Science Channel and Discovery Channel announced that the networks will serve as television homes for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a $30 million competition for privately-funded teams to land an unmanned craft on the moon by December 31, 2015. The networks will chronicle the historic race with a miniseries event, following teams from around the world as they race to complete the mission requirements of the Grand Prize; to land a craft on the surface of the moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit live pictures and video back to earth.
Science Channel and Discovery Channel will follow the entire process including testing, lift-off, and live coverage of the winning lunar landing, which is estimated to take place in 2015. The announcement was made at Discovery Communications' annual Upfront presentation in New York.
"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. "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 $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. "When the winning craft touches down on the moon's surface, it's going to trigger buzz and inspiration all over the world. Our intention is to provide a live, front-row seat to history being made, just as we did with Nik Wallenda's SKYWIRE event and the upcoming EVEREST JUMP LIVE."
Andrew Jackson is Vice President and Executive Producer of the Google Lunar XPRIZE for Science Channel and Discovery Channel. Dolores Gavin is Executive Vice President of Production and Development for Discovery Channel. Bernadette McDaid is Vice President of Production for Science Channel. Eileen O'Neill is Group President for Discovery Channel, Science Channel and Velocity.