Just under a year after Google ponied up the money
for the Lunar X Prize, there's a team set to attempt a launch and claim the $20M reward. The Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association (ARCA) has scheduled up a launch of a 92-pound rover called the European Lunar Lander within the next three months, with the plan being to float a balloon over the sea to a height of 11 miles, at which point a STABILO rocket will carry the payload to space. To win the prize, the ELL has to land, travel 500 feet on the surface of the moon, and send video, images, and data back to Earth. That's quite a tall order -- we'll be watching this one closely, since even if ARCA succeeds, there's still several $5M prizes out there for second places and the completion of several other objectives.