Sometimes innovation just needs a little incentive to get moving. Sometimes that incentive comes in the form of money, sometimes it's exposure, and sometimes, as in the case of the Google Lunar XPrize, it's both.
The GLXP is a $30 million pool of prizes that's kicked off a new-age space race. Private teams from around the world are competing to land craft on the moon in pursuit of a $20 million grand prize, plus a further $10 million in bonus prizes. The biggest check goes to the first team to land on the moon and cover at least 500 meters across (or above) the lunar surface while beaming high-definition video back to Earth.
That financial incentive has been enough to get 19 international teams to sign on, and some of those teams will be getting additional exposure thanks to a newly announced documentary called "Moon Shot."
Through nine episodes, the series will chart the progress of many of the GLXP's leading teams, getting you behind the scenes -- much like we did in our own 2014 video series about the competition.
As you can see in the trailer embedded above, there's no shortage of production value here, and with Executive Producer J.J. Abrams on board, plus Academy Award-nominated director Orlando von Einsiedel, you know it's going to be good.
The free series launches on Google Play on March 15, hitting YouTube two days later. As to the competition itself, teams have until the end of the year to announce launch contracts to get their lunar landers into orbit. Watch this space!