GOOGLE LUNAR X PRIZE SUMMIT TO BE HELD ON THE ISLE OF MAN

Isle of Man brings $30m Moon race prize a step closer. Event brings together Senior Executives from Google Lunar X PRIZE competitors. Local schools get involved in Moon shot plans.

ISLE OF MAN – 2 September, 2010 – The Isle of Man Government (www.spaceisle.com) and the X PRIZE Foundation (www.xprize.org) are pleased to announce the fourth Google Lunar X PRIZE Team Summit will be hosted on the Isle of Man on October 4-5, 2010 during the United Nations declared World Space Week. Senior executives from many of the twenty-two teams competing for the Google Lunar X PRIZE will come together to interact directly with representatives from Google and the X PRIZE Foundation, industry experts and Space Isle representatives from the Isle of Man. Each of these teams is striving to claim a share of the US $30 million prize purse money by becoming the first privately funded team to send a robot to the Moon that can travel 500 meters and transmit video, images and data back to the Earth.

Over the course of the two day summit, the teams will present the progress of their missions, discuss the competitions rules and judging procedures and discuss how to best serve the educational mission of the competition while working on their lunar robots. Teams will also meet with key officials and space companies that operate on the Isle of Man, who will provide information and advice to help the teams. Team members and other experts will also take time to visit with local high school students to teach them about the exciting careers that await those who apply themselves in subjects such as science, engineering and mathematics. To celebrate World Space Week, summit attendees will attend a reception and star-gazing in the historic Castle Rushen, Castletown, which dates back to the 13th century.

“We are incredibly excited for this event,” noted William Pomerantz, the Senior Director for Space Prizes at the non-profit X PRIZE Foundation. “The Google Lunar X PRIZE has a great deal of momentum now, with an incredible roster of teams and with major agencies such as NASA stepping up to become customers of our teams. We’re happy we could hold this summit during World Space Week and in a location like the Isle of Man, which truly represents the new era of innovative space commerce.”

The Isle of Man’s Minister for Economic Development, Allan Bell MHK, commented, “It is a great honor for the Isle of Man to be selected to host the Google Lunar X PRIZE Summit. The Government has a very pro-space orientation and we are committed to helping the space industry flourish. For example, our track record of being at the forefront of new industries resulted in the Isle of Man successfully bidding to host the International Institute of Space Commerce, fending off competition from major cities across the world.” This Summit will further underscore how the Government of the Isle of Man works closely with private sector initiatives and technological innovation to foster the international commercial space sector.

Members of the media who wish to attend are invited to contact the individuals listed below.

ABOUT THE ISLE OF MAN

The Isle of Man is situated in the Irish Sea and is an internally self-governing dependent territory of the British Crown, not part of the United Kingdom. The Island has a competitive tax regime where business benefits from a committed workforce, professional expertise, a supportive and responsive government, world class telecoms infrastructure and sound financial regulation. The Isle of Man is a quality jurisdiction committed to developing a vibrant and diverse space industry. It is an active player in the traditional and emerging space sectors with an impressive track record already as evidenced those who operate there. It is open for further business to quality operators wishing to relocate or set up subsidiaries and welcomes the opportunity to speak to businesses to see how the Isle of Man can help and add value. The Government and private sector enjoy a close working relationship giving business Freedom to Flourish. For further information, please visit http://www.spaceisle.com/

ABOUT THE X PRIZE FOUNDATION

The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. In 2004, the Foundation captured world headlines when Burt Rutan, backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private vehicle to space to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The Foundation has since launched the $10 million Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, and the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. The Foundation is creating and conducting competitions in four prize groups: Exploration (Space and Oceans), Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, and Education & Global Development. The Foundation is widely recognized as the leader in fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit http://www.xprize.org/.

ABOUT THE GOOGLE LUNAR X PRIZE

The $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented international competition that challenges and inspires engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. The $30 million prize purse is segmented into a $20 million Grand Prize, a $5 million Second Prize, and $5 million in bonus prizes. To win the Grand Prize, a team must successfully soft land a privately funded spacecraft on the Moon, explore the lunar surface by moving at least 500 meters, and transmit a specific set of video, images, and data back to the Earth. The Grand Prize is $20 million until December 31st, 2012; thereafter it will drop to $15 million until the prize expires on December 31st, 2014. For more information about the Google Lunar X PRIZE, please visit www.googlelunarxprize.org.

ABOUT THE WORLD SPACE WEEK ASSOCIATION

World Space Week Association (WSWA) is a non-government, nonprofit, international organization based in the USA. We proudly partner with the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the Office of Outer Space Affairs to promote the largest annual space event in the world. World Space Week is held every October 4 - 10 and is coordinated by people in over 60 nations.  For more information, please visit www.worldspaceweek.org.

Media Contacts:

Isle of Man Government:
Tim Craine, Director, Business Development Agency Department of Economic Development
tim.craine@gov.im
+44 1624 686395
Christopher Stott, Director Mansat LLC
chris.stott@mansat.com

Google Lunar X Prize:
Valerie Arias 310.741.4883
valerie.arias@xprize.org
Michael Timmons 310.741.4884
michael.timmons@xprize.org

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