Videos: Watch “Moon Shot” series by Orlando von Einsiedel & J.J. Abrams

I posted earlier about the “Moon Shot” documentary project by Orlando von Einsiedel & J.J. Abram, which profiles participants in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. The nine short films are now available on YouTube. (The videos are also available for free at Google Play.) You can watch all the films in sequence here starting with the trailer:

The films are very well done and often quite poignant. Below are descriptions of each episode.

Ep. 1 – Astrobotic – Pittsburgh, USA : “Legendary roboticist Red Whittaker is a professor who splits his time between teaching future engineers at Carnegie Mellon and owning/operating a working cattle farm in rural Pennsylvania. With a crack team of former students, he co-founded Astrobotic because he believes robots are the best solution for exploring remote, harsh environments — from nuclear disaster zones to the moon.”

Ep. 2 – Part-Time Scientists – Germany: “Founded by an ad hoc group of part-timers, this Berlin-based GLXP team [PT Scientists] plans to open source its mission data. Team leader Robert Böhme, who was raised in the former East Germany, says the free exchange of information is ultimately more important than money.”

Ep. 3 – Team Indus – India “Deepana Gandhi dreamed of a career in math/science, but she grew up in rural India where women aren’t typically afforded the same opportunities as men. After struggling to find a job, Deepana eventually landed at Indus in Bangalore, where she works on the equations necessary for navigating to the moon.”

Ep. 4 – Team Plan B – Canada: “Alex Dobrianski emigrated from the Ukraine to Vancouver to build a better life for his wife Luda and their three children. Twenty years later, after launching a career in IT, he staked his retirement money on the GLXP and recruited his son Sergei to help him pursue his lifelong passion for aerospace, which Alex had been forced to abandon in post-Soviet Ukraine.” – Team Plan B

Ep. 5 – Hakuto – Japan: “When the 2011 tsunami decimated Japan’s Pacific coast, robotics Professor Kazuya Yoshida and his family were lucky to escape harm’s way. Understanding that it’s only a matter of time before an even greater natural disaster strikes, the professor wants his rovers to explore the lunar caves, which could provide a suitable location for future human settlements that will help preserve our species.” – Hakuto team

Ep. 6 – Moon Express – Cape Canaveral, USA: “When Naveen Jain moved from India to the U.S., he was a poor university student with an uncertain future and a hunch that anything is possible. Decades later, after becoming a successful Internet entrepreneur, he co-founded Moon Express to help find a solution to the world’s energy crisis.” Moon Express

Ep. 7 – SpaceIL – Israel: “One of the last teams to enter the GLXP, SpaceIL was co-founded by Yariv Bash, whose grandfather’s life was tragically altered by the Holocaust. Inspired by his grandfather’s work as an engineer, Bash hopes SpaceIL’s efforts to build cool new technology will encourage others, including his young son, to improve the world for future generations.”

Ep. 8 – Mecaliks – Mexico: “9-year-old Jana González turned to playing videogames after her parent’s divorce. As her love of playing games evolved into programming them, she soon discovered robotics and joined an all-girl team competing in the Moonbots, a worldwide robotics competition for kids.” –Mecaliks Moonbots team

Ep. 9 – Race for the Prize: “For nearly a decade, people around the world have been racing to The Moon as part of the Google Lunar X-PRIZE, a $30 million contest. Developing an array of new technologies for landing and exploring the lunar surface, these private teams are making big strides and sacrifices to chase their dream of reaching the moon!”

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