U.S. nets Science Channel and Discovery Channel have been tapped to broadcast coverage of the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition (pictured), which will see teams attempt to land an unmanned craft on the moon by December 31, 2015.
The networks will air a miniseries event that will follow the international teams racing to land their spacecraft on the moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit live pictures and video back to Earth in order to win the US$30 million grand prize. The nets will follow the entire process including testing and lift-off, and they will provide live coverage of the winning lunar landing, estimated to occur in 2015.
“More than half the world’s population has never had the opportunity to experience a live broadcast from the moon,” said Robert K. Weiss, vice-chairman and president of XPRIZE, in a statement. “Partnering with Discovery Channel and Science Channel will allow us to engage the public around this milestone event, creating an ‘Apollo moment’ for the next generation.”
Eileen O’Neill, group VP for Discovery Channel, Science Channel and Velocity, added: “The $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE offers all the ingredients of fantastic television: stakes, competition, big characters, and mind-blowing visuals.
“When the winning craft touches down on the moon’s surface, it’s going to trigger buzz and inspiration all over the world. Our intention is to provide a live, front-row seat to history being made, just as we did with Nik Wallenda’s Skywire event and the upcoming Everest Jump Live.”
Andrew Jackson serves as VP and EP of the Google Lunar XPRIZE for Science Channel and Discovery Channel. Dolores Gavin is EVP of production and development for Discovery, while Bernadette McDaid is VP of production for Science Channel.