Google Lunar Xprize to Pay out $30M for the Best Plan to Get to the Moon
It wasn’t that long ago that the United States, and the world for that matter, had a major fixation with the Moon, Mars and Outer Space. Sure it was a slightly different time. In the 50’s and 60’s, Buck Rodgers and Lost in Space were on TV. The United States was in a “Space Race” with the rest of the world, for interstellar domination. Plus every week the general public would get amazing new “Space Age” products thanks to those brainy NASA scientists (think Tang). This obsession lasted for 40 years thanks to more pop culture like Star Trek, Star Wars and Ziggy Stardust. Heck, even the Beastie Boys got in on the “Intergalactic” action.
Something happened though in the 90’s, maybe it was those grungy cardigans, but somewhere between the NASA Challenger and Columbia disasters, kids lost interest in space. It was a sad time, chemistry sets were getting dusty and sales of toy ray-guns were at an all-time low.
Google, SpaceX and NASA are all trying to shift the tide and boost interest for interstellar exploration. 2015 is really very similar to the original Space Age anyway; we’re in a cold-war with Russia, Star Trek has had two huge movies and a new Star Wars movie is just around the corner (c’mon Bowie, bring back Ziggy Stardust already – bonus “Space Oddity” video below)! It doesn’t hurt that we’ve got a satellite taking close-up photos of Pluto and a Rover Robot creeping around on Mars, but Google still sees room to grow more interest, and they’re putting their money on the line.
Google’s Lunar Xprize will award $30M to the privateer team with the best plan, and mission to the Moon.
The mission of the Google Lunar XPRIZE is to incentivize space entrepreneurs to create a new era of affordable access to the Moon and beyond.
Created in 2007, the Google Lunar XPRIZE has reinvigorated the public’s interest in the Moon by highlighting the endeavors and technological achievements of the competition’s global teams. It is also inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, space explorers, and adventurers.
How does the prize work?
The competition’s $30 million prize purse will be awarded to teams who are able to land a privately funded rover on the moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit back high definition video and images. The first team that successfully completes this mission will be awarded the $20 million dollar Grand Prize. The second team to successfully complete the mission will be awarded $5 million dollars. To win either of these prizes, teams must prove that 90% of their mission costs were funded by private sources. Teams have until the end of 2016 to announce a verified launch contract to remain in the competition and complete their mission by the end of 2017. Find out more at: https://lunar.xprize.org/
Space-Age Bonus: REAL Astronaut Chris Hadfield sings Space Oddity…from SPACE!
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