Sunday, October 11th was a great day. ISS Expedition 20 (commander Gennady Padalka, flight engineer Michael Barratt and spaceflight participant Guy Laliberte) successfully landed the Soyuz TMA-14 return capsule on the steppes of Kazakhstan early in the morning (Moscow time).
Today, Team Selenokhod, a Russian group of engineers and managers, announced its official entry into the Google Lunar X PRIZE - a $30 million competition that challenges space professionals and engineers from across the globe to build and launch to the moon a privately funded spacecraft capable of completing a series of exploration and transmission tasks as outlined in the competition’s
Our spaceship will not fly directly to the Moon. Instead, it will remain in low Earth orbit - like a satellite - until all systems are checked. Once the spaceship is cleared for its flight to the Moon, we will ignite the rocket booster to propel our lunar transfer module with the lunar lander attached to the correct speed which will enable it to break free from Earth's gravity and head for the Moon.