Optech Partners with Google Lunar X Prize Team
Toronto, Canada – Optech Incorporated, a provider of advanced lidar survey instruments, announced that it has become a corporate partner with Odyssey Moon Limited, the first official team of the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE competition.
Odyssey Moon made its first public debut on December 6th at the Space Investment Summit in San Jose, California, unveiling its plans to make history with the first private robotic mission to the surface of the Moon in pursuit of the Google Lunar X PRIZE. The inaugural Odyssey Moon mission will involve an unique small robotic lander designed to deliver scientific, exploration and commercial payloads to the surface of the Moon. Odyssey Moon is a private commercial lunar enterprise headquartered in the Isle of Man with long term plans for commercial lunar development.
Optech Incorporated is a privately owned Canadian high technology company that leads worldwide markets in advanced laser-based imaging and survey systems. Optech’s lidar (laser radar) technology was the first of its kind in orbit and is currently on the way toward Mars aboard the NASA Phoenix Mars Lander. Lidar based technologies for safe landing and rover navigation are expected to play an essential role in robotic and human lunar missions.
Optech’s technology was featured at the roll out of Odyssey Moon in a demonstration of a lunar rover prototype, the K-10, developed in collaboration with the NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group. Optech’s ILRIS-3D sensor is used by the rover to provide 3D terrain visualization for navigation and science. The rover system was successfully demonstrated this past summer during field trials at Haughton Crater in the Canadian Arctic.
“We are very pleased to be partnered with Odyssey Moon,” said Don Carswell, President of Optech. “Optech technology first reached orbit in 2004 and is now headed toward Mars. We look forward to seeing Optech technology on the Moon, the next logical step.”
Odyssey Moon was founded by Robert (Bob) Richards, who co-founded the International Space University and has managed multiple spaceflight programs as Director of Optech Space Technology. “Commercial space needs commercial thinking,” Richards commented. “Optech exemplifies the NewSpace approach and I am proud that the company is playing a role in Odyssey Moon’s business and technical plans.”