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Discovery Communications inks for reality series of Google Lunar XPRIZE competition

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/02/2014 

Discovery Communications has inked a deal to have its Discovery Channel and Science Channel sister networks become the television partners of a new reality miniseries chronicling the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition.

The miniseries will follow the $30-million global competition in which privately-funded teams will attempt to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon by December 31, 2015 and culminate with the broadcast of live coverage from the lunar surface.

"In addition to the technological breakthroughs catalyzed by the Google Lunar XPRIZE, we have an equally important goal of inspiring young scientists, engineers and space explorers," Robert K. Weiss, XPRIZE vice chairman and president, said in a statement.

"More than half the world's population has never had the opportunity to experience a live broadcast from the moon. Partnering with Discovery Channel and Science Channel will allow us to engage the public around this milestone event, creating an 'Apollo Moment' for the next generation." 

The reality miniseries will follow teams from around the world as they race to complete the mission requirements of the grand prize -- landing a craft on the surface of the moon, traveling 500 meters and transmitting live pictures and video back to earth.

It will chronicle the entire process, including tests and lift-off.

"The $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE offers all the ingredients of fantastic television; stakes, competition, big characters, and mind-blowing visuals. It's the perfect project for Science Channel and Discovery Channel to partner on," added Eileen O'Neill, the Discovery vice president who oversees both networks.

"When the winning craft touches down on the moon's surface, it's going to trigger buzz and inspiration all over the world. Our intention is to provide a live, front-row seat to history being made, just as we did with Nik Wallenda's SKYWIRE event and the upcoming EVEREST JUMP LIVE."

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