This Is How The Private Sector Will Put A Lander On The Moon

In an effort to win the $20 million Google Lunar X-Prize, Astrobotic and Masten have been busy at work developing a free-flying moon lander. Watch this video of the XOMBIE rocket as it uses an onboard hazard avoidance system to execute a perfect landing.

Indeed, NASA's free-flying Morpheus lander is not the only game in town. Thanks to the Google Lunar X-Prize, there are no less than ten teams vying to be the first among them to send a probe to the moon, move it a third of a mile, and then transmit a hi-def video back to Earth.

On February 21, 2014, Astrobiotic and Masten tested the hazard avoidance capabilities of the autolanding sensor in a flight aboard XOMBIE. Amazingly, the sensors can detect rocks and craters as small as a soccer ball.

[ Astrobotic ]