British Entreprenuer Julian Ranger Backs Astrobotic in Google Lunar X Prize

Sept. 28, 2010

Julian Ranger, a British entrepreneur, has given his backing to Astrobotic Technology, one of 22 teams competing to put a robot on the moon and win the Google Lunar X PRIZE. All 22 teams meet on 4 & 5 October on the Isle of Man to reveal their progress.

The Google Lunar X PRIZE is a $30 million international competition to land a robot on the surface of the Moon safely, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send images and data back to the Earth.

As the lead investor in Astrobotic, and the only British investor involved in the whole competition, Julian Ranger is keeping the UK firmly on the map for privately funded space travel. Julian runs iBundle, an innovation hub in Surrey, and feels very strongly about backing technology, innovation and engineering:

“This project demonstrates what can be done when great ideas are given the opportunity to flourish. I feel very strongly that Britain should back exciting projects, good ideas and entrepreneurial spirit, which is why we started Astrobotic sums up the collaborative working practices that make businesses successful, and we can learn a lot from this mission. All power to the Astrobotic team!”

Astrobotic will, as part of the moon landings planned:

  • offer children that win a competition to control the robot for a short time period from Earth
    broadcast music from space
  • offer the opportunity for ‘cremains’ to be taken up by the robot (for scattering on the Moon)

David Gump, President of Astrobotic, said that “Julian’s investment has meant the difference between entering this project or admitting defeat. We have a good deal more investment to find, but we are very confident in our mission and our robots, not least thanks to Julian’s foresight and backing. We hope and believe we can win the Prize!”

All 22 teams are giving progress reports on 4 and 5 October, during the United Nations World Space Week, on the Isle of Man, which has become a centre for space science.

Brief Bio of Julian Ranger
(From Website)

Founded by Julian Ranger, an angel investor since 2007 and an entrepreneur since he formed his first business STASYS, in 1989, iBundle is an innovation hub for software and web companies, providing innovative new tools and services for their target markets. Julian grew STASYS to a £17m+ business with 230 staff with subsidiaries in the US, Australia and Germany before selling it to Lockheed Martin in 2005.