Team Selenokhod Enters $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE Competition
Moscow, Russia (September 21, 2009) — Today, Team Selenokhod, a Russian group of engineers and managers, announced its official entry into the Google Lunar X PRIZE - a $30 million competition that challenges space professionals and engineers from across the globe to build and launch to the moon a privately funded spacecraft capable of completing a series of exploration and transmission tasks as outlined in the competition’s official rules. Team Selenokhod, headquartered in Moscow, Russia with ten group members, is among 20 teams from 44 countries that are competing for their share of the $30 million prize purse.
"The contribution progress of private sector in cosmonautics is worldwide trend nowadays. The previous international contest, Ansari X PRIZE, showed that non-government companies have all possibilities to create space technologies needed to achieve ambitious goals. Team Selenokhod wants Russian companies to evaluate the experience of their foreign colleagues, to understand big opportunities of private space exploration and join us in our challenging project", said Nikolay Dzis-Voynarovskiy, Selenokhod Team Leader.
Team Selenokhod is the first Russian team to enter the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition. The team’s vehicle, “Selenokhod,” is comprised of two parts – a lander with a communications system and two rovers. Selenokhod rover is a small four-wheeled solar powered rover. Each of the rovers contains four independent wheels, an HD camera, a solar panel, rechargeable batteries and a low-gain, omni-directional antenna to communicate with each other and the lander. Team Selenokhod hopes to continue Russia’s leading example of space exploration by being the primary team to place the first private rover on the Moon.
“It is wonderful to have a team headquartered in Russia participating in the Google Lunar X PRIZE,” said William Pomerantz, Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation. “Russian scientists and engineers demonstrated amazing capabilities with the Lunokhod rovers and similar mission during the first race to the Moon. Now, Nikolay and the rest of his team will be building on the heritage of those spacecraft to help bring out about ‘Moon 2.0’ – a new era wherein private companies and national space agencies collaborate to create a sustainable and robust program of lunar exploration. That era wouldn’t be complete without the involvement of Russia’s talented workforce.”
For more information about Team Selenokhod, please visit www.selenokhod.com. High resolution photographs, video and other team materials are available upon request.
ABOUT TEAM SELENOKHOD
Selenokhod is a group of Russian engineers and managers working on a private moon rover project. The team will develop new technologies and purchase commercially available Russian space hardware proved during the Space Era started in the twentieth century. For more information, please visit http://www.selenokhod.com.
ABOUT THE GOOGLE LUNAR X PRIZE
The $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a privately-funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon’s surface that explores at least 500 meters (1/3 of a mile) and transmits high definition video and images back to Earth. The first team to do so will claim a $20 million Grand Prize, while the second team will earn a $5 million Prize. Teams are also eligible to win a $1 million award for stimulating diversity in the field of space exploration and as much as $4 million in bonus prizes for accomplishing additional technical tasks such as moving ten times as far, surviving the frigid lunar night, or visiting the site of a previous lunar mission. To date, more than 20 teams from a dozen countries around the world have registered to compete for the prize. The Google Lunar X PRIZE is available to be claimed until the end of the year 2015.
ABOUT THE X PRIZE FOUNDATION
Founded in 1995, the X PRIZE Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. The organization motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital for the benefit of humanity. The X PRIZE Foundation conducts competitions in four Prize Groups: Education & Global Development; Energy & Environment; Life Sciences; and Exploration (Ocean and Deep Space). Prizes won include the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private, suborbital space flight; the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE for creating safe, affordable, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPG energy equivalent (MPGe); and the $2 million Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X PRIZE CHALLENGE for advanced rocket development. Active prizes include the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, the $10 million Archon Genomics X PRIZE, and the $1.4 million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.