mission that some have estimated could cost $100 million to accomplish - sending a robotic rover to the moon - $1 million may not seem like a lot of money.

But for the team of Astrobotic and Carnegie Mellon University, which won that money on Monday for achieving some of its goals as part of the Google Lunar XPrize competition, every little bit helps.

The team's efforts have won it millions in NASA grants and contracts since Astrobotic was founded in 2008, but that money was doled out in small increments.

The result, said Astrobotic CEO John Thornton, is that the $1 million "is the most zeros we've ever had on a check."

The award - which Mr. Thornton and Jon Anderson, a former CMU student who worked on the project, received Monday during a ceremony in San Francisco - was for completing preliminary "Milestone" goals toward the main objective of landing a robotic rover on the moon. Mr. Thornton hopes his team will be headed to the moon in 2016. …

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