Beacon Transcript – Audi is the newest competitor to be joining in the Google Moon Race, a competition which now hosts 16 teams as they seek to win the Lunar XPRIZE space travel competition.
The Moon has been one of humanity’s first great space conquest. Following the 1969 landing on the surface of the Earth’s satellite and its final 1972 manned landing, the Moon has nonetheless fallen quite behind.
Be it from historic facts or because new targets the likes of Mars or Saturn have been established, the Moon fell to quite a second in the space race.
But this is about to change as Google, the giant innovative company has launched a competition. The Google Moon Race seeks to determine the first team to reach the landing site of the famous Apollo 17 mission.
Once it has reached the site, the first team to get there must take photos and send them back to Earth. With a $20 million prize in cash for the first team to get there and future recognition, 16 teams have already registered so as to participate.
The current number of participants was registered earlier this week, following Audi’s decision of joining the competition.
Audi, the Volkswagen subsidiary, will be joining the Part Time Scientists Berlin-based scientist. According to a statement, the two have signed a contract which will seek to send two rovers to the Moon.
The two rovers, which will be called the Audi Lunar Quattro, are envisioned to depart from Earth and land on the satellite sometime next year.
According to a German press release, the Audi Lunar Quattro should land somewhere around 2 or 3 miles away from the Apollo 17 site.
The rover will most probably come within 220 yards from the place as it will then take high-definition images of the landing zone.
The Google Moon Race was envisioned as a way of bringing new technological and scientific advances in our exploration of space.
Google, the competition’s initiator and sponsor, is trying to combine a new area as the race introduces new expertise in the domain.
As the competition invites companies such as Audi to utilize their experience in a new domain, the space exploration would only benefit from their expertise.
With public-private partnerships joining in the government or privately funded efforts, Google is trying to demonstrate the advantages of the former union.
The Google Moon Race, or the Google Lunar XPRIZE as it is formally known, presents the Moon as a “gateway to the rest of the galaxy”.
According to Google, the satellite should once again come to be recognized for its scientific value. As such, it could offer new discoveries in the fields of technology, science, human habitation, and resource utilization and detection.
With the prize having been established back in 2007, the knowledge gathered from the Moon could come to be used on future space missions or even here on Earth.
Google also suggested, with this competition, that the future costs of space travel may be lowered with the introduction of the private companies.
As these will be coming with their own expertise, it may determine a reduction in development costs and also a faster scientific advancement.
With the latest competitor in the Google Moon Race planning to take flight in late 2017, early 2018 only the future knows what space has in store for us.
Image Source: Wikimedia