J.J. Abrams, who has helmed space epics “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Star Trek Into Darkness,” has turned his hand to the real-life drama behind the Google Lunar Xprize competition to land a robot on the moon.
The Google-funded “Moon Shot” docu-series is produced by Abrams’ Bad Robot and Epic Digital and exec produced by J.J. Abrams. Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Orlando von Einsiedel (Netflix’s “Virunga”) directs.
The nine-episode series will premiere on Google Play on March 15 for free, and on the Google Lunar Xprize YouTube channel on March 17. Each episode is about 7 minutes and all episodes will be released in one batch.
The Google Lunar Xprize is offering a pool of $30 million in total cash awards to entrepreneurs who can successfully land a spacecraft on the moon’s surface and transmit images and at least 16 minutes of HD video back to Earth.
Currently, 16 privately funded teams from around the globe are competing in the Google Lunar Xprize contest. Each group has until the end of 2016 to announce a verified launch contract to remain in the competition and must complete their mission by the end of 2017.
“Moon Shot” will follow a selection of the teams, ranging from Silicon Valley tech experts to hackers in Germany, and from IT specialists in India to a father and son working out of a spare bedroom in Vancouver. The series explores the lives of the quirky lunar hopefuls, delving into what fuels their drive to reach space and the sacrifices they’ve made along the way.