Written by IEEE | July 14, 2015 | Updated: March 30, 2017
Hardly a soul missed the iconic moment in 1969 when man took his first steps on the moon.
Now in 2015, we’ve delved deeper into space than we could have imagined, reaching beyond our solar system, but we haven’t forgotten about our first space race.
Google’s Lunar XPRIZE, one of several XPRIZE challenges, has cemented the moon’s place as a space-travel ambition by creating the competition, which pushes engineers and scientists to create rovers that can travel to the moon, roam 500 meters on its surface, and send high-definition videos and images back to Earth.
While inspiring, the XPRIZE is more than a means to increase our thirst for exploration. It also provides the necessary incentive to create new achievements in both technology and science. With a grand prize of $20 million to the first team to successfully complete their mission, the race is on and teams are pulling out all the stops. Part-Time Scientists, one of the 16 teams favored to win the grand prize, is now partnering with Audi, the German automaker known for its four-wheel drive technology, lightweight construction, and piloted driving. With the rover being renamed the Audi lunar Quattro moon rover, it’s possible that Audi could become more than a car company. The additional help could even be the boost the team needs to win the $20 million prize, and with an anticipated launch contract by the end of the year, the winner could be closer than ever before.