The Google Lunar XPRIZE
The modern day version of the space race is already in action. With 30 million USD (United States Dollars) up for grabs, 16 teams from across the world are now in competition to be the first to complete the mission which entails landing a robotic spacecraft on the moon’s surface, successfully travelling over 500 meters and transmitting high-definition video as well as images back to Earth. The first team to successfully complete the mission will receive the 20 million USD grand prize, with 5 million USD going to the team that comes in second. 5 Million USD are offered to teams who complete additional activities, one of those activities requires teams to capture images of the remnants of the Apollo program, which took Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon in 1969. Doing this would earn teams one of the two “Heritage Bonus Prizes” on offer. A number of organisations have objected to this as they believe the site of the original moon landing is of high archaeological and cultural importance and should therefore be preserved. These groups are concerned that those attempting to complete this activity may accidentally cause damage to the site.
So far two teams have already secured launch contracts, due in 2017, which is also the official deadline for The Google Lunar XPRIZE. The names of the two teams who have secured launch contracts are SpaceIL (in conjunction with SpaceX) as well as Moon Express (in collaboration with Rocket Lab) however, there are still 16 teams in the running. The purpose of the race is to inspire innovators as well as engineers and entrepreneurs to formulate a cost-effective way to explore space robotically.
Here are some interesting facts about the two frontrunners:
- SpaceIL is based in Israel. They are a non-profit organisation and hope to land the smallest, lightest vehicle in the history of space travel, on the surface of the moon.
- Sponsored mostly by philanthropic organisations, team SpaceIL’s total estimated budget is 36 million USD.
- The founders of team SpaceIL have stated that should they successfully complete the mission and win the massive grand prize, the entire sum of money will be donated to the promotion of science, technology and education within Israel’s borders.
- 95% of team SpaceIL’s 200 members are volunteers.
- The spacecraft being developed by SpaceIL is approximately the size of a dishwasher.
Team Moon Express
- The Moon Express team is based in America and is a privately held business. The team desires to mine the moon for economically valuable, natural resources.
- The elements that the team plans to mine include niobium, yttrium as well as dysprosium.
- Moon Express was founded in 2010 in Mountain View, California.
- The intention of the team behind Moon Express is to make commercially available, robotic transportation to the moon’s surface.
- The plan is to place the ILO (International Lunar Observatory) on the moon’s surface around the year 2018. The intention is to set up the ILO near the Malapert Crater, which is located near the moon’s southern limb.
At Boost Digital Marketing Solutions we identify with this mission as we also shoot for the moon. For all your digital marketing needs don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com or drop us a line on +27 87 135 2444. Otherwise, our doors are always open and you are welcome to stop by our offices at Boskruin Office Park, on the ground floor of Building 2. Located at the corner of President Fouche and Hawken Road, Boskruin, Randburg 2154. We at Boost Digital Marketing Solutions would like to wish all teams in the running for The Google Lunar XPRIZE the very best of luck, we will be watching very closely to see how things progress.