Leicester academic heads judging panel to land robot on the moon

An academic from our University has been elected to Chair a judging panel in a global $30 million prize competition to land a robot on the moon.

Professor Alan Wells, Emeritus Professor and Founding Director of the University’s Space Research Centre, was this week appointed Chair of the judges for the Google Lunar XPRIZE.

Professor Wells has been a member of the distinguished panel of judges that comprises leading space experts from around the USA and Europe.

To win the grand prize ($20M), private teams (with no more than 10% in government funding) must:

  • Land a robot safely on the Moon
  • Move 500 meters on, above, or below the Moon’s surface; and
  • Send back HDTV Mooncasts for everyone to enjoy

Professor Wells said: “The Google Lunar XPRIZE lays down an exciting challenge to creative engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs around the world to find new ways to go into space without help from governments with freedom to innovate, explore and find new uses of low cost access space for future generations. It is an honour to be asked to chair the international judges panel who will decide on the prize awards as the competing teams progress with their exciting missions.”