The lunar rover expedition being created by Astrobotic Technology and Carnegie Mellon University has been selected by Popular Science magazine as one the 100 best innovations of the year. The December issue named Astrobotic and its founder Dr. William “Red” Whittaker as the “Leader of the New Moon Race.”
Popular Science said Astrobotic took the front position among the 26 competitors for the Google Lunar X PRIZE due to its extensive terrestrial robot testing and its signing of a launch contract with SpaceX. While the Google reward is substantial with up to $24 million available to the winner, Astrobotic’s main business — the delivery of payloads to the lunar surface for space agencies – will produce several times that revenue.
The same issue named SpaceX the “Grand Award Winner 2011” in the space and aviation category, calling it “The Future of American Spaceflight.”