It’s a space race unlike any other—one not between governments with seemingly endless resources, but between entrepreneurs with dreams of a new era of affordable space exploration.
Initially, 29 teams from 16 countries registered to participate in the $30 million Google Lunar XPrize competition, which kicked off in 2007. Today, 16 teams remain in the competition, and the teams SpaceIL and Moon Express have verified launches for 2017.
Now a nine-part documentary web series about the dreamers behind the lunar projects is slated to premiere on Google Play and YouTube. The series, called “Moon Shot,” is a collaboration between Academy Award-nominated director Orlando von Einsiedel, who directed the 2014 film “Virunga,” and executive producer J.J. Abrams, who recently directed the latest installment of the “Star Wars” franchise.
Today, Google released a trailer for the series, which will be available on Google Play starting March 15, and YouTube March 17.
The $30 million XPrize will be awarded to the teams that can land a privately funded rover on the moon, travel 500 m, and transmit high-definition video and images back to Earth.
“It is only with a commercial mindset and commercial technologies that we will achieve a long-term vision of space commercialization and industrialization,” said XPrize’s CEO and Chairman Peter H. Diamandis in a statement.