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Lunar Lion Google Lunar X Prize team seeks crowdfunding for moon lander

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According to a January 20, 2014 story in Space News, a team participating in the Google Lunar X Prize operating out of Pennsylvania State University called the Lunar Lion team is seeking more money via the crowdfunding site Rockethub to finance its private mission to the moon.

“The Lunar Lion Team has raised approximately $2.5 million of the $60 million the team estimates it will take to meet the requirements of the Google Lunar X Prize, which promises $20 million to the first team that succeeds by the end of 2015 in landing a robotic vehicle on the Moon, traveling 500 meters over the lunar surface and transmitting high-definition video to Earth.

“The Lunar Lion Team plans to meet that 500-meter requirement by landing its spacecraft on the Moon and then taking off and flying over the surface.”

The just over $406,000 the team is seeking to raise would pay for a prototype vehicle that would demonstrate its capabilities, which include takeoff and landing. The team has an aggressive schedule to get a working vehicle ready for a launch before the December 31, 2015 deadline. The trick to doing so would be to not only find funding for the lunar lander but to pay for a launch, likely as a secondary payload on a commercial launch. Thus far three teams out of the 18 participating, including the Lunar Lion team, have firm plans to launch by the deadline.

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