The Penn State Lunar Lion Mission will make history as the first ever university-led mission to the Moon, igniting anew a passion for space exploration, and will turn rocket fuel and the spirit of adventure into an energy source for brilliant and passionate young minds by demonstrating to the world that space is dramatically more accessible today than anyone imagines.
We are inspired by the lunar achievements of nations; yet we are bold enough to envision great universities numbered with them. America, Russia, Japan, and India have gone to the Moon. In December last year, the Chinese landed the highest-tech vehicle ever to make lunar tracks. Moon missions take brains, and willpower, and usually the wealth of nations.
The Lunar Lions are going to the Moon. We are going to do it with brains and willpower as well. And yes, a bit of wealth. A small investment by national standards, yet with the help of our partners and supporters, and with the added motivation of the Google Lunar XPRIZE, not at all beyond our grasp.
In December of next year, the Lunar Lion lander will take off onboard a commercial launch vehicle. After cruising through space for five days, the spacecraft will land on the surface of the Moon, sending back high-res images and videos to Penn State’s mission control center. After this first lunar touchdown, the Penn State team will launch the Lunar Lion from the Moon’s surface and fly it to a second landing site. This maneuver will demonstrate the precision and reliability of the spacecraft as it continues to shoot breathtaking videos of the cratered, magnificent desolation. An astonishing first in the history of aviation and space exploration.
As a memorial to all the Lunar Lion team members and supporters whose efforts and contributions make this mission possible, the Lunar Lion lander will carry their names, posts and signatures engraved on its available surfaces.