Discovery Signs Deal with Google Lunar X PRIZE

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Discovery Channel and sister network Science Channel will partner with the Google Lunar X Prize for a television mini-series about the competition.

The contest promises $30 million for landing a robot on the lunar surface, moving it at least 500 meters and for transmitting high-definition video and images back to Earth — by Dec. 31, 2015. Teams must be primarily privately funded.

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“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,” Eileen O’Neill, vice president for Discovery Channel, Science Channel and Velocity, said in a statement.

“More than half the world’s population has never had the opportunity to experience a live broadcast from the moon,” added X Prize president Robert Weiss.

“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,” Weiss said in the statement.

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Details for the series are still being worked out, says Discovery Channel spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg, adding that the shows likely will air in 2015.

“Science Channel and Discovery Channel will follow the entire process including testing, liftoff and live coverage of the winning lunar landing,” the statement said.

The announcement was made at Discovery Communications’ annual Upfront programming presentation in New York on Wednesday.

Discovery Communications also is the parent company of DiscoveryNews.com.

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