Google Lunar XPRIZE Judges - Be Part of Space History!
Playa Vista, California - Part Time

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XPRIZE is pleased to announce an international call for judges for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, a $30 Million competition for the first privately-funded spacecraft to reach the lunar surface (more details here).  This exciting race to the Moon requires a panel of qualified judges from around the world to ultimately determine the grand prize and second prize winners of the contest as well as to provide guidelines and make determinations on other competition milestones.  This is a unique opportunity to be part of the panel responsible for ensuring that the most exceptionally talented teams are rewarded for their efforts.

As a member of our judging panel, which will consist of seven to nine international judges, you will work together as a group occasionally over a period of up to three years.  Two members of the panel will be selected to fill the roles of chair and vice-chair and these two posts will have greater responsibilities.  Though the judges on the panel are not employees of XPRIZE, the position is eligible for a stipend and some travel will be required; however, all travel expenses will be covered by the Foundation.  Judges will be chosen on the basis of their experience in the field, their ability to commit the necessary time, and their ability to fairly evaluate the competitors.  Ideally, candidates will have experience and demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following areas:  launch operations, mission operations, robotics, law and/or business relating to space, spacecraft engineering (in any relevant disciplines) and satellite communications. 

The key areas of evaluation by the judging panel include:

  • Review and verification that a team meets the private funding requirement
  • Review and approval (by comparison to requirements) of team launch arrangements
  • Review and approval (by comparison to requirements) of a team’s payload placement plans
  • Review and approval (by comparison to the requirements) of a team’s lunar mobility plan (outling of waypoints and methodology for determining distance traveled on lunar surface)
  • Assessment of risk with respect to NASA’s Lunar Heritage Sites guidelines
  • Review and approval (by comparison to the requirements) of a team’s “Mooncast” plan (data sent back from the lunar surface to XPRIZE, including but not limited to hi-resolution video, imagery, email, text messages, etc.)
  • Possible attendance at the final checkout of the spacecraft prior to launch attempt or other significant technical milestones for visual verification purposes
  • Final evaluation of mission data to verify that all mission requirements have been met
  • Evaluation and verification (by comparison to requirements) of any bonus prize attempts, including detection of water ice, survival of a lunar night, translation of 10x the required range on the lunar surface, or visiting lunar heritage sites
  • Determination of a team to be awarded the $1M Diversity Bonus Prize
  • Evaluation of certain interim technical milestones that will be used for the purposes of assessing team progress for reporting in an independent "leaderboard"

Additionally, the judging panel will assist with providing technical advice to the Google Lunar XPRIZE staff, reviewing guidelines and assisting with official questions and answers between XPRIZE and the teams.  The judging panel will have sole discretion in determining the prize recipients of the Google Lunar XPRIZE.  Initially the judging panel will be working with the Google Lunar XPRIZE staff to finalize the various checklists, guidelines and detailed requirements that will be used in evaluation of milestones. 

We expect to hold judging panel meetings on an annual basis; the first is likely in July 2013. 

The judge's identities will be published and judges will be expected to support occasional media engagements.

Applicants will be expected to be available to support XPRIZE a minimum of approximately four hours per month; however, preference may be given to judges who can provide more time on a regular basis.  Most of the work can be carried out remotely.

All judges will be required to sign an NDA and not have any relation to the competing teams, individuals, sponsors or vendors.

Join XPRIZE and Google for the next step in lunar exploration!

Founded in 1995, XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself.  The organization motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital for the benefit of humanity.  XPRIZE conducts competitions in five Prize Groups: Education; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences.  Prizes won include the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE for private, suborbital space flight; the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE for creating safe, affordable, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPGe (energy equivalent); the $2 million Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander X CHALLENGE for advanced rocket development; and the $1.4 million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE for highly effective, ocean surface oil spill cleanup methods.  Active prizes include the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $10 million Archon Genomics XPRIZE presented by Express Scripts, and the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, and the $2.25 million Nokia Sensing X CHALLENGE.  For more information, go to