German team Part-Time Scientists is all set to compete for Google sponsored Lunar XPrize competition and now they have Audi’s backing.
The automobile giant announced its support for the German team on 25th of this month, claiming a potential trip to the moon. “Audi is supporting the Part-Time Scientists with its know-how in several fields of technology – from quattro all-wheel drive and lightweight construction to electric mobility and piloted driving,” Audi announced on its official website.
The GLXP launched in 2007, a US$30 million competition that encouraged scientists all around the world to build, launch and successfully land a rover in the vicinity of the Apollo 17’s landing site, drive 500 meters and send hi-res pictures and valuable data back to the Earth, by 2017. Among the many teams that have participated, 16 teams have qualified for the final round and Part-Time Scientists is one of them.
Teams from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Hungary, Japan, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, and the United States have made it to the final round, and 5 of these teams were awarded Milestone prizes to bump the competition 2 years before its deadline. The Part-Time Scientists bagged two of these prizes, one for rover development and the other for its optical systems.
The German team’s rover, Asimov, is a light weight aluminium rover powered by Li-Ion battery, charged from adjustable solar panels, and propelled by hub-mounted electric motors. On its head are mounted two stereoscopic cameras and a scientific camera capable of examining materials. The rover is capable of speeds up to 3.6 km/h on moon’s bumpy surface. Owing to its tests carried out in the Austrian Alps and Tenerife, Asimov stands a tangible chance of achieving the GLXP target.
With Audi’s support, Part Time Scientist will be able to delve into the rich resource of Audi’s Concept Design Studio and take advantage of Audi’s support for testing and quality assurance.
With Audi’s backing, Asimov will now be “Audi Lunar Quattro,” laced with Audi’s expertise in lightweight construction, e‑mobility with quattro permanent all‑wheel drive and piloted driving.
“The concept of a privately financed mission to the moon is fascinating,” says Luca de Meo, Audi Board Member for Sales and Marketing. “And innovative ideas need supporters that promote them. We want to send a signal with our involvement with the Part‑Time Scientists and also motivate other partners to contribute their know‑how.”