Mars Exploration Leader Joins Astrobotic's Lunar Expedition

Mon Feb 4, 2008 6:23pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

First team to announce for Google's moon prize bolsters its leading position
in the worldwide competition

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- A distinguished leader of planetary
exploration is joining the Astrobotic Technology team to accelerate its
pursuit of the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize, the company announced today.
Tony Spear, who led the NASA-funded Pathfinder project that landed a robot
on Mars in July 1997, has been appointed Program Manager for Astrobotic's
Tranquility Trek(TM) project.  The Astrobotic Tranquility Trek scheduled for
July, 2009 will send a robotic rover back to the historic Apollo 11 site for
the first look in 40 years -- this time with high-definition video.
    "Tony Spear's success with Mars Pathfinder is still the best example of a
quick, efficient, and low-cost planetary mission ever attempted," said
Mitchell London, Astrobotic Technology CEO.  "In the 1990s, Tony's
disruptively unbureaucratic approach was a cornerstone of NASA's Faster Better
Cheaper initiative.  Tony's highly efficient mode of operation is key to our
team winning the Google prize."
Mr. Spear's career began at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) shortly
after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 1962. He participated in
the design and development of Venus and Mars orbiters.  Mr. Spear later helped
design the communications system that linked the 1976 Mars Viking lander with
its orbiter, and he also managed development of the first Synthetic Aperture
Imaging Radar to fly in space in 1978. Mr. Spear holds a B.S. degree in
electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon and an M.S. degree in electrical
engineering from the University of Southern California.
    The Tranquility Trek will field a multi-camera robot now under development
by Dr. William "Red" Whittaker of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Dr. Whittaker was first to announce plans to seek the Google Lunar X Prize
when the contest was revealed.  Last fall, his Carnegie Mellon team won the
$2 million Urban Challenge race for robotically driven vehicles with a Chevy
Tahoe upgraded with custom software and sensors.
    A long-time resident of Pasadena, California, Mr. Spear now plans to make
Pittsburgh his second home.  "We are delighted to welcome Tony back to our
Pittsburgh campus," said Prof. Whittaker.  "Tony is an extraordinarily
distinguished Carnegie Mellon University alum.  His interaction with our
engineering students will be invaluable."
    Astrobotic Technology, Inc. (, headquartered
in Redmond, Washington is a privately held seed-stage company formed by
Carnegie Mellon University professor William "Red" Whittaker and his
colleagues in November, 2007.
    * "Tranquility Trek" is a trademark of Astrobotic Technology, Inc.

     Media Contact:  Mitchell London
                     President and CEO
                     (425) 462-7428

    Forward Looking Statements
    This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "expect," "estimate," "project,"
"budget," "forecast," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "may," "will," "could,"
"should," "believes," "predicts," "potential," "continue," and similar
expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements.
    Astrobotic undertakes no obligation and does not intend to update these
forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances occurring after
this press release. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these
forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press
release. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by
this cautionary statement.
SOURCE  Astrobotic Technology, Inc.

Mitchell London, President and CEO of Astrobotic Technology, Inc.,
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