Beyond the International Year of Astronomy, 2009 continues to pump out news items, here’s a few snippets of interest.
Here’s a Google X-prize with a difference. MoonBots is a two phase challenge that asks teams to design and create Lego Mindstorms robots to perform actions on a simulated Lunar surface. The first phase, running until the 28th of May, is for teams to digitally design a robot, having checked out the challenges and terrain they’d be experiencing. A team of judges will sift through the entries and twenty teams will be invited to continue to phase two, running between June 21st and August 14th, when a Lego Mindstorms set and MoonBot simulated Lunar surface will be delivered to the teams and they build the robots and perform the tasks. All phase II team members will receive a two year subscription to Wired magazine and the winning three teams will visit the headquarters of Lego in Billund, Denmark. Team registration is open until Saturday.