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Someone is planning a trip back to the Apollo moon landing site, but it isn’t NASA

November 30th, 2016 at 11:10 PM
trip to the moon

The Apollo 17 landing site is the last place where humans hung out on the Moon, and now we’re going back. Well, not us exactly, but a couple of fancy robots may soon get the chance to cruise around the historic landscape and check out all the junk we silly meat creatures left behind.

PTScientists, a Berlin-based group, is teaming up with private launch company Spaceflight in a contract that would send a rover-toting lander to the Moon. But sending robots to the moon isn’t the team’s only aim; there’s also the matter of winning Google’s Lunar XPRIZE.

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PTScientists are one of 16 teams currently vying for a chunk of Google’s massive prize purse. The winning team will secure $20 million for their cause, while second place and any bonus prize winners will each receive a still significant $5 million. In order to remain in the race, each team has to secure a valid launch contract — like the one PTScientists just signed with Spaceflight — and have it verified by Google.

To date, just a handful of teams have made it to that step, and the December 31st deadline is creeping ever closer. Then, to be declared a winner, the teams have to complete their missions — using a minimum of 90% private funding — by the end of next year.

PTScientists, in partnership with Audi, plan to land a pair of rovers in the neighborhood of the Apollo 17 landing site, at which point they’ll conduct experiments as well as attempt to get an up-close look at how NASA’s equipment has withstood the ravages of time.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today,, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.

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