Google Lunar X Prize Seeks Experts for Panel of Judges

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The Google Lunar X Prize is looking to assemble a panel of experts to help judge the $30 million competition to land a privately funded rover on the Moon. Judging panel applications are being accepted through May 17, with the seven to nine selected individuals to be announced in mid-June, according to Julie Hendricks, a spokeswoman for the competition.

Hendricks said applicants should have “experience and expertise” in one or more of the following areas: launch operations; mission operations; robotics; law and/or business relating to space; spacecraft engineering; and satellite communications.

The X Prize Foundation of Playa Vista, Calif., established the Google Lunar X Prize to award $20 million to the first privately funded team to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon by the end of 2015, send a vehicle 500 meters over the lunar surface and return high-definition video and imagery to Earth. The foundation plans to award $5 million to the second team to accomplish those feats and another $5 million in bonus prizes to teams that complete various tasks such as operating at night, detecting water and making a precision landing near an Apollo site. The $20 million grand prize is scheduled to decrease to $15 million if a government-funded mission beats competitors to the lunar surface.