The Lunar Lion is Penn State’s horse in the Google Lunar X Prize competition, a $20 million race to be the first privately funded effort to land on the moon, ever. In other words, with a successful moon landing in 2015, there is a chance that Penn State will accomplish what has only been done by the world’s most powerful sovereign states — the U.S., the then-Soviet Union, and, most recently, China.
“No university has ever done this before,” says student team leader Ajeeth Ibrahim. “This is going to be the biggest thing to happen to the space industry, probably since the Apollo moment.”
Towards its goal of taking Penn State to the moon, the Lunar Lion has just launched a $400,000 crowdfunding campaign, the first step in raising $20 million of philanthropic contributions toward the team’s operating budget of $60 million. The team is appealing to both the Penn State family — and its 169,000-strong alumni association — as well as the rest of the world as it attempts to make space exploration history.
“The fact that we have a university-led team — really, a bunch of undergraduates at the helm of this — is absolutely remarkable,” said Nicholas Jones, vice president and provost.
Embedded below is the promotional video for the Lunar Lion’s crowdfunding campaign: