The Google Lunar XPRIZE, created in 2007, is a $30 million dollar competition designed to incentivize space entrepreneurs to provide affordable access to the moon.
Audi has announced what may be the most design-conscious bid, by teaming up with the German team Part-Time Scientists, who are hard at work to put an unmanned rover on the moon’s surface.
The rover will be called AUDI Lunar Quattro, reflecting the luxury car manufacturer’s contributions in several fields of technology, including Quattro four-wheel drive tech, expertise in lightweight construction, electric mobility, and piloted driving.
In order to win the competition, Part-Time Scientists must successfully place a robot that has a range of 500 meters on the moon’s surface, and can transmit high definition video and images back to Earth. The PTS team has already collected two “milestone” prizes during the development phase, but now with AUDI’s support with testing, trials and quality assurance, they are well on their way into orbit. The lunar vehicle launch into space is scheduled by the end of 2017, delivered by a rocket that will travel over 230,000 miles to the moon in five days.