Guest Speaker John Branthoover Soft-Lands On the Moon
The September 9, 2016 meeting speaker comes to us from Astrobotic Technology, the lunar logistics firm spun out of CMU’s robotics institute in 2007. John Branthoover, one of Astrobotics’ senior electrical engineers, is our guest. Team Astrobotic won three Google Milestone Prizes: The Landing Prize ($1 million), Mobility Prize ($500,000), and Imaging Prize ($250,000), for a total of $1.75 million in prize winnings! Astrobotic has entered into partnerships with DHL and Airbus in their competition for the Google LunarXprize as well as their quest to establish a regular privately-owned lunar payload system. Astrobotic is one of three companies partnered with NASA through the Lunar Cargo Transport and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) to advance robotic landing capabilities. Their newly unveiled Peregrine lander features Aerojet Rocketdyne engines. Their next launch is planned for 2017.
The September meeting takes place in the Carnegie Science Center’s Bayer Science Stage starting at 7:30 pm. It’s been a long time since the U.S. soft-landed anything on the Moon. This is a good chance to learn about the next Giant Leap.