Isle of Man based company, Odyssey Moon Ltd has announced that it will be teaming up with Israeli based SpaceIL, to compete for the $30 million Google Lunar X prize. The alliance formed under team SpaceIL, according to many, is the most likely team to succeed in this dramatic race to the Moon.
The $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented competition to challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. To win the competition, a privately-funded team must successfully place a robot on the Moon's surface that explores at least 500 metres and transmits high definition video and images back to Earth.
The joint teaming arrangement is based on an innovative commercial partnership model that infuses high impact scientific missions with a commercial enterprise funding element. This dynamic partnership brings together the best characteristics of non-profit activities with commercial and entrepreneurial skill sets.
Odyssey Moon Advisor, Michael Potter commented:
'This team has a tremendously high probability of achieving one of the greatest space challenges of our time, the landing of a private, non-governmental lander on the Moon. This will probably be one of the largest media events of 2015.'
SpaceIL Chairman, Yanki Margalit said:
'SpaceIL will keep working to complete our mission to land the first Israeli spaceship on the Moon and inspire the next generation. Now, with our colleagues from Odyssey Moon Space, we are closer to the Moon than ever.'
Alex Downie OBE, MLC, Member of the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Space, who is also a trustee of the IISC said:
'This is indeed good news and the Department of Economic Development is delighted to be associated with Odyssey Moon as it continues to play a prominent role in space. The location of the Company on the Isle of Man is one of the reasons why the Island has been independently assessed as the nation fourth most likely to return to the Moon by Ascend Consultancy.
'I wish both Odyssey Moon and SpaceIL the very best of luck in the Google Lunar X prize competition.'
Tim Craine, Head of e-Gaming and Technology, Department of Economic Development, who is a trustee of the International Institute of Space Commerce (IISC), said:
'It is fantastic that Isle of Man based Odyssey Moon Ltd is partnering with SpaceIL in pursuit of the Google Lunar X prize and I wish the team every success in this important and exciting venture.'