A group of Florida students will fly your DNA to the moon if you give them $10,000 to help them build their lunar rover.
They are one of 26 teams participating in Google’s Lunar X contest with $30 million in prize money at stake. To win the money the teams’ lunar robot has to land on the moon, travel 500 meters and send video, images and data back to the Earth.
Teams also have to be “privately funded” — meaning no governments. So a Florida team that calls itself Omega Envoy, has turned to Kickstarter to raise $200,000. For its big-wig sponsors pledging $10,000 or more, the Omega Envoy is offering to fly your DNA to the moon, in addition to letting you drive the rover and other assorted goodies.
Omega Envoy is a team from a firm called Earthrise Space Inc. (ESI), a non-profit that matches students and industry professionals to build commercial spacecraft stuff.
So far, the team doesn’t have many takers. It’s only raised about $2,000 from 37 backers. The biggest pledge so far is $300, which gets you a small-scale model of the Lunar Rover as a prize, plus a T-shirt and other tchotchkes. But there are 17 days left, so here’s hoping they make their fundraising goal.
Google selected the teams in 2010 and they have until 2015 to get to the Moon, drive around and take video. Here’s the thing the Omega Envoy team is trying to build.