There’s going to be a remote-controlled car race on the moon next year and of course Elon Musk is behind it… well, partially at least. Yes, this is happening and no, this isn’t remotely (heh) related to the possibility of the Fast & Furious franchise heading to space.
Oh, and guess who’ll be designing the pair of remote-controlled cars for this lunar race. Frank Stephenson, the very man that designed the McLaren P1 and the modern Mini. He’ll be getting a helping-hand from some high school kids because all this is in the name of education.
But wait, there’s more. Legendary Formula One racecar track designer Herman Tilke will be designing the lunar circuit. Tilke is the designer of our Sepang International Circuit.
If you haven’t passed out from the audacity of the endeavour, here are the details. The entire thing is the brainchild of Moon Mark, a multimedia and education content business.
The remote-controlled racecars weigh 2.5kg each and will be placed in a Nova-C lunar lander that’ll be fired to the moon on top of a SpaceX Flacon 9 rocket. Once on the moon, the lander will touchdown the sandy dunes of Oceanus Procellarum, a plain near the western edge of the Moon and now soon-to-be race circuit.
All this is planned for October 2021.
“Moon Mark’s Mission 1 competition will include six diverse teams of high school students selected from across the United States, who will compete in a series of qualifying challenges that include unique demands, such as drone and autonomous vehicle racing, e-gaming and a space commercialisation entrepreneurship contest. The two top teams from the qualifying rounds will win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build and race two vehicles on the Moon. The vehicles will be loaded onto Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C Lunar Lander, launched from Earth on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and land in 2021. Competitors will then race their rovers remotely, navigating through harsh terrain, racing around a sphere of cameras, which will capture every aspect,” said the press release.