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Moon Roundup: $16 Million Statement

Moon Roundup: $16 Million Statement

A Google Lunar XPRIZE team has received a $16.4 million donation! A historic statement for space.

This week, on the road to the Moon...

One of the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams has received a $16.4 million donation!

Team SpaceIL , of Israel, announced this week the historic (and massive) donation from the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Family Foundation. The team's total mission budget is $36 million, and they've had fundraising success in the past (noting back in February that they'd "raised about $20 million so far including the government support"), so they are well on their way!

"As an entrepreneur, nothing is as thrilling as supporting a group of people who have been told that their dreams cannot be realized." -donor Sheldon Adelson, Reuters. [Forbes image.]

The Moon is catching on, and in a big way! This is just the beginning, as major sponsors & donors start to flock to the teams and their historic efforts to reach the Moon.

And speaking of 'catching on'... another Google Lunar XPRIZE team has launched a rockstar's new album...

...into space!:

That's John Frusciante (prolific rockstar and longtime Red Hot Chili Pepper), and his new album was launched---literally!---on board a Synergy Moon  (Interorbital Systems) rocket:

The album-launch-if-there-ever-was-one caught a lot of buzz, including a mention in Rolling Stone! (I think we're officially "cool" now...)

Meanwhile, team Moon Express  continued to make their own cool connections---this time, hanging out with Commander Chris Hadfield (of musical International Space Station fame):

While their billionaire co-founder, Naveen Jain, was featured in an article about their awesome ambitions to harvest the Moon:

"Once you take a mind-set of scarcity and replace it with a mind-set of abundance, amazing things can happen here on Earth," Jain said. "The ability to access the resources of the moon can change the equation dramatically." -billionaire co-founder of Moon Express, Naveen Jain (pictured holding a sample from his meteorite collection)

For more inspirational quotes (and rockstar Moon explorers), check out our third Google Hangout, featuring Hakuto  and Indus  (with our epic host, Dr. Pamela L. Gay):

"It's not a longshot---it's a moonshot!" - Rahul Narayan, Team Indus

They talk about everything from the tag-teaming of Moon robots---tethered together to explore the edges of craters---to the benefits of exploring Moon caves! The best audio starts at 25:00, so click above to jump into an inspiring talk! (And stay tuned for the full transcript/subtitles.)

Meanwhile, SpaceIL  is also the focus of a competition to design a video game for positive change. You can vote now on the three finalists, one of which will recieve $25,000!

And, last but not least, the announcement of a Google Lunar XPRIZE TV series (with live broadcasts from the Moon) to air on Discovery and The Science Channel set the internet on fire, with excitement across dozens (if not hundreds) of outlets---including Space.com/Yahoo!

The return to the Moon will be televised---and it's going to be a rockstar moment! We're just getting started...

Lykke Li, jamming out on the Moon. Soon: for real?

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I'll be rounding up these news items every week, so keep an eye here for the latest developments from your moon race!

And for the full skinny on everything that happens, follow the official feeds for team blogsteam social, and team videos. You can also sign up for the XPRIZE newsletter to get cool PRIZE news in your inbox!

~Nick Azer

[April 2nd-April 8th, 2014. Breaking news for team SpaceIL's April 9th donation added on April 10th.]

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