Audi Goes to the Moon With the Google Lunar XPRIZE German Team
Audi announced that it’s going to the Moon. The German auto maker is teaming up with Part-Time Scientists, a German team participating in the Google Lunar XPRIZE.
“We are pleased to support the project with our know-how in lightweight technology, electronics and robotics,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development. Luca de Meo, Audi Board Member for Sales and Marketing, added:
The concept of a privately financed mission to the moon is fascinating. And innovative ideas need supporters that promote them. We want to send a signal with our involvement with the Part-Time Scientists and also motivate other partners to contribute their know-how.
The Audi Lunar Quattro to Launch to the Moon in 2017
The Google Lunar XPRIZE is a $30 million competition to land a privately funded robot on the Moon. Prizes will be awarded to teams that land a rover on the moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit back high definition video and images.
The first team that successfully completes this mission will be awarded the $20 million dollar Grand Prize. The second team to successfully complete the mission will be awarded $5 million dollars. To win either of these prizes, teams must prove that 90 percent of their mission costs were funded by private sources.
The remaining $5 million dollars will be distributed as bonus prizes for further technical and scientific achievements, such as surviving the lunar night or visiting an Apollo landing site.
Part-Time Scientists, an international team headquartered in Berlin and operating out of 3 continents with over 70 people involved, was the first German team to officially enter the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. The Part-Time Scientists website states that the team is one of the five favorites to land a rover on the Moon first. According to cost estimates by Part-Time Scientists, launching a rocket to transport their rover will cost around 24 million euros, including the necessary insurance policies.
Audi is supporting Part-Time scientists by providing the Quattro‘s four-wheel drive tech, as well as expertise in lightweight construction and piloted driving. Audi is also providing wide-ranging assistance in testing, trials and quality assurance. In addition, the Audi Concept Design Studio in Munich is revising the design of the rover, which will be named the “Audi lunar Quattro” – a really excellent advertising and PR move! The lunar vehicle with the Audi lunar Quattro should launch to the Moon in 2017 and land near the 1972 landing site of the Apollo 17.
Images from Audi.