Is building rockets that can go to space something only NASA or giant private companies like SpaceX can do?
The folks at the X Prize Foundation don't think so—and that’s why they launched the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize, a competition meant to inspire entrepreneurs to come up with an affordable way to get to the moon, and specifically to land an unmanned spaceship on the lunar surface by the end of 2017.
It must be working, because 16 teams have signed up to compete for the prize, and two teams have already received launch contracts.
Now, in a bid to get people excited about the competition, Star Wars and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams, along with Oscar-nominated director Orlando von Einsiedel, Google, and the X Prize Foundation, have created a nine-part documentary series that highlights the work being done by those taking part in the competition.
"This character-driven, emotional, awe-inspiring series of nine short films will follow a selection of the teams currently racing to complete their missions," the X Prize Foundation said in a release. "It will explore the lives of their charismatic, quirky members, the sacrifices they have made to get to where they are today, and crucially, what drives them on this incredible journey."
The series will debut on Google Play on March 15 and YouTube on March 17.