Audi plans to launch its moon rover to space in 2017, .
The German automakers paired up with a group called the Part-Time Scientists to create a rover to touch down on the moon. This is all part of Google's Lunar XPRIZE competition, with the winner being awarded $30 million. The object of the contest is to build a rover, fly it to the moon, drive 500 meters and send back high-definition video recordings to Earth, . A total of 15 teams around the world are competing for the prize. The first team to successfully complete the mission will win.
"The concept of a privately financed mission to the moon is fascinating," says Luca de Meo, Audi Board Member for Sales and Marketing, . "And innovative ideas need supporters that promote them. We want to send a signal with our involvement with the Part-Time Scientists and also motivate other partners to contribute their know-how."
Audi is helping the part-time scientists in fields such as quattro all-wheel drive, lightweight construction and piloted driving. It's safe to say that Audi knows a thing or two about that technology.
Once the rover is complete, it will travel over 238,000 miles to the moon. The rover will be transported in a launching rocket, with the expected travel time to be around five days, . The rover is targeted to land just north of the moons equator, near the landing site of the Apollo 17.
The Part-Time Scientists were formed by Robert Böhme, an information tech consultant in Berlin. Most of the team, around 35 members, hail from Austria and Germany.