A Lunar X Prize Team Wants To Give Everyone The Chance To Explore The Moon Using Oculus Rift

Like you were there. Picture: Getty Images

The Lunar X Prize has proved one of the more troublesome in the series of multimillion dollar X Prize Foundation challenges sponsored by Google.

The original deadline was to have a robot on the Moon by the end of 2012 for the full $20 million prize money, decreasing to $15 million by the end of this year.

With no team appearing close to making the trip successfully, it’s been extended to the end of 2015.

The Carnegie Mellon team hopes that the integration of Facebook-owned Oculus Rift headsets will help it engage public interest in its X Prize bid.

“We make it so that once our robot is there, you can go… you drop your Oculus on and take a look around,” team member Daniel Shafrir said in a YouTube post outlining the team’s vision.

“There’s something tangible about moving your head one-tenth of a degree to the left and knowing that 240,000 miles away our robot is moving his head a tenth of a degree to the left too.”

He told the BBC if Carnegie Mellon is successful, it hopes to have “hundreds of the robots on the Moon” beaming images back to Oculus Rift headsets in every classroom.

“Put the headset on and you look to your left, you see the vast expanse of space,” he said.

“You look to your right and you see home. You’re looking live to see what it’s really like on the Moon.”

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