There are 16 teams around the world that are competing for the Google Lunar X Prize.
It’s a competition that challenges people to successfully land a rover on the moon’s surface.
The criteria to win is that the robot must be able to travel at least 500 metres and transmit HD video and images back to earth.
The only Canadians competing live in Vancouver, and they’re a father and son team. Called Team Plan B, Alex Dobrianski and his son, Sergei, are pursuing a lifelong dream that the father has had since leaving Soviet Russia.
The son, Sergei, joined Jon McComb to talk about the project.
He says the actual quest is about pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and trying to open up space for future generations.
They’ve been working on it since 2011, and prior to that they spent a year trying to figure out if they could even do it.
“Just digesting a lot of information to see if it’s even possible with the current technology, and where the space industry is. So 2010, we spent that digesting all of our possible approaches, 2011 we entered the competition and we’ve been at it all around the clock.”
And they’ve been doing it all on their own steam and finances.
“This is very much a passion project and now we’re just gaining more and more steam.”
They work out of Alex’s condo, as well as remotely with all of the engineers involved in the project. He says if things go well, they’ll eventually get to work in a bigger facility.
Sergei says there are new challenges every day as the field constantly changes with new innovations in technology. They have until 2017 to figure those challenges out.
The GLXP Grand Prize is $20 million and the Second Place Prize is $5 million, plus another $5 million in bonus prizes for further technological and scientific achievements.