Star Wars: The Force Awakens may be one of the highest grossing movies of all time, but that doesn't mean J.J. Abrams is finished using space as a canvas. Abrams teamed up with film director Orlando von Einsiedel, Google and the X Prize Foundation to produce Moon Shot, a nine-part documentary web series about the Google Lunar XPrize.
The competition, which began in 2007 and concludes in 2017, will award $US30 million in prize money to teams that can get a privately financed rover to the Moon — one capable of driving 500m and sending videos and images back to Earth. The point of the program, according to Google and the X Prize Foundation, is to "incentivise space entrepreneurs to create a new era of affordable access to the Moon and beyond".
To drum up publicity, Abrams was brought in to film the 16 teams currently competing against each other for the $US30 million prize. Here's what Google said about the series in an announcement:
The teams in the competition come from all walks of life, from Silicon Valley tech experts, to hackers in Germany, to IT specialists in India, to a father and son working out of their their Vancouver apartment. In a series of 9 digital documentaries, Moon Shot goes behind the scenes with each team, bringing to life their challenges, sacrifices, quirks, and most importantly, the reasons why they're making the 238,900 mile journey to the moon.
Moon Shot will premiere on Google Play on March 15 and on YouTube on March 17. As long as you don't bring any smoke monsters or purgatory nonsense into the picture, Abrams, we'll be fine.