Be a Judge!
By Alex Hall on March 12, 2013
There’s a buzz around the office as we’ve started looking for our Google Lunar X PRIZE official judges. While the end of the competition is still a couple of years away (could be earlier if we have earlier successful launches!), there is much to do. Every day we get questions from the Teams as they get further and further down the path of refining their missions and spacecraft design. For example, the rules say that you have to travel 500meters ‘in a deliberate manner’, so could that mean it is ok to travel out 250meters and then return to your lander?
It is also the case that while many items in the Google Lunar X PRIZE will be decided with reference to a check-list, there are also plenty of opportunities where the judges will need to form an opinion or take a decision. For example, what happens if a Team lands and then gets stuck at the 490meter mark? Our legal agreement provides leeway for judges to award prizes in the event that something doesn’t go quite as planned – this is space exploration on a budget after all!
Judges will need to work with the existing rules in the legal agreement - which in some cases are only a sentence or two – and develop further guidance for Teams on how they will be judged. This is particularly the case with the bonus prizes and in developing how they will assess the mobility plans and any attempts to interact with lunar heritage sites.
We are hoping to appoint our international panel of 7-9 judges over the coming months in time for them to have their first summit in the middle of the year. We expect that many of the questions that they will be addressing will be of interest to students of space and space exploration, and we hope to include a regular post to cover some of the more intriguing questions and topics that they are addressing.
If you know someone whom you think would make a great judge, you can find the ‘job description’ and application here.