Still from Back to the Moon for Good
Feb. 04, 2015
The X-Prize Foundation has created an exciting full-dome planetarium show titled Back To the Moon for Good which X-Prize has made available online. The video runs 25 minutes and is narrated by actor Tim Allen.
The centerpiece of the show is its overview of the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the largest such prize in history. One objective of this prize is to generate developments in the direction of making space a place to do business. To win, a competitor's rover must travel 500 meters across the lunar surface and send video, images, and data back to Earth. Furthermore, a competitor's entry must be at least 90% privately funded. More than 30 teams have entered the competition. The contest deadline is December 31, 2016 with at least one team providing documentation of a scheduled launch by December 31, 2015 in order for all teams to move forward in the competition.
The show begins by providing a brief history of lunar exploration including brief mentions of the Ranger, Surveyor, Lunokhod, and LCROSS robotic missions - with the manned Apollo missions figuring prominently.
The show moves on to addressing the challenges of lunar development, including temperatures which range from a low of -150 degrees Celsius to highs of 100 degrees Celsius. Importantly, the program asks the question "Can we find a better more economical way to explore the Moon?" One answer involves ISRU (In-Situ Resource Utilization). For example, mining the Moon for water would be one strategy with lunar water being used for agriculture, food and sanitation needs, as a source of oxygen for atmosphere and as a source of hydrogen for fuel.
One component of the competition is the family of Milestone Prizes that serve to encourage innovation in the areas of landing, mobility, and imaging. Two such prizes have already been announced with Astrobotic (U.S.) winning $500,000 in the mobility category as well as $250,000 for their imaging subsystem. Other teams competing for Milestone Prizes are Hakuto (Japan), Team Indus (India), Moon Express (U.S.) and Part-Time Scientists (Germany).
Chicago Society for Space Studies supports the Google LUNAR XPRIZE and its work to "spark imagination and inspire a renewed commitment to space exploration, not by governments or countries – but by the citizens of the world."
This beautifully animated show is the winner of the Best Planetarium Choice award from the Macoo International Planetarium Society and winner of the Producer's Award at the Jena Fulldome Festival.
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