The moon is about to be the star of its own reality competition.
Science Channel and Discovery channel are partnering for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a global competition to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon with live coverage from the lunar surface. The nets will present a miniseries based on the competition, following the participating teams from test-lifts to coverage of the winning craft. The privately-funded company that comes out on top will win $30 million.
“The $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE offers all the ingredients of fantastic television; stakes, competition, big characters, and mind-blowing visuals. It’s the perfect project for Science Channel and Discovery Channel to partner on,” said Eileen O’Neill, group vice president for Discovery Channel, Science Channel and Velocity, in a statement. “When the winning craft touches down on the moon’s surface, it’s going to trigger buzz and inspiration all over the world.”
To win, the team must land a craft on the moon’s surface, travel 500 meters and transmit live pictures and video back to earth by Dec. 31, 2015. The nets and XPRIZE have the additional goal of putting a spotlight on space.
“In addition to the technological breakthroughs catalyzed by the Google Lunar XPRIZE, we have an equally important goal of inspiring young scientists, engineers and space explorers,” said Robert K. Weiss, vice chairman and president of XPRIZE, in a statement. “More than half the world’s population has never had the opportunity to experience a live broadcast from the moon. Partnering with Discovery Channel and Science Channel will allow us to engage the public around this milestone event, creating an ‘Apollo Moment’ for the next generation.”
The miniseries is planned to air in 2015. The announcement was made today at Discovery Communications’ annual Upfront presentation in New York.