Google’s Lunar X competition is still alive and kicking. The mission? Land a robot on the moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to the Earth. Teams must be at least 90% privately funded.
The winner wins $30 million. The Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association team (ARCA) is hard at work on their promising Rockoon, a rocket-balloon which recently reached heights of 4okm which happens to be the highest altitude reached by a flying object designed and built entirely in Romania.. It still has a long way to go for the big prize and 21 other teams are vying for the big money, but the Rockoon is just pretty neat looking. To think a balloon could make it through space, a robot trailing close behind, is just too interesting not to be excited about.