In case you haven’t heard, the Moon is trending again… and in a big way. Like in the glory days of the 1960s and 1970s, our big white space neighbour is enjoying the attention of lunar explorers. Only this time, they’re going back to the Moon for good. This award-winning 24-minute fulldome planetarium show, Back To The Moon For Good, chronicles teams around the world competing for the largest international incentivized prize in history, by landing a robotic spacecraft on the Moon. To win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, a team must land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon, navigate 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send video, images and data back to Earth. This global competition is designed to spark imagination and inspire a renewed commitment to space exploration, not by governments or countries – but by the citizens of the world.
The show opens with the first era of space exploration in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We see what that era of landers and orbiters taught us about our nearest neighbor including the discovery of the Moon’s origin, composition, structure and the accessibility of raw materials on its surface. The Google Lunar XPRIZE is designed to democratize space and create new opportunities for eventual human and robotic presence on the Moon. We see the engineering and innovation steps taken by the internationally distributed teams competing to land a spacecraft on the Moon and vie for additional prizes. We highlight the human spirit of competition and collaboration as teams take on this audacious challenge. Who will win the $30 million prize? The audience is taken through a successful launch, landing and lunar surface travel. The show ends with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future on the Moon.
16 teams from around the world have until the end of 2016 to secure a launch contract and need to complete their mission by the end of 2017 to be in with a chance of winning the prize. Find out more at the Google Lunar XPRIZE website.
Category: Astronomy, Space exploration
Running time: 24 mins
Released in: 2014
Suitable for: KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5, Adults, Families