The New Space Race

by | Mar 16, 2017 | Cool Stuff

There’s a new space race and we all need to be paying attention to it. In recent years, we’ve seen private space exploration become a popular topic. With companies like SpaceX trying to successfully explore space as private citizens, it was only a matter of time before a new space race started. This one isn’t like previous space races. It’s competitive, sponsored by companies, and has a huge reward for the winner.

Google Lunar XPRIZE and the Rise of the Modern Space Race

XPRIZE is a competition based company that is on a mission to find innovative ways to solve the world’s biggest challenges. XPRIZE believes that everyone has the power to be creative, entrepreneurial, and inventive. It’s when we come together as a global community and put those skills together that we can creatively and innovatively solve the most pressing problems we face.

One of the most recent XPRIZE competitions is the Google Lunar XPRIZE. It’s the modern day space race with 5 teams competing to be the first private group to land a spacecraft on the moon, create a robot that travels 500 meters on the moon’s surface, and transmit HD video and images back to Earth.

The Google Lunar XPRIZE Competitors

There are five teams competing in the space race. The teams are from Israel, the US, India, Japan, and an international team. They are all competing for the prize money. Comprised of engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators, these teams are up against some fierce competition and some fierce space conditions. In order to succeed at landing on the moon, the teams will have to overcome huge issues.

The Issues Teams Are Facing In Space

The first challenge is actually getting their robot on the moon. Teams must actually build a spacecraft that has the ability to travel through space and successfully land a robot on the moon. Once there, the robot has to travel 500 meters and needs to transmit HD video and images back down to Earth.

As if those were’t big enough challenges to overcome, the teams and their robots will be facing moon dust. While it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, moon dust is comparable to tiny shards of glass. The moon dust will stick in seals, jam equipment, and obstruct access to solar power. In addition to the dust, teams will also be up against cosmic rays which can cause equipment to shut down, send the robots off course, and negatively impact the quality of images and videos.

Exploring Space Like an XPRIZE Team

Want to explore space with your classroom like an XPRIZE team? Now you can! With help from StratoStar, you and your entire classroom can send a high-altitude weather balloon to the edge of space. You’ll design an experiment to send up with the balloon, track the balloon’s progress, and analyze the experiment when it lands back on the ground.

Get started today! Contact StratoStar